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Sun, Nov 06, 2005

Woman Accused Of Grabbing TSA Screener's Breasts Gets Probation

Sentence Also Includes Fine And Community Service

Appleton, WI resident Phyliss Dintenfass received one year federal probation earlier this week over a September 2004 incident when she asked a TSA screener "how would you like it if I did that to you?" as she grabbed the female screener's breasts, in response to a pat-down search.

Dintenfass, 63, was also ordered by US District Judge William Griesbach to complete 100 hours of community service for the incident, as well as pay a fine of $2,000, according to the Janesville, WI Gazette. Dintenfass was convicted in July of one count of assault on a federal employee.

Prosecutors argued Dintenfass reacted to the pat-down after she was singled out by screener Anita Gostisha for more thorough screening after her hairpins and pants buttons set off the walk-through metal detector at Appleton's Outagamie County Regional Airport.

When -- as part of what prosecutors maintained was the standard pat-down process -- Gostisha placed the back of her hands under Dintenfass's breasts, the retired technical school teacher grabbed Gostisha's breasts and pushed the screener into a glass partition.

Judge Griesbach noted in his ruling that Dintenfass's actions likely resulted from a split-second decision, and were not indicative of a pattern of aggressive or threatening behavior. He also noted prior to the incident, Dintenfoss led a law-abiding life -- however, he added it is important to protect public employees.

"We are not here to recognize her for a good life," he said. "We're here because she committed a crime."

FMI: www.tsa.gov

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