On a flight from Phoenix, Arizona to Newark, New Jersey, one passenger awoke from a nap to find her seatmate sexually molesting her. According to federal prosecutors, Bawar Aksal, a Turkish national with American citizenship, was taken into custody when the plane landed, and has been charged with sexual abuse. Aksal had a bond hearing today which has been continued until Thursday so more details can be presented, and he is considered a flight risk.
The woman, whose name is being withheld by prosecutors because of the nature of the charges, told authorities she woke up to find the man had one of his hands inside her shirt touching her breasts and the other in her shorts molesting her, according to the complaint. Aksal, 48, was breathing heavily and repeatedly asked the woman to kiss him, it says.
Authorities state that Aksal admitted touching the woman but declared that she had forced his hand down her shorts. The female passenger took quick action when she awoke, slamming the armrest down between them and presenting her story to the flight attendants who detained the man.
If the case succeeds in going to trial and bringing a conviction of sex abuse, the penalty could be very steep and definitely life changing. Aksal could be faced with a $250,000 fine and life in prison if he is found guilty. This is a potential sentence that is far harsher than most state laws allow for child sexual abuse or even child sex trafficking. Perhaps that is what is needed to bring decency and respect back to our country.
When the statistics of sexual molestation indicate that one in three females and one in six males will be sexually assaulted before turning 18, there is a serious epidemic in our land. The problem goes far deeper than groping by a stranger while in-flight, even though this incident is horrific. The real issue is the entitlement to force oneself onto another that molesters of all kinds believe they have. As long as the cultural media gives open-handed encouragement to unlimited sexual expression, we should not be surprised by the incredible number of sexual violations that occur in public on a daily basis. But, to turn a blind eye to the damage this does to the conscience of our country and the souls of those violated is to be contributors to the violence and injustice.
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(c) 2012 Holly Craw. All rights reserved. You may link to this article or take an excerpt with due attribution to the author and a link back to this original article. Mention your link below to get a shoutout.