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Singer Morrissey says TSA agent groped him at SFO; Agency denies impropriety

"Should you find yourself traveling through San Francisco International Airport, you should expect sexual abuse from the so-called 'security officers,' " Morrissey said in a letter to the fan site True To You.

By
Doug G. Ware
British singer Morrissey filed a formal complaint against the U.S. Transportation Security Administration this week after he said he was groped by a screening agent at San Francisco International Airport. The security agency denied the accusation, saying the screening agent had acted according to standard procedure. Photo: Rune Hellestad / UPI
British singer Morrissey filed a formal complaint against the U.S. Transportation Security Administration this week after he said he was groped by a screening agent at San Francisco International Airport. The security agency denied the accusation, saying the screening agent had acted according to standard procedure. Photo: Rune Hellestad / UPI | License Photo

SAN FRANCISCO, July 31 (UPI) -- Singer Morrissey has lodged a formal complaint against the U.S. Transportation Security Administration, claiming that a screening agent groped him as he passed through security at San Francisco International Airport earlier this week.

The 56-year-old singer was traveling from San Francisco to London on Monday, he said, and was just about the leave the security checkpoint when the incident occurred.

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"Before I could gather my belongings from the usual array of trays I was approached by an 'airport security officer' who stopped me, crouched before me and groped my penis and testicles. He quickly moved away as an older 'airport security officer' approached," Morrissey wrote Wednesday on the fan site True-To-You.net.

Morrissey said the officer who groped him had been identified as a TSA General Manager on Duty.

"Luckily I was accompanied by two members of British Airways Special Services, who were horrified at the sexual attack and suggested that I lodge a complaint," he added.

The TSA, however, said the screening officer in question had followed standard security protocol.

"TSA takes all allegations of misconduct seriously and strives to treat every passenger with dignity and respect," agency spokesman Mike England told the Los Angeles Times Thursday. "Upon review of closed-circuit TV footage, TSA determined that the supervised officer followed standard operating procedures in the screening of this individual."

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In his letter, Morrissey said the accused officer was immediately confronted about the incident, but stated that the singer's allegation was simply his "opinion."

"TSA works with numerous groups to continuously refine and enhance our procedures to improve the passenger experience while also ensuring the safety of the traveling public," England added.

"Should you find yourself traveling through San Francisco International Airport, you should expect sexual abuse from the so-called 'security officers' who, we are unconvincingly warned, are acting only for our security," Morrissey wrote.

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