An Orthodox rabbi was sentenced to 60 days in the clink Thursday for groping a sleeping woman on a trans-Atlantic flight in April.
Gavriel Bidany, 48, was convicted of fondling the 23-year-old Israeli army officer in March as she slept on a flight bound for Kennedy Airport from Tel Aviv. He faced up to six months in jail, and members of his community wrote letters to the court asking for lenience.
"Rabbi Bidany committed a serious crime, touching a young sleeping woman on her private parts," Brooklyn Magistrate Ramon Reyes said. "Such conduct cannot be tolerated."
The woman testified that she was awoken when Bidany began rubbing her groin. After falling asleep again, she awoke to Bidany fondling her breasts. When she confronted him, she testified that he said: "It's a mistake, I’m asleep."
Bidany, married with 11 children, is a marriage counselor. His attorney, Saul Bienenfeld, didn't return calls for comment, but told the Daily News: "I think it's a very heavy sentence."