TSA Screener Charged With Sexual Assault

What Women Really Think
Nov. 22 2011 4:26 PM

TSA Screener Charged With Sexual Assault

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A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screener stands at Fort Lauderdale International Airport

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

Here’s one more reason to be wary of the rather intimate screening procedure Thanksgiving air travelers will experience over the next few days:

Earlier this morning, Harold Glenn Rodman, a TSA screener at Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C., was charged with sexual assault against a woman in his Manassas, Va., neighborhood. According to CNN, the victim had been out walking when Rodman approached her in uniform, showing his badge before beginning the assault. The TSA is said to be cooperating with police in the on-going investigation, though the organization’s spokesperson tells CNN that Rodman’s actions do not reflect a larger culture of sexual impropriety within the TSA:

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“TSA holds its personnel to the highest professional and ethical standards, and investigates all allegations of misconduct,” TSA spokesman Greg Soule said. “The disturbing allegations against this individual in no way reflect the work of the more than 50,000 security officers who every day ensure the security of the traveling public.”

I have to agree with Soule; the fact that one employee may be a rapist obviously doesn’t implicate the rest of the TSA in criminal behavior. However, considering that this accusation comes on the heels of the Great Sex Toy Scandal of 2011, it may be time for the TSA to revisit its own employee screening and training programs. An organization in the business of pat-downs and bag rifling really can’t afford too much bad P.R.

J. Bryan Lowder is a Slate assistant editor. He writes and edits for Outward, Slate’s LGBTQ section, and for the culture section.