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Former TSA agent accused of tricking woman into exposing herself twice

A TSA agent
A TSA agent (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES – A federal Transportation Security Administration agent is accused of tricking a traveler into showing him her breasts twice as she went through security at Los Angeles International Airport in June 2019.

Attorney General Xavier Becerra said Johnathon Lomeli, 22, was working as a TSA agent at LAX in June when he used fraud or deceit to falsely imprison the woman. Lomeli was arrested Feb. 6 at his home, AP News reports.

The woman told investigators Lomeli said he had to look inside her bra to make sure she wasn’t hiding anything, then had her hold her pants away from her waist so he could look inside.

“He subsequently took her to what he said would be a private room for more security screening, according to an arrest affidavit. But once they were alone in an elevator, she said he told her he could do the screening right there,” according to AP News.

The woman said Lomeli had to double-check that she had nothing in her bra, requiring her to lift her shirt “to show me your full breasts.” He also looked down her pants again, she said, before telling her she was free to go.

Lomeli was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail and was expected to make an initial appearance Friday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, according to AP News.

“There is no excuse for this kind of alleged behavior," Becerra said in a statement.

AP News reports “the TSA initially brought the case to the FBI and Lomeli was let go from his airport job months ago," FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said.

She said the initial complaint involved "improperly screening at least one woman in a private area of the airport.”

In a statement, TSA called the alleged behavior “unacceptable and an affront to the hardworking and committed members of our workforce.”