Johnathon Lomeli has been accused of requiring a woman to open her shirt so he could look inside her bra, then making a bogus claim that it was for security reasons. He alleged that he examined her bra to make sure she wasn’t hiding anything. He also required her to hold her pants away from her body so he could look inside, the woman told investigators.
Lomeli then made it seem like he was taking her to a private room for further screening, the arrest affidavit says. When they were alone in the elevator, she said he conducted the screening there.
The 22-year-old TSA agent told the woman that he wanted to be sure she still wasn’t hiding anything in her bra and instructed her to lift her shirt “to show me your full breasts.” He also looked inside her pants again before letting her go and telling her she had nice breasts. The incident took place in June.
Lomeli has been charged with false imprisonment by fraud or deceit, and is being held on a $50,000 bond.
“There is no excuse for this kind of alleged behavior,” Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement.
Lomeli was fired months ago—and TSA later took the case to the FBI. FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said the original complaint encompassed “improperly screening at least one woman in a private area of the airport.”
In a statement, TSA called Lomeli’s purported behavior “unacceptable and an affront to the hardworking and committed members of our workforce.”