Susie Castillo, Former Miss USA, Protests Airport Pat-Down in YouTube Video
Susie Castillo's complaint on YouTube gets a million hits.
May 9, 2011 — -- A video of a tearful former Miss USA, Susie Castillo, claiming she was "molested" by a TSA agent at Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport, has had over a million hits on YouTube since its posting on April 27. Castillo, the former MTV VJ and co-host of NBC's "School Pride," claims a TSA agent touched her inappropriately four times during a pat-down.
Castillo was on her way from Rio de Janeiro to Los Angeles on April 21, changing planes in Dallas. She said she objected to an electronic scan, and was told she would have to submit to a search instead.
The video shows Castillo at the airport in front of security. The address of her website, susiecastillo.net, is superimposed at the bottom of the screen, encouraging people to go to there and sign her petition to Congress.
"They're making me choose to either be molested, because that's what I feel like, or go through this machine that's completely unhealthy and dangerous," she says in the video.
The Transportation Security Administration says its agent did nothing wrong.
"We have reviewed this passenger's screening experience and found that the officer followed proper procedures," TSA spokeswoman Kristin Lee said. "We are constantly evaluating and adapting our security measures, and are always seeking to strike the right balance between privacy and security while providing the security that the American people want and deserve."
Several entertainment blogs and websites suggested Castillo used the situation and the video for publicity. Castillo says she is speaking out for others.
"This isn't about me," she told ABC News. "Iit did happen to me, it's not just about my rights, it's about all rights, the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution is being violated."
Castillo says she received over a thousand messages from people in similar situations.
The TSA's Lee said of the 252 million people screened at airport checkpoints between November 2010 and March 2011, the TSA only received only 898 complaints from individuals who actually experienced or witnessed a pat-down.
Castillo said she always tries to avoid the TSA's full-body scanners.
"I will always opt out of that thing or go to a line that goes through a security line that doesn't require you to go through the machine because of the high radiation levels," she says in the video. "I travel all the time, I don't want to get more radiated then I already do in everyday life."
Castillo said the TSA screener "actually felt, touched my vagina."
The TSA says that the scanners are harmless. They say that there are two types of scanners, a millimeter wave and a backscatter. The type of scanner Castillo opted out of at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport is a millimeter wave scanner. According to TSA, these particular scanners use imaging technology and electromagnetic waves in the screening process; they emit no radiation.
"I disagree one hundred percent that they aren't dangerous," said Castillo. She cited Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger -- famed for his safe landing of his crippled plane in the Hudson River in 2009 -- as saying that even he has spoken out against body scanners.
"Radiation accumulates and it can alter your cells, you get radiation from cellphones, laptops, even flying, why would you choose to expose yourself to added radiation?" Castillo said.
Castillo is the latest to get public attention for her criticism of the TSA. In April, the parents of a 6-year-old girl who had been selected for a pat-down, Selena and Dr. Todd Drexel, said in an exclusive interview with "Good Morning America" that they "stood powerless, watching as their daughter was patted down."
ABC News Live
24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events