There is an interesting situation brewing in San Mateo County, California. The new District Attorney, Steve Wagstaffe, is promising to prosecute overzealous TSA personnel at San Francisco International Airport, who do inappropriate touching during a body pat down. The recently elected DA says that all allegations of possible misdemeanor of felony grouping will land on his desk, and he will personally review each case and determine if criminal charges will be filed.
In a recent article it also states:
The charge — sexual battery.
“If it is skin to skin, if someone were to take their hand and put it underneath somebody’s blouse and touch someone inappropriately and go skin to skin, that’s a felony, and if it’s done simply over the clothing, according to California law, that’s a misdemeanor,” Wagstaffe said.
More pat down searches are expected because some passengers are refusing to go through the image scanning device. Homeland Security announced more scanners are on the way as part of the enhanced security measures at all airports.
Homeland Security Sec. Janet Napolitano has said a passenger’s privacy is protected.
“We built privacy concerns into the procedures when they were deployed,” she said.
Not all travelers are buying Napolitano’s claim.
“It’s ridiculous and it’s not safer, they are just doing it to have us more fearful and there is no reason for it,” passenger Cathlyn Daley
But many passengers at SFO do not mind the enhanced security.
“I would much rather go through a little uncomfortableness and know that I will be safe or a least know that everything was done to protect me,” passenger Suzanne Beaty said.
A few however, do.
“A stranger groping you basically,” passenger David Barth said.
Passengers should know once they go through security, a TSA officer can ask them to submit to a pat down.
“At that point somewhere in that process you get to a point where you can’t withdraw and you will be searched whether you like it or not,” ABC7 legal analyst Dean Johnson said.
Wagstaffe has yet to receive a complaint.
It makes one wonder if other District Attorneys where airports are located will follow Wagstaffe and prosecute TSA personal. Let the grouping begin!