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Possible Victims Come Forward in Denver TSA Groping Scheme

Denver police have reactivated the investigation into a male screener at Denver's airport who allegedly hatched a scheme to grope attractive men.
Image: File photo of TSA workers carrying out security checks at Denver International Airport, the day before the Thanksgiving holiday in Denver
Transportation Security Agency (TSA) workers carry out security checks at Denver International Airport in 2010. RICK WILKING / Reuters file
/ Source: NBC News

Denver police have reactivated an investigation into a male Transportation Security Administration screener who allegedly hatched a scheme to allow him to grope attractive men after several possible victims have come forward, authorities said Wednesday.

The male screener and a female TSA employee who allegedly assisted in the plot were fired, the agency said Tuesday. The Denver District Attorney’s Office said when police presented the case to them in March it was unable to pursue criminal charges because no victims had complained or been identified.

A day later, after the news broke, several people called authorities.

"We have had numerous victims calling in," Raquel Lopez, a technician with the Denver Police Department, said Wednesday. Investigators will now determine whether any of the possible victims were groped.

A TSA investigator observed the plan in action on Feb. 9, police said in a report. The screener would signal his helper when he saw a male passenger he thought was attractive, and that accomplice would falsely enter the passenger’s sex on a screening machine in order to trigger an anomaly that would justify a pat-down, according to a police report.

The male screener conducted a pat-down of the passenger’s groin and buttocks using the palms of his hands, which is against TSA policies, police said. An employee who allegedly heard the screener talking about the plan notified the TSA in November, which launched an investigation. The screener's accomplice said she helped trigger pat-downs at least 10 times in the past, the TSA told police.

"The allegations involved in this case are very disturbing," Lynn Kimbrough, a spokeswoman for the Denver District Attorney’s Office, said in a statement Wednesday. "New information coming in from people who believe they may have been a victim will be investigated by the Denver Police Department and reviewed by the Denver District Attorney."

The TSA condemned the alleged scheme Tuesday, calling the alleged acts "egregious and intolerable."