An outraged father posted a video of a pat-down of his 10-year-old daughter at a North Carolina airport that could be interpreted as sexual assault.
On December 30, Kevin Payne of Pacific Beach, California, and his daughter Vendela were passing through the Raleigh-Durham International Airport when Payne videoed the pat-down. Payne said his daughter was carrying a Capri Sun juice pouch in her bag, prompting an agent to frisk the young girl, who stood with her arms to the side. Payne told the San Diego Union-Tribune, “I’m a very big proponent of security, and if they were patting me down no problem, but this was a 10-year-old girl. The whole system seems to not work the way it should be working.”
A TSA spokesman protested, “TSA screening procedures allow for the pat down of a child under certain circumstances. The process by which the child was patted down followed approved procedures.”
According to TSA guidelines, a parent must be present when a child is screened, but this procedure was outrageous. As Payne captioned the video:
Child’s blouse and long skirt are very thin, no bulky material at all. Pressing hard into arm pit, & then into torso, pelvic and thigh areas. Agent’s thumbs pressed into child’s buttox. My 10 year old 5th grade honor roll student is being assulted. My daughter is very skinny and does NOT require multiple gropes to search an area. Agent’s right hand is inside her waistband, as Agent’s left hand gropes across buttox using palm and fingers… Agent’s hands grope child’s buttox multiple times.
In 2011, the TSA claimed it had modified pat-down procedures for children.