SAN DIEGO - A Poway woman claims she was sexually assaulted by two female TSA employees during what she called a series of humiliating pat-downs.
Maggie Buckenmayer and her husband fly to Birmingham, Ala. several times a month for business. She said going through security was never a problem until Nov. 1.
"It's just nothing that you want to have happen to you," she said. "I mean, it is sexual assault. It's humiliation. It's embarrassment. It's horrendous."
Buckenmayer said she underwent an extremely invasive pat-down after her two artificial knees triggered the metal detector and then was told another would have to be performed because an anomaly was found.
"I'm looking at her like, 'What?'" said Buckenmayer. "She says, 'Yes, they found a protrusion on the left side of your crotch' and I am shocked and I am just in disbelief."
The second pat-down then occurred. Buckenmayer said by this time, both male and female TSA agents were standing around talking about her genitalia.
"This one was akin to sexual assault... how she touched me," said Buckenmayer.
Buckenmayer said she was then escorted to a private room. She said minutes later, a TSA supervisor walked in and performed her version of a pat-down in front of several others.
"She turns and she looks at everyone -- I can see she's upset and she says, 'This is a normal pat-down. I find nothing wrong. There's no anomaly. There's no protrusion,'" said Buckenmayer.
She was eventually cleared and was issued an apology.
Buckenmayer said she was told by a TSA representative during a phone call that procedures were not followed correctly in this case and that they are investigating.
However, in a written statement to the local CBS affiliate in Birmingham, the TSA stated that proper procedures were followed.
Buckenmayer said she plans to either sue the TSA or pursue criminal charges against those directly involved. She is now in the process of speaking with attorneys and talking with lawmakers to get access to the evidence needed to move her case forward.