Risk of Sexual Assault Real by SFO Security Agents: DA - NBC Bay Area

Risk of Sexual Assault Real by SFO Security Agents: DA



    We spoke with people at Oakland International Airport about security issues in the wake of the recent bombing attempts. (Published Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2010)

    New TSA security procedures may cross the criminal line, according to two district attorneys.

    Bay Area prosecutors issued a stern warning this week to TSA agents, making it clear that sexual assault is a crime and will land them in jail. What constitutes sexual battery? Touching another person's genitals with lewd or sexual intent. When it's through clothing, it's a misdemeanor, and when it's bare skin it's a felony.

    "If they cross a line, that's sexual battery," San Mateo County's Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe told the Contra Costa Times.  Both Wagstaffe and Santa Clara county authorities added that their offices have not receive any criminal complaints so far.

    New security procedures have led agents to conduct new, more extensive pat-downs, which can include touch private parts in full view of other passengers.

    The procedures have been in place for awhile, but gained the attention of the nation when a man in San Diego video taped his refusal to allow TSA agents to "touch his junk." The video went viral and a news story was born. It continues to gain steam as the coming Thanksgiving travel time is now less than a week away.

    You can request that a witness observe the screening to corroborate any claims of inappropriate touch.

    Of course, there's one more option for anyone who doesn't want the invasive procedure: take a train.