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Press Release

New York Man Gets 13 Months In Prison For Assault, 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 was sentenced today to 13 months in prison for assaulting a woman on a flight from Israel to Newark Liberty International Airport, Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced.


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


According to the documents filed in this case and statements made in court:


Oberlander admitted that while on an El Al flight from Tel Aviv to Newark on May 29, 2016, he knowingly and intentionally assaulted a woman seated next to him on the plane. He admitted 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.


In addition to the prison term, Judge Salas sentenced Oberlander to three years of supervised release.


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.

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 April 17, 2023

Press Release Number: 17-272