By Keith Laing - 04/26/12 06:57 PM EDT
A Republican House member who accused the Transportation Security Administration of assaulting him during a recent pat-down said Thursday that TSA employees "hurt his privates" during airport security searches.
Rep. Francisco "Quico" Canseco (R-Texas), a freshman lawmaker, said the TSA improperly touched him earlier this month at the San Antonio International Airport.
"He touched me in my private parts and it hurt," Canseco said in the interview. "It's a natural reaction to move the offensive hand away, not in a violent way, and to move back. But what was even more offensive was that he didn't recognize the reaction as being normal and claimed that I assaulted him when I was the one being assaulted."
TSA defended itself against Canseco's allegations, saying in a statement that was provided to The Hill, "Once a passenger enters the screening process, they must complete it prior to continuing to a flight or secure area."
The agency said it has reached out to Canseco's office and will respond directly to his allegations.
Canseco has claimed that he was targeted for a second pat-down a week after the first incident in San Antonio. In another interview this week, he said that wasn't a coincidence.
“I asked them, 'Why are you going to pat me down again?' So we discussed it further, and after discussing it further, they patted me down," Canseco said in an interview with with Texas television station KENS 5.
In both cases, Canseco said police were called, but no tickets were issued.