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US man sexually assaulted sleeping woman on plane

13:00 Sat Jul 20 2013

A US man is facing life in prison after fondling and penetrating a woman with his hands while she was sleeping on a cross-country flight.

Bawar Askal, 49, was yesterday convicted of sexually assaulting a 50-year-old woman who was sitting next to him on the interstate United Airlines flight last August, New York Daily News reports.

The court heard the woman, who testified using a pseudonym, awoke to find Askal fondling her breasts with one hand and the other down her pants.

He whispered "kiss me" into her ear before she shoved him away and got up to ask a flight attendant for help.

Askal claimed the woman consented to his actions but a fellow passenger backed up the victim's story and the flight attendant said the woman was crying and shaking when she told her what happened.

Aksal is due to be sentenced on October 23 and faces a life sentence.