Who is Vincent Kopacek? Texas man, 76, gropes girl, 15, throughout Allegiant Airlines flight
MISSOULA COUNTY, MONTANA: An elderly man has been charged after he allegedly groped a 15-year-old girl during a flight from Texas to Montana, while the teen was traveling for a vacation with her family.
Vincent Kopacek, 76, of Fredericksburg, Texas, was charged with attempted sexual abuse of a minor, abusive sexual contact, and assault within maritime and territorial jurisdiction, in connection to a criminal complaint about thr 15-year-old girl being assaulted while on Allegiant Airlines Flight 2606 from Austin to Bozeman. on July 8. On July 9, the FBI was contacted by an officer with the Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport Public Safety Office regarding the incident. If convicted, Kopacek faces a maximum of 15 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and five years of supervised release.
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What happened during the flight?
According to the arrest affidavit, the abuse started prior to takeoff in Austin and continued until just before landing in Bozeman. The victim, identified only by her initials, AG, was seated in a window seat during the three-hour flight, which was fully upright during the duration of the flight. Kopacek was sitting directly behind her. The teen's sister was seated next to her, and their mother was in the aisle seat. The rest of the family members were seated several rows ahead.
The documents stated that Kopacek, who was sitting alone, touched the victim's body with his 'dry and rough hands' by reaching his hand around the girl’s seat and the interior wall of the aircraft. "Shortly after takeoff, the male grabbed and squeezed her arm," the affidavit reads. "He then moved his hand between her arm and her torso, brushed his fingers along her torso, and grabbed her waist. At some point, the male touched her chest and groped her breast over her clothes."
The teen adjusted her body several times in attempts to make Kopacek stop touching her but every time he would resume groping after a pause, according to the affidavit. Eventually, she documented the alleged activity on her phone, taking 20 short videos. At least one of those showed a man's hand touching the victim over her shirt. The girl also clicked multiple photos of Kopecek. "AG stated she was uncomfortable with the male touching her and during the flight, she tried to distract herself so she would not cry," the affidavit stated. "AG was scared that the male would get his hand into her pants. AG felt disrespected and gross by the male touching her and felt guilty for not speaking up."
The girl confessed about the incident to her family after leaving the airport and they immediately informed the law enforcement. The victim claimed Kopacek tried to touch the front of her pants near her waistline. However, he was unable to do so after she moved, readjusted herself and her shirt ended up covering her waist.
On July 11, FBI agents arrested Kopacek in Bozeman when he checked in for his flight departing the airport. Judge Kathleen ordered Kopacek detained pending his next hearing.