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It's hard being beautiful. Everyone wants to get their hands on you, even TSA agents.
All those fears passengers had of TSA agents getting sexual gratification from body scans and pat downs have been justified. At Denver International Airport, two TSA agents, one male and one female, have been fired for a scheme to grope attractive male passengers. Whenever the male agent sees an attractive man about to be scanned, he signals to his partner. The female agent would put into the scanning computer that a woman was about to be scanned. So when a man steps inside, the scanning machine would indicate an anomaly in the genital area, allowing the male TSA screener to conduct a pat-down search and cop a feel.
There have been at least 11 victims, but none have come forward to make a complaint. The two were fired.
Colorado Sexual Assault Law
The agents are lucky that they've only been fired and have not yet been charged with a crime.
In Colorado, any sexual contact where the actor knows that the victim does not consent is a class 1 misdemeanor, punishable with 6 to 24 months in prison. The agents may argue that people consent to pat down searches when they go through security. This may be true, but that consent probably didn't extend to being groped and manhandled.
Another statute states that "sexual contact that occurs when an actor engages in treatment or examination of a victim for other than bona fide medical purposes or in a manner substantial inconsistent with reasonable medical purposes" is a class 4 felony punishable with 2 to 6 years in prison. While this statute is specifically for doctors, it penalizes doctors using their position of authority to victimize the patient. Similarly, the TSA agents are using the power of their position to victimize unsuspecting travelers.
Traveler complaints against TSA treatment are not rare. We hear of them all too frequently in the news. If you have been groped or searched inappropriately, you may be able to file a complaint against TSA.
In cases of offensive touching, you must submit a tort claim to TSA before you can file a lawsuit, and you must filed within 2 years of the incident.
If you think you've been singled out for inspection because of your race, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, or national origin, you may file a civil rights claim.
An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to help you pursue a claim.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.