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Woman convicted of battery for protesting TSA pat-down

Published time: July 13, 2012 17:39
Edited time: July 13, 2012 21:39
AFP Photo/Stan Honda

AFP Photo/Stan Honda

A Florida woman has learned that being a TSA agent isn’t all just fun, games and genital grabbing — it can actually be quite costly. For demonstrating on an agent just how invasive those pat downs are, Carol Jean Price has been convicted of battery.

Price, 59, was charged earlier this year after she used a hand-on approach to show a Transportation Security Administration supervisor just how intrusive the screening she had just received was. Now a jury has convicted her of battery and she is being forced to pay $500 and has received six months of probation.

According to Price, she was stopped while attempting to fly to Cleveland, Ohio on April 20 to attend her brother’s funeral when she was forced to undergo a bit too rigorous of a screening. Price says of all people, she should know — she used to work for the TSA.

“(The screener) dug into my bra strap coming down,” Price told the jury. “She also swiped the palm of her hand down the front of my breast.”

“She just took the palm of her hand and went up my leg — front, back, right leg, left leg — and touched my genitals,” she added. Price also claimed that the agent “went up into my buttocks.”

When TSA supervisor Kristin Arnberg approached an outraged Price after the initial screening, the would-be passenger decided to show her just how exactly evasive the whole procedure was. Almost.

“I got up her leg, close to her genitals, but did not even get near enough to touch them,” Price told the court.

The supervisor equated the experience to the court as both painful and embarrassing. Now following this week’s return of a guilty verdict, though, the TSA is applauding the court system for finding Price at fault.

“We are thankful that the state attorney’s office recognized the severity of the violation,” TSA spokeswoman Sari Koshetz tells the media on Thursday, “and took the appropriate action in pursuing this conviction. This decision should send a strong message that violence against our officers will not be tolerated.”

Price’s attorney, John Mills, tells News-Press that both he and his client are disappointed about the guilty verdict but says, “The jury rejected it and we have to accept that.”

“She felt strongly about her defense,” he says of his client.