A TSA agent pats down a passenger in this screenshot from a YouTube video.
A local news investigation at Denver International Airport appears to have uncovered a perverse misuse of standard TSA screening practices that allegedly afforded a male TSA agent the opportunity to touch “attractive male passengers” in their most private of places.
Denver-based CBS4 News’ investigation appears to have uncovered enough evidence to make the news outlet confident in some pretty bold assertions:
A CBS4 investigation has learned that two Transportation Security Administration screeners at Denver International Airport have been fired after they were discovered manipulating passenger screening systems to allow a male TSA employee to fondle the genital areas of attractive male passengers.
It happened roughly a dozen times, according to information gathered by CBS4.
… Although the TSA learned of the accusation on Nov. 18, 2014 via an anonymous tip from one of the agency’s own employees, reports show that it would be nearly three months before anything was done.
Lurid stuff. CBS4 looked over law enforcement reports and discovered that, in 2014, a male screener told one of his co-workers that he “gropes” men who go through his screening line, if he finds their looks appealing. From that incident report:
He [the screener] 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.
There’s more involved in the TSA agents’ nuts-and-bolts manipulation of the screening process, which you can read in detail in the original report.
As with so many of these stories of workaday government employee corruption and abuse, we don’t get names. And it looks as though firing is as severe a punishment as any of the employees is likely to receive. There’ll be no pursuit of criminal charges — at least, unless a victim comes forward.
“Earlier this month a prosecutor from the Denver District Attorney’s Office was asked to review the case,” CBS4 reports, “but she declined to press charges because there was no reasonable likelihood of conviction and no victim had been identified.”