16-year-old girl's family claims she was strip searched at the San Ysidro border crossing

Teen reports strip search at San Ysidro border
Posted at 2:58 PM, Oct 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-04 21:19:10-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The family of a 16-year-old girl says she was strip searched by Customs and Border Protection officers at the San Ysidro border crossing without her parents' consent.

The girl's father, Scott Catlin, detailed his daughter's claims about the September 5 incident Wednesday with his attorney and representatives of the American Friends Service Committee.

The girl and her two sisters were going through the pedestrian crossing after a family trip to Tijuana when a K-9 alerted officers in their direction, Catlin said.

The eldest sister crossed into the U.S. but the two younger sisters were sent to secondary inspection, their father said.

A female CBP inspector pressed her hand over the vaginal area of the 16-year-old girl, said Catlin. The teen was menstruating and the inspector implied the girl was hiding contraband in her maxi pad, according to Catlin. He also said his daughter experienced a rectal cavity search.

The girl's father said the only two adults present during the inspection were CBP officers and the search occurred without parental consent.

10News reached out to Customs and Border Protection officials for comment. The CBP said Wednesday it is unable to speak about specific cases but in general terms, if during the course of their inspection there are enforcement concerns, CBP officers follow standard protocols to resolve the issue.

The CBP said it takes allegations of employee misconduct seriously.  Allegations are documented and referred to the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General for independent review and assessment, the CBP said.

There are several ways to report misconduct allegations, including a hotline.