TSA Agent Arrested and Fired After Allegedly Sexually Assaulting Woman In …

29 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

POLITICS.

A Transportation Security Administration agent at LaGuardia Airport was busted for molesting a 21-year-old Korean exchange student after luring her into a bathroom by claiming she needed to be searched, authorities said Friday. The incident occurred earlier this week, when the 40-year-old TSA agent allegedly told the 21-year-old woman, a college student from Korea, that he needed to screen her for weapons after she had walked out of the sterile checkpoint area and into the area where passengers no longer need to be checked. Ten minutes later, after Oquendo reached out to someone on the phone to get the code to the bathroom, the TSA agent took the woman inside, sources said. When he was done, he told the victim he wasn’t going to check her luggage, then, in an apparent continuation of the ruse, said into his cell phone, “She’s clear — she doesn’t have any weapons or knives,” Brown said.

The woman followed him up an escalator to the third floor, near a lounge and a bank of elevators, where he “lured” her inside a bathroom under the pretext of conducting a legitimate search, sources said. At the TSA agent’s arraignment, his attorney described Oquendo as a “loving father of two daughters” who has never been accused of wrongdoing before. Two witnesses — women who work at the airport near where the pair passed — were able to help provide a description that matched the heavyset Oquendo, sources said. She questioned if he did this with other travelers, to which the TSA screener answered that he did, according to the charges. “Supposedly he took her into another area using his official position, being in uniform, and she thought it was a part of his official duty,” Port Authority of New York and New Jersey spokesman Joe Pentangelo said to Reuters.

He has been charged with second-degree unlawful imprisonment, official misconduct, third-degree sexual abuse, and second-degree harassment, according to WABC. He will face up to one year behind bars if he is convicted. “TSA holds its employees to the highest standards,” TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger said in a statement. “As such, we expect our employees to conduct themselves with integrity, professionalism, and with respect for the public we serve.

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