Originally published January 22 2014
Denver police investigate TSA agent for sexually assaulting air traveler
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) Once again, employees of the nation's most worthless federal agency, the Transportation Security Administration, are in trouble with the law for allegedly committing a sexually abusive act against a passenger.
According to the local CBS affiliate, Denver police have launched a sexual assault investigation against TSA screeners who work at a checkpoint at the Denver International Airport. The report says the investigation began recently, after a Colorado woman filed a complaint, saying a pat-down and frisk she received there was akin to sexual assault.
"It's an open and active investigation," Denver police spokesperson Sonny Jackson said. "We take all complaints seriously and we are on this case as well. We have launched an investigation into it."
As reported by CBS4:
The criminal probe stems from a complaint filed by Jamelyn Steenhoek, 39, who was patted down by TSA agents on Dec. 26 as she was escorting her 13-year-old daughter to a flight bound for Philadelphia. Steenhoek was not flying, just getting her daughter to the gate.
"I feel like someone who works for a powerful agency that we are afraid of used their power to violate me sexually - to put me in my place," Steenhoek, a full-time college student and a working mother for a county social services department, told the local station.
After finding nothing, the agent repeated the groping
Though she had proper credentials to escort her daughter to the airline gate, an alarm sounded at the TSA checkpoint when she passed through. The humiliated mother said she believes the checkpoint metal detector sounded after picking up jewels that were sewn into the rear pockets of her blue jeans. When the alarm sounded, TSA agents at the checkpoint asked if she would agree to have her hands swabbed, which she did.
"Then they told me I tested positive for explosives," Steenhoek said, adding that she told the agents that the positive probably stemmed from earlier in the day when she had pumped gas into her vehicle.
"She said, 'We'll have to do a search.' So I thought, 'Okay,'" Steenhoek said.
Steenhoek told the station she was focused on simply getting the search over with and getting to the gate with her daughter, with enough time to spare in order to get the daughter a bite to eat before her flight departed. She said she was then ushered away to a small private room at the checkpoint, with her daughter watching from a few feet away.
"They told me to spread my arms and spread my feet," Steenhoek said, noting that the female TSA agent conducting the search appeared to become agitated as Steenhoek tried to hurry the process along - so she could get her child to her gate.
"At that point she did a pretty invasive search," she said. "They are just areas of the body I'm not comfortable being touched in. On the outside of my pants she cupped my crotch. I was uncomfortable with that."
The embarrassed mother also said the TSA agent repeatedly dug her fingers into Steenhoek's armpits as well.
"The part of the search that bothered most was the breast search," she explained. "You could tell it shouldn't take that much groping. To me it was as extensive as an exam from my physician - full touching and grabbing in the front. I felt uncomfortable, I felt violated."
'You want one or more of them to be charged?'
Worse, though the initial invasive search turned up nothing, the agent nevertheless repeated the procedure.
"So it didn't make any sense. The whole search was done over and more touching and grabbing than the first time," Steenhoek said.
Finally, the Gestapo - er, I mean, the TSA agent - released Steenhoek without finding anything suspicious, dangerous or prohibited. She managed to get her daughter to her gate on time.
Steenhoek said she made a complaint to TSA management about her treatment, but like so many abused Americans before her, she didn't believe she was going to get any satisfaction. So, three days later, she went to the Denver Police Department and filed a complaint against the as-yet-unnamed female TSA agent who conducted the search.
"I was looking for consequences, for TSA to be accountable for what they do to people," Steenhoek told CBS4.
"You want one or more of them to be charged with sexual assault?" she said she was asked.
"I do," Steenhoek responded.
Police officials say they will submit the complaint to the district attorney, to see if there is enough evidence to file charges.
As often as this kind of nonsense has happened already, I'm not holding my breath that anyone at the TSA will be held to account.
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