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Man who groped 3 on flight to London ordered to pay $53,000 to airline

A US Airways passenger who groped three women and caused a London-bound flight to return to Philadelphia was sentenced today to five months of community confinement and will have to pay $53,000 in restitution to the airline.

Robert John Coppack, 42, became drunk and disruptive on US Airways Flight 728. Federal prosecutors said he intimidated and assaulted flight crew members on the May 13 flight and interfered with their duties. Coppack pleaded guilty Sept. 17.

Coppack, of LaVerne, Calif., was sitting next to an 18-year-old student when he began to touch her inappropriately and refused to stop. He poked at another woman who demanded he cease his abuse. As a Federal Air Marshal from the Department of Homeland Security led Coppack to the back of the plane, Coppack allegedly stroked another woman's hair and touched her breast.

The flight returned to Philadelphia, Coppack was arrested, and the flight took off again five hours later.

In addition to the community confinement and restitution, Coppack was ordered to refrain from alcohol and illegal controlled substances and seek mental health treatment.