DENVER (CBS4) – Denver International Airport authorities have released internal videotape of a former Transportation Security Administration screener at DIA allegedly groping male passengers last February.
CBS4 obtained the redacted videotape Tuesday after filing a Colorado Open Records Act request for the tape.
Authorities had refused to release the tape for months citing an ongoing criminal investigation. But in July the Denver district attorney said there would be no criminal charges in the case clearing the way for the release of the videotape.
Although no criminal charges were filed, TSA fired screener Ty Spicha and his coworker Yasmeen Shafi after the alleged groping conspiracy came to light. The two TSA screeners were terminated early in 2015 after Transportation Security Administration officials determined the pair were manipulating screening systems at DIA checkpoints so that Spicha could fondle male passengers who he found “attractive.”
Shafi told TSA investigators she had manipulated the screening systems about 10 times so that Spicha could pat down desirable male passengers.
The video released to CBS4 is from Feb. 9, 2015. It shows Spicha and Shafi staffing the north security checkpoint at DIA beginning at about 9 a.m. Numerous male passengers get brief pat downs from Spicha. At about 9:25 a.m. the video shows Spicha doing a pat down on a portly male passenger who is then sent on his way. The passenger’s face is obscured on the videotape as authorities consider him a possible sex assault victim. Moments later the face of another male passenger who Spicha pats down is also covered up. Authorities say they also suspect this male passenger was the victim of a sexual assault.
“In order to release the footage it was necessary to modify the video to blur the identity of the alleged victims,” said Laura Bielak of DIA. “DIA will not release information that could be used to identify alleged victims of sexual assault.”
Neither Spicha nor Shafi have responded to numerous phone calls, emails and text messages from CBS4 regarding the DIA incidents that cost them their jobs.
Lynn Kimbrough, Communications Director for the Denver District Attorney’s office, explained in July why nobody was ever charged in the case.
“Basically we were either unable to corroborate the victim’s claims with any additional facts or evidence, or prove specific incidents could have been committed by the one identified suspect due to the dates of his employment.”