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Rabbi found guilty of groping female co-passenger on plane

May 6, 2011 - New York

An Orthodox rabbi has been found guilty of groping a female Israel Defense Forces officer during a flight aboard a commercial jetliner bound for New York.

Gavriel Bidany, 48, a father of 11 children, was travelling on a Delta flight from Tel Aviv, and he was seated next to the young woman, who had fallen asleep.

In her testimony at a Brooklyn federal court she said that she awoke to find the man's hand massaging her crotch and then her br**ts.

"I immediately said, 'What are you doing? You're touching me!'" the New York Post quoted her as saying.

She said the rabbi pretended to be dozing and feigned innocence.

Bidany, who had taken the stand in his own defense before Magistrate Judge Ramon Reyes Jr., now faces up to six months behind bars when he sentenced May 12. He remains free on bail.


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