Man was removed from ministry after three reported cases of sexual abuse against young girls.
A former Catholic priest who was defrocked after it was discovered
he had sexually abused young girls is now working as a security
screener for the TSA it has been revealed.
The CBS 3-ITeam in Philadelphia reports that Thomas Harkins, a priest in South Jersey
until 2002, is now working at a security terminal at Philadelphia
Although his main duty is to screen baggage, part of Harkins’ job
with the TSA also involves screening passengers passing through body
scanners and conducting pat-downs where necessary.
“The Diocese of Camden removed him from ministry because it found he
sexually abused two young girls. Now, in a new lawsuit, a third woman
is claiming she also is one of Harkins’ victims.” the CBS affiliate
Details of the new lawsuit filed in a federal court against Harkins
were revealed by the CBS team and they do not make for pretty reading.
It says that he sexually abused an 11-year-old girl up to 15 times in
the early 1980s when he was a priest at Saint Anthony of Padua parish
in Hammonton, NJ.
The CBS team tracked Harkins down and confronted him over the
allegations. He refused to answer questions and sought refuge in a
restricted TSA security area.
“They should know who they’re hiring,” Karen Polesir, a Philadelphia
spokeswoman with the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP)
“As the public, we are screened to our underwear getting on a plane, and yet they hire a man like that.” she added.
The TSA claims that it puts all its employees through background
checks, and that Harkins was not flagged because criminal charges were
never brought against him.
However, as we have repeatedly noted, this is not an isolated case. In fact, the TSA has consistently hired violent criminals and even pedophiles, indicating that the agency does not follow through on background checks.
Last month, a television station in Atlanta reported that the TSA is
so swamped with background checks it is now hiring just about anybody to
grope and irradiate the public.
“In a move that could affect security at airports around the nation,
the Transportation Security Administration confirmed Wednesday it had
such a backlog of background security checks, airport employers were
allowed to hire any employee needed,” WSBTV reported. “TSA officials said the background checks are delayed, but they are processing them as fast as they can.”
In: Other News
Tags: tsa, chatholic, sex offenders, priest, wtf
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States (load item map)
Marked as: approved
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