Federal prosecutors say a New York man improperly touched a sleeping woman aboard a flight from Tokyo to New Jersey.
Eun Jong Lee was detained upon arrival Sunday night at Newark Liberty International Airport and was charged with abusive sexual contact.
The 47-year-old Ithaca resident made his initial court appearance Monday in U.S. District Court in Newark, where he was represented by a federal public defender.
Lee faces up to two years in prison if convicted.
Prosecutors say Lee was seated next to a woman he did not know on a United Airlines flight from Tokyo to Newark. While the plane was in the air, the woman fell asleep but awoke to find Lee's hand on the front of her shirt, touching her breast through her clothing, according to a criminal complaint.
An after-hours message for Lee's public defender was not immediately returned.