Fredericksburg man, 76, accused of groping 15-year-old girl on flight

Teen recorded alleged groping on her cell phone, prosecutors say

FILE - In this Feb. 3, 2021, file photo, a passenger wears a face mask she travels on a Delta Air Lines flight after taking off from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File) (Charlie Riedel, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

A 76-year-old Fredericksburg man was taken into federal custody after he allegedly groped a 15-year-old during a flight from Austin to Bozeman, Montana, according to prosecutors.

Vincent Harry Kopacek was arrested by FBI agents on Sunday with the help of Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office and the Bozeman Yellowstone International Public Safety Office, according to a news release from the federal agency. He is charged with attempted sexual abuse of a minor, abusive sexual contact, and assault within maritime and territorial jurisdiction.

Kopacek allegedly sat behind the teen on the July 9 flight, according to federal court documents.

Prior to takeoff and again before landing in Montana, Kopacek allegedly reached over to grope the teen multiple times. The teen “took over twenty short videos and several photographs with her cell phone to document the contact,” according to federal court documents.

That evidence helped authorities track down Kopacek, who was arrested shortly before he was set to board a plane to return to Texas.

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About the Author:

Fares Sabawi has been a journalist in San Antonio for four years. He has covered several topics, but specializes in crime, courts, open records and data visualization.