40-year-old Maxi Oquendo has been fired from his job as a TSA agent at LaGuardia airport after a young woman accused him of sexual assault.
According to reports, Oquendo guided the 22-year-old exchange student to a restroom, under the pretense that she needed to be searched there. Oquendo has since been arrested and charged with forcible touching, unlawful imprisonment, and more.
A TSA agent allegedly sexually assaulted a woman after telling her she needed to be searched in a bathroom at New York’s LaGuardia Airport.
The incident occurred on Tuesday in Terminal B around 8 p.m., according to CBS News, citing a report by 1010 WINS.
Maxi Oquendo, 40, was arrested in his TSA uniform Wednesday night after a 22-year-old exchange student from Korea reported the incident to authorities, CBS reports.
Port Authority spokesman Joe Pantangelo told CBS that Oquendo is charged with forcible touching, official misconduct and unlawful imprisonment, and faces up to a year in prison if convicted.
The site continues:
“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,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement.
Brown added that the victim had already gone through the screening checkpoint and was standing in an area where passengers do not need to be searched when Oquendo allegedly approached her and said he needed to conduct an additional screening in the bathroom.
Oquendo allegedly fondled the woman after she asked if the search was inappropriate.
ABC News reports that the TSA agent lifted up the victim’s shirt and unzipped her pants, touching her breasts and other areas of her body, both over and under her clothing.
TSA Administrator Peter V. Neffenger said in a statement on Friday afternoon that Oquendo has been fired.
“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,” he said.
Neffenger added, “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.”
We’re glad justice is being served diligently.
SOURCE: PEOPLE | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty