Former TSA Agent Convicted of Tricking Woman Into Showing Her Breasts
A former Transportation Security Administration agent who was accused of deceiving a woman into showing him her breasts as she went through security at Los Angeles International Airport has been sentenced to 60 days in jail, the authorities said.
The former agent, Johnathon Lomeli, 23, pleaded no contest Friday to a felony charge of false imprisonment in connection with the episode, which occurred June 10, 2019.
A young woman, whom the authorities did not name, told investigators that while she was going through security at LAX, Lomeli said that he had to look inside her bra to make sure she wasn’t hiding anything, and then he had her pull her pants away from her waist so he could look down them, The Associated Press reported.
Lomeli then told her that he was taking her to a private room for further security screening. Once they were alone in an elevator, however, he told her that he could do the screening there, the woman told investigators, according to AP.
There, Lomeli told her to lift up her shirt “to show me your full breasts,” before again looking down her pants. He then told her that she had nice breasts before saying that she was free to go, the report said.
Lomeli was arrested Feb. 6, 2020, and resigned that day, officials said.
In addition to the jail term, Lomeli will be on probation for two years and must take 52 classes to address sexual compulsion, the California Attorney General’s Office said in a statement Friday.
Lomeli, who will begin his jail term Feb. 19, is also barred from working as a security guard and will be forced to pay restitution to the victim; the amount will be determined at a later hearing, the attorney general’s office said.
“We all have the right to be treated with dignity and respect in all places, and no one is entitled to use a position of power to violate those rights,” Xavier Becerra, the attorney general, said in his statement. “Why can’t some men absorb that simple truth? This is 2021, not 1921.”
Errol Cook, Lomeli’s lawyer, did not immediately respond to a phone message Monday afternoon seeking comment.
Lorie Dankers, a spokeswoman for the TSA, said that the agency “does not tolerate illegal, unethical or immoral conduct.”
“The actions involving a former TSA employee are an affront to the hardworking and committed members of our workforce,” Dankers said.
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