Accused airline groper: Woman came on to me

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A northern New Jersey man accused of sexually abusing a woman sitting next to him on a cross-country flight last year told authorities the woman came on to him after telling him he was a “very handsome guy and smelled nice.”

North Bergen resident Bawer Aksal’s statement was read in federal court Tuesday in Newark, where the Turkish-born U.S. citizen is on trial for sexual abuse.

FBI agent Mary Anne Flippo testified that Aksal told her and another agent that the woman placed one of his hands in her blouse and the other down her shorts during the Phoenix-to Newark flight in August 2012.

The statement is in stark contrast to the woman’s account. She testified that she woke up to find Aksal molesting her.

The trial began last week.

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