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31 May 2013

Passenger claims TSA inappropriately touched her vagina

Ashley Jessica, a doctoral student in psychology from Canada, claimed that TSA violated her by inappropriately touching her vagina during a pat-down search at the San Diego airport on May 23rd. The TSA denies that this occurred, and insists that the TSA officers conducting the pat-down followed proper procedures.

Ms. Jessica provided a video of the May 23, 2013 incident, which you can view below:

Video of alleged inappropriate touching

In 2012, Ashley was also involved in publicly supporting the Opt Out and Film Week, a campaign by a variety of private organizations to record TSA activities and to upload their videos to the Internet. Below is an interview she gave to about the campaign in October 2012, as well as her advice on how passengers can participate.

Ashley Jessica interview

How to participate in opt out campaign

TSA pat-down guidelines

The TSA web site list several reasons for performing a pat-down of a passenger, including cases where passengers opt out of using the full body scanners. Among the rights passengers have during a pat down is to request that it be performed in a private area, and to have the pat-down witnessed by a person chosen by the passenger.

TSA photography gGuidelines

According to a statement on the TSA web site, TSA does not prohibit the public, passengers or press from photographing, videotaping or filming at security checkpoints, as long as the screening process is not interfered with or slowed down. While TSA requests that monitors not be filmed or photograph, such activity does not appear to be explicitly prohibited. TSA also mention that local or state laws may restrict photography, and such activity may invite questions from local police or the TSA.

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TSA Restrictions


  1. Honestly this is a bit over the top. I am female and if a pat down is going to save some nut from bringing something on a plane that will kill someone or bring the plane down, I am all for it. There is no way I would trade my life for even a nude pat down. I think we just all need to get this in perspective.

  2. If you are travelling on a plane, you don't have any private parts. Body orifices are used for illegal transportation of items. The simple solution is, if you don't like it, don't travel

  3. I've been getting pat downs since before it became newsworthy, because I have a lot of metal in my body. I don't like it, but I also think I am qualified to tell whether or not a TSA agent is getting fresh or doing the pat down in such a way as to derive pleasure from it. And this? This was so obviously a set up on the part of the women videotaping. When the TSA agent got to the top of her leg, Ms. Jessica jerked in such a way that it would likely be impossible to tell what millimeter of her was being touched, or even who instigated the touch — what it looked like to me is that as the agent's hand got to the top of her range, Ms. Jessica flinched and the back of the agent's hand *subsequently* brushed against Ms. Jessica's vulva. Reverse cause and effect.

    Ms. Jessica did *not* make it easy on that TSA agent, and frankly, she is lucky they didn't stop the pat down because of her antics before that point and that they let her fly at all. You are NOT supposed to act like an ass during the pat down, and the faster you stand there like a grownup, the faster it will be over. My opinion is that we will all be better off when every airport has the "gingerbread man" scanners that they have in Newark and elsewhere. These pat downs are a joke, but people like Ms. Jessica make the jobs of these TSA agents much harder.

  4. She needs to learn some anatomy. They didn't touch her vagina; they touched her VULVA, which contains her vagina, clitoris and urethra.

    1. she should just stay home and not fly anymore and take the bus

  5. Stop all your flights from and to USA! So we will bring down airline industry and TSA nonsens.