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Press Release

New York Man Admits Assault With The Intent To Stalk On Airplane

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. – A Monsey, New York, man admitted today that he assaulted with the intent to stalk a woman on a flight from Israel to Newark Liberty International Airport, Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced.


Yoel Oberlander, 36, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Esther Salas in Newark federal court to a superseding information charging him with assault with intent to commit stalking.


According to the Superseding Information:


While on an El Al flight from Tel Aviv to Newark on May 29, 2016, Oberlander knowingly and intentionally assaulted an adult female victim with the intent to harass and intimidate her, and such conduct caused or could be reasonably expected to cause the victim substantial emotional distress.


Oberlander admitted that he assaulted the female victim, who was seated next to him on the plane, that he touched her in the area of her chest, upper thigh, and hand without her consent, and that he did so with the intent to harass and intimidate her.


Oberlander faces a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for June 28, 2017.


Acting U.S. Attorney Fitzpatrick credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher in Newark, and the Port Authority of New York-New Jersey, with the investigation leading to the charges.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Melissa M. Wangenheim and Joyce M. Malliet of the U.S. Attorney’s Criminal Division in Newark.

Defense counsel: Eric Kanefsky Esq., Newark

Updated March 22, 2017

Press Release Number: 17-083