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Man Accused of Sexually Assaulting Girl, 15, on Plane

Vincent Kopacek, 76, was arrested when he tried to check in for return flight
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 13, 2021 6:06 PM CDT

(Newser) – A 76-year-old man who allegedly sexually assaulted a 15-year-old girl on a flight from Texas to Montana was arrested when he tried to check in for his return flight. Vincent Harry Kopacek allegedly repeatedly groped the girl from the seat behind her window seat before and during the July 8 flight from Austin to Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport, NBC Montana reports. The girl recorded his actions with her cell phone and reported the incident to her family after leaving the airport, court papers state. They contacted local law enforcement, who referred the case to the FBI.

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Kopacek was arrested when he returned to the airport for his July 11 flight. The Texas resident, who has been charged with attempted sexual abuse of a minor, abusive sexual contact, and assault within maritime and territorial jurisdiction, made his first appearance in federal court Monday, the New York Daily News reports. He faces a maximum 15 years in prison if convicted of the most serious charge, authorities say. (Read more Montana stories.)

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