A federal Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent was arrested this week after he allegedly tricked a traveler into twice showing him her breasts as she went through security at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
Johnathon Lomeli, 22, was working as a TSA agent at LAX in June 2019 when he allegedly used “used fraud or deceit to falsely imprison a woman going through security,” a statement from California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said.
Lomeli allegedly told the woman that he had to look inside her bra to make sure she wasn’t hiding anything, then, had the traveler hold her pants away from her waist so he could look inside, an arrest affidavit said. Lomeli then took the traveler to what he said was a private screening area, but once they were alone in an elevator, the victim told police that Lomeli offered to conduct the screening right there.
The crime allegedly occurred outside of the primary security screening area, according to the Attorney General’s Office.
The woman says Lomeli told her he had to make sure she still had nothing in her bra, asking her to lift her shirt “to show me your full breasts.” He also looked down her pants before telling the victim that she was free to go, adding that she had nice breasts.
“Women deserve to be treated with dignity and respect everywhere,” Becerra said in the statement. “There is no excuse for this kind of alleged behavior. It’s not okay on the street, it’s not okay in our schools, and it’s certainly not welcome at the airport. At the California Department of Justice, we’ll continue to do everything in our power to hold those who break the law accountable.”
The TSA reported the incident to the FBI, and Lomeli was let go from his job at the airport months ago, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said.
Lomeli was arrested at his home early Thursday and is currently being held in lieu of $50,000 bail.