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Ex-Miss USA says TSA 'violated' her in patdown

Posted by Paul Makishima, Globe Assistant Sunday Editor  April 27, 2011 06:54 PM

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A couple of weeks ago, a YouTube video of the patdown of a young girl by TSA officials ignited a stir over the agency's practices. Now a new YouTube video features a teary former Miss USA criticizing airport screeners, alleging they touched her genitals multiple times as part of a "full-body patdown'' after she refused to go through a body scanner.

Susie Castillo, who won the Miss USA title in 2003, said that she felt "violated'' by a female TSA agent at a security checkpoint at Dallas airport in Texas. Castillo, a Methuen native, was also a former Miss Massachusetts. She now works as an actress.

In the video, Castillo said that she travels quite a bit so she tries to avoid the scanners, as she has concerns about radiation. TSA requires airlines passengers who refuse to pass though the scanner to undergo a patdown. She said that she submitted to a patdown in Los Angeles on her way to "Rio'' and that experience was much less intrusive than the examination she got in Dallas on her return trip.

She said that in Dallas the screener touched her genitals four times while patting her down from the back and the front. "She actually touched my vagina,'' she said.

"I am already so upset that they are making me choose to get molested – because that's what I feel like – or go through a machine that is completely unhealthy and dangerous.''

Castillo said that after complaining to TSA officials in Dallas she was given a complaint form to fill out.

Tess Finkle, a publicist for Castillo, confirmed that Castillo did make the video. As of yesterday evening, Castillo had no comment.

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