An orthodox rabbi was convicted Thursday of groping a sleeping woman aboard a trans-Atlantic flight, published reports said.
Gavriel Bidany, 47, now faces up to six months in prison for groping the 23-year-old sleeping female passenger last month aboard a flight from Tel Aviv to JFK. The rabbi, married with 11 children, is set to be sentenced May 12.
The woman, an Israeli army officer, reportedly testified that she fell asleep on the flight and awoke to the rabbi rubbing her groin area. She "jumped back" and Bidany "quickly removed his hand from her groin area," reports said.
She then said she fell asleep a second time and awoke to Bidany groping her breasts. When she called him out, he reportedly said, "It's a mistake, I’m asleep." She then told the flight crew, who later told FBI agents the woman was "visibly shaken and frantic."
Through a Hebrew translator, Bidany reportedly testified yesterday that he wouldn't "do such nonsense and risk my entire life."
The judge reportedly said the woman's story was "compelling and wholly believable," but said Bidany's testimony was "not worthy of belief."
He remains out on bail. His attorney, Saul Bienenfield, didn't return calls for comment.