A former Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent has been arrested after allegedly tricking a female passenger into showing him her breasts and letting him look down her pants at Los Angeles International Airport last year, according to a news release published by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Thursday.
Twenty-two-year-old Johnathon Lomeli is alleged to have stopped a woman at LAX in June 2019, telling her that he needed to look into her bra during a security screening. She also claims he told her to hold her waistband out so he could look down her pants, according to a criminal complaint.
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Lomeli is then accused of telling the woman that she needed additional screening in a private room and taking her into an elevator where he instructed her “to show me your full breasts” before allegedly looking into her pants once more.
The former agent, who is being charged with one felony count of false imprisonment for intentionally and unlawfully detaining an individual through the use of fraud or deceit, resigned about a week after the alleged incident.
“Women deserve to be treated with dignity and respect everywhere,” Becerra said in a statement. “There is no excuse for this kind of alleged behavior. It’s not okay on the street, it’s not okay in our schools, and it’s certainly not welcome at the airport. At the California Department of Justice, we’ll continue to do everything in our power to hold those who break the law accountable.”
In a statement to Fox News, TSA reiterated that it “does not tolerate illegal, unethical or immoral conduct.”
“The behavior described in the state charging documents is unacceptable and an affront to the hardworking and committed members of our workforce,” the agency added. “The individual charged with these crimes is no longer with the agency and we pledge to fully cooperate with the ongoing law enforcement investigation into this matter.”
Earlier this year, TSA launched an investigation into one of its agents after attorney and Indigenous rights activist Tara Houska alleged he pulled her braids and made an offensive remark as she made her way through security at Minneapolis-Saint Paul Airport.
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