Morrissey claims he was sexually assaulted by US airport security

British singer Morrissey claims a United States airport security guard groped his penis while he was preparing to board a flight.
British singer Morrissey claims a United States airport security guard groped his penis while he was preparing to board a flight.PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - British singer Morrissey claims he was sexually assaulted by a United States airport security guard who groped his penis - but officials insisted on Thursday they had been following normal procedures.

The former The Smiths frontman said the alleged incident happened on Monday as he prepared to board a flight to London at San Francisco International Airport.

"I went through the usual airport security procedure including the stand-up 'scanner', and all was well - no bleeps and nothing unusual," he said on his fan website, True To You.

"Before I could gather my belongings from the usual array of trays I was approached by an 'airport security officer' who stopped me, crouched before me and groped my penis and testicles. He quickly moved away as an older 'airport security officer' approached," he said, adding that two British Airways "special services employees" accompanying him "assured me that a complaint was worthwhile".

He therefore filed a sexual assault complaint, he said.

But a spokesman for the Transport Security Administration (TSA) said on Thursday that security camera footage confirmed that nothing out of the ordinary had occurred.

"TSA takes all allegations of misconduct seriously and strives to treat every passenger with dignity and respect," spokesman Mike England said.

"Upon review of closed circuit TV footage, TSA determined that the supervised officer followed standard operating procedures in the screening of this individual."

An official explained that the arrival of a second person to screen Morrissey was normal.

"During the screening process, if an anomaly is detected, secondary screening is required to ensure the passenger does not have threat items, such as explosives concealed under clothing," the official said.

"TSA works with numerous groups to continuously refine and enhance our procedures to improve the passenger experience while also ensuring the safety of the travelling public." 5