According to a CBS4 report, police are investigating Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers at Denver International Airport after a woman filed a criminal complaint claiming that her frisking was tantamount to sexual assault.
Jamelyn Steenhoek was frisked by TSA officers while escorting her 13-year-old daughter to her gate. She was not flying herself that day, but had acquired permission to accompany her underage child to her gate.
As she attempted to move through the TSA checkpoint, an alarm sounded. Steenhoek told CBS4 that she believes that metallic jewels sewn into her rear pants pocket were responsible for setting off the machine. She said she consented to have her hands swabbed.
“They told me I tested positive for explosives,” she said, and was then ushered into a small TSA screening room in with her daughter. She was told to spread her arms and legs, and when she told the female TSA agent that she needed to get her daughter to her plane, the agent’s demeanor changed.
“At that point she did a pretty invasive search. 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,” she said.
“The part of the search that bothered most was the breast search. 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.”
When the search yielded no explosive materials, Steenhoek said, the TSA agent repeated it, only this time there was “more touching and grabbing than the first time.”
After successfully escorting her daughter to her flight, Steenhoek complained to TSA officials, but felt they were not taking her complaint seriously enough, so she filed charges with Denver police.
“I was looking for consequences, for TSA to be accountable for what they do to people,” Steenhoek told CBS4.
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
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