TSA screeners manipulated system to allow male agent to grope men’s genitals

TSA screeners manipulated system to allow male agent to grope men’s genitals

The Transportation Security Administration may have done away with its so-called “nude body” scanners but it hasn’t done away with creeps who get their rocks off sexualizing airline passengers. In the latest reported outrage, an agent who is gay didn’t merely look without touching. Aided by a fellow screener working under the guise of security, he actually fondled the genitals of approximately a dozen men who excited his sexual urges.

According to CBS Denver, the unidentified pervert (since fired along with the screener who abetted his crime) confided with a female colleague in 2014 that he “gropes” male passengers who come through the screening area at Denver International Airport:

He related that when a male he finds attractive comes to be screened by the scanning machine he will alert another TSA screener to indicate to the scanning computer that the party being screened is a female. When the screener does this, the scanning machine will indicate an anomaly in the genital area and this allows (the male TSA screener) to conduct a pat-down search of that area.

It gets better: Although the TSA was first apprised of the situation in November 2014 via an anonymous tip from one of the agency’s own employees, no action was taken for nearly three months. It was not until Feb. 9 of this year that TSA security supervisor Chris Higgins watched the screening area, observing the actions of employees. A law enforcement report obtained by CBS Denver advises:

At about 0925 he [Higgins] observed (the male TSA screener) appear to give a signal to another screener … (the second female screener) was responsible for the touchscreen system that controls whether or not the scanning machine alerts to gender-specific anomalies.

The  report goes on to note that the TSA investigator watched a male passenger enter the scanner “and observed (the female TSA agent) press the screening button for a female. The scanner alerted to an anomaly, and Higgins observed (the male TSA screener) conduct a pat down of the passenger’s front groin and buttocks area with the palm of his hands, which is contradictory to TSA searching policy.”

A spokesperson for the TSA released a brief written statement that reads:

These alleged acts are egregious and intolerable. TSA has removed the two officers from the agency. All allegations of misconduct are thoroughly investigated by the agency. And when substantiated, employees are held accountable.

A prosecutor from the Denver District Attorney’s Office reviewed the case but declined to pursue criminal charges because there is no reasonable likelihood of conviction and no victim had been identified.

The case is not the first in which TSA agents committed a more-than-thorough security check. In 2008, an Amarillo woman was passing through security at Corpus Christi Airport when an agent abruptly pulled her blouse completely down, exposing her breasts. She subsequently sued the Department of Homeland Security and won. In 2012, a female journalist suffered what she termed “sexual assault” by a TSA agent. The victim, Karen Kaplan, got back at the agency by publishing an article about her humiliating experience.

The gay groper highlighted in the present story appears to be the first same-sex violator.

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Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.


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