April 29, 2011 in Nation/World

Texas bill would make invasive pat-downs a felony

Associated Press
 

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — A former Miss USA’s claims of being groped during a pat-down at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport could be a felony under a bill gaining momentum in the Texas Legislature.

The bill would make it illegal for a security officer to intentionally touch someone’s private areas — even atop clothing — unless they have probable cause to believe the person is carrying something illegal.

Bill sponsor State Rep. David Simpson says the searches are removing people’s dignity.

Last fall the Transportation Security Administration started a new pat-down procedure.

Susie Castillo, crowned Miss USA in 2003, said she was “molested” during a pat-down last April.

TSA spokesman Nicholas Kimball says the agency doesn’t comment on pending legislation. He says current security measures are the best ways to mitigate the risk of terrorism.

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