An airplane passenger has been charged for repeatedly groping a teenage girl who was sitting in front of him during a recent flight from Texas to Montana.
Vincent Kopacek, 76, appeared in federal court Monday, July 12 after being charged with attempted sexual abuse of a minor, abusive sexual contact and assault within maritime and territorial jurisdiction.
Prosecutors said he was sitting directly behind the 15-year-old victim, who was in a window seat, when he reached his hand between her seat and the wall of the aircraft and “touched the girl’s body.” The teen documented the alleged attack with her cellphone, authorities said.
The victim said the man began touching her before the plane even took off and continued until it landed about three hours later, according to prosecutors. She reported the abuse to her family after leaving Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport and her family then contacted law enforcement, authorities said.
The FBI took over the case and arrested the accused man while he was checking in for his return flight to Texas on Sunday.
If convicted, Kopacek faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and five years of supervised release.