Father Marcelo De Jesumaria, from Lake Arrowhead, California, was sentenced to six months in prison and six months of home detention for abusive sexual contact.
The 46-year-old targeted the woman on a US Airways flight from Philadelphia to Los Angeles in August 2014.
The court heard that De Jesumaria asked a flight attendant if he could “sit next to his wife” and then moved to the last row of the plane beside the sleeping victim.
She alerted crew members after waking to find De Jesumaria’s hand on top of her left leg near her groin.
The disgraced priest, who was convicted in May this year, also touched her breast on the red-eye flight.
US District Court Judge Beverly Reid O’Connell said the priest’s actions left “devastatingly negative impacts” on the victim.
De Jesumaria was removed from his role in November by the Diocese of San Bernardino.