Woman says TSA officer groped and threatened her during a groin search

A woman is suing the TSA after she was groped and threatened by one of its officers, according to a lawsuit recently filed against the TSA. The assault occurred at Asheville Regional Airport in North Carolina, according to the suit and as reported by CNN.

After the woman went through the scanner, an officer told her she had to submit to a groin search. The woman told the officer she wouldn't consent to having her genitals touched, and the officer assured her that the search would not require that. But things took a turn for the worse, according to CNN:

But the search deviated from normal search protocol in several ways, according to the lawsuit.

First, the officer "insisted" the woman spread her legs wider than the footprints on the mat below her indicated, the lawsuit said, providing surveillance images showing the traveler's feet wider than the mat's footprints.

The officer then slid her hands up the woman's legs but moved her hands inside her shorts to make direct contact with her genitals, according to the lawsuit. As she began to slide her hands up her legs, the officer commented that the shorts the woman was wearing were particularly short, the lawsuit said.

The woman flinched as the officer's hand made contact with her genitals, according to the lawsuit, to which the officer replied, "if you resist, I will do this again." The lawsuit says TSA policy does not permit such threats.

Image: CNN