Target: District Attorney Richard Brown, Queen’s District Attorney’s Office, New York City
Goal: Ensure former TSA officer accused of molesting Korean exchange student receives the maximum punishment.
A 21-year-old Korean foreign exchange student was allegedly molested by a TSA officer at New York City’s LaGuardia Airport. Former TSA officer Maxie Oquendo reportedly told the young woman he needed to search her body and bags and then took her into a men’s restroom. Although the young woman protested the search, Oquendo allegedly told her he did this with all the passengers and then touched her inappropriately.
According to the victim, once in the bathroom Oquendo told her to face the mirror and put her arms up in the air. Once she did so, he reportedly lifted her top up and unzipped her pants, after which he fondled her. Once done, he told her he wouldn’t be searching her bags and pretended to call to another officer over his phone to advise that she was “clear” and didn’t have any “weapons or knives.”
The victim reported the incident to the Port Authority Police and Oquendo was arrested on August 27. He has been charged with harassment, official misconduct, sexual abuse and unlawful imprisonment. His bail was set at $3,000 during an August 28 hearing.
Although the TSA immediately fired Oquendo, this is just another incident in a long line of unlawful TSA infractions and abuses against airline travelers. Queens District Attorney Richard Brown is leading the case against Oquendo, stating, “Such alleged conduct cannot, under any circumstances, go unpunished.” It cannot indeed.
Demand a full investigation into the actions of Maxie Oquendo by the Queens District Attorney’s office. Oquendo must be held accountable for his alleged inappropriate behavior and sexual misconduct against this 21-year-old foreign exchange student.
Dear Mr. Brown,
Thank you for showing resolve in investigating the alleged actions of former TSA officer Maxie Oquendo. If what this man is accused of doing is true, he should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. No young woman, foreign or otherwise, should be molested in an airport bathroom by the very person who is supposed to be protecting her.
If true, it is inexcusable to think that this man lured an innocent woman into a bathroom with the intent of fondling her private parts. It’s even more unthinkable that he took advantage of a young student who has come to our country to learn not only in school but also about our culture. What will she take home with her now? The memory of a man sexually assaulting her in an airport bathroom.
Please investigate these allegations fully and prosecute Maxie Oquendo should it be determined that he did indeed molest this young woman. We cannot stand by and continue to allow women to be victimized in this country, and we cannot stand by and continue to allow our TSA officers to abuse airline travelers.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Transportation Security Administration