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Airport TSA Screener Arrested For Allegedly Sexually Assaulting A Student

August 30, 2015 - On Tuesday, a 21 year old student from South Korea has accused a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) worker of sexually assaulting her after she had disembarked a flight at LaGuardia Airport, New York City.

The Korean student who had taken a flight from Salt Lake City to LaGuardia stated the TSA screener told her she needed to be searched for weapons and that the screener would conduct the search in the bathroom.

The student informed authorities that she had been molested by a TSA screener. The Port Authority Police placed the TSA screener in a lineup at which time the student picked the TSA screener out of a lineup. The TSA screener has been identified as 40-year-old Maxie Oquendo.

Oquendo was arrested and bail was set for $3,000, although Oquendo has not posted bail. Oquendo attorney has indicated that two witnesses reported they saw another man.


On Friday, Richard Brown, Queens District Attorney reported Oquendo was arrested and charged with second degree unlawful imprisonment, official misconduct, third-degree sexual abuse and second-degree harassment. Brown said, "The defendant is accused of an egregious abuse of his position as a government screener at LaGuardia Airport to sexually victimize a young woman. Such alleged conduct cannot, under any circumstances, go unpunished." In court documents, Oquendo allegedly said, "Hey, ma'am, I need to scan your body and your luggage." The student the replied "You can't scan me, but you can have a woman scan me, because I am a girl."

The student further reported that she had asked the TSA screener if he had checked all passengers this way and the TSA screener replied back "Yes". The student said the screener lifted up her shirt, unzipped her pants and fondled her and then the screener said "She's clear, she doesn't have any weapons or knives." On Friday TSA had fired Oquendo, after being on the job for more than 13 years.

Late Friday, TSA released the following statement: "TSA has terminated this individual. TSA holds its employees to the highest standards. As such, we expect our employees to conduct themselves with integrity, professionalism, and with respect for the public we serve. When our employees fail to meet these fundamental ethical standards, we will hold our personnel appropriately accountable. The vast majority of the TSA workforce serves with honor and integrity, and treats every passenger with dignity and respect. TSA is working in close partnership with the Port Authority Police Department in support of this investigation."



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