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Denver TSA Agent Accused of Sexually Assaulting A Passenger

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Have you ever opted out of the TSA standard screening and received a pat-down? While one passenger at Denver’s International Airport claims she got more than just a pat down.

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According to this CBS News report,  Jamelyn Steenhoek, 39, claims that she became “filled with a lot of fear” during a 25-minute ordeal that allegedly happened one day after Christmas.

Steenhoek was not scheduled to fly that day, but was rather accompanying her 13-year-old daughter to a departure gate at the airport and was subjected to the same TSA pat-down that all travelers are forced to endure. She says her security screening was a bit more thorough, though, and that the TSA agents involved should be charged with assault because of it.

Steenhoek said that when a female TSA agent patted her down, “She cupped my crotch … 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.”

Three days later Steenhoek, who works for a county social services department and is working towards a college degree, filed a complaint with the Denver Police Department, asking that the female TSA agent who frisked her be charged with sexual assault.

The Denver District Attorney’s Office contacted her Wednesday to tell her the case was not accepted for prosecution.

Bottom Line

Fortunately, since I usually get TSA Pre-Check through my Global Entry membership, I lucky just to go through a metal detector so haven’t opted out in a long time.

Have you ever had a bad experience being pat-down by the TSA? How did you handle the situation?

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{ 2 comments… add one }

  • ORD-TGU February 6, 2014, 2:15 pm

    Once at a small airport with very few people in line, I went through security in seconds. The only person in front of me was a woman that was handicap and in crutches. She was extensively searched, made to remove clothing, etc. A couple of minutes later I returned to meet my coworker and they were still searching her. I saw injustice how this woman born with a more challenging life had to endure this, while I, a young abled man who can physically do more, got to breeze through the theater.

  • MoneyMateKate February 6, 2014, 3:50 pm

    I always opt out of the naked scanner, and Denver was my first – and worst – TSA gropedown, Feb 2011. I think I’d have preferred crotch-cupping to the, ahem, cameltoe that the agent gave me. I felt very shaky afterwards and ended up crying in a bathroom stall before proceeding to the gate.

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