Ventura sues TSA over airport patdown

Jan. 25, 2011 at 1:18 AM   |   0 comments

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MINNEAPOLIS, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura is suing the Transportation Security Administration for allegedly violating his privacy rights during an airport patdown.

Ventura, who gained fame as a professional wrestler and describes himself in the lawsuit as a "television performer," filed the suit Monday in U.S. District Court for Minnesota, KSTP-TV, Minneapolis, reported.

The suit names the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, the Transportation Security Administration and TSA Administrator John Pistole, the newspaper said.

The complaint alleges Ventura was subjected to "warrantless, non-suspicion-based offensive touching, gripping and rubbing of the genital and other sensitive areas of his body," when a TSA agent patted him down in November 2010 at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The lawsuit asserts the patdown met "the definition for an unlawful sexual assault" KSTP reported.

"He sees the erosion of civil liberties here and he's willing to stand up not only for himself, but for others," Ventura's attorney, David Olsen told the TV station.

"The security procedures are going too far," Olsen said. "There's a line somewhere and he believes that line has been crossed."

A TSA representative told KSTP the agency would not comment because the litigation is pending.

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