NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - The attorney for a New Jersey man accused of sexually abusing a sleeping woman on a cross-country flight is disputing the charges.
Federal authorities say the woman awoke on the Aug. 20 flight from Phoenix to Newark, N.J., to find Bawer Aksal, of North Bergen, with his hands inside her clothing.
Aksal's attorney, Robert DeGroot, says his client denies abusing the woman.
Speaking at a bail hearing, DeGroot also said prosecutors have incorrectly claimed that Aksal confessed to touching the woman and told authorities it was consensual.
Prosecutors say Aksal, a Turkish-born U.S. citizen, is a flight risk. But DeGroot says Aksal is a Kurd who fled Turkish persecution and has no desire to return.
A federal judge in Newark will continue Aksal's bail hearing Thursday.
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