Another Bad Screening Arrest

I get it: if you disrespect the TSA authoritah, you will get arrested.

Like this:

But now, a Colorado woman is accused of putting her hands on a TSA agent at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix.

Court records show 61-year-old Yukari Mihamae grabbed the left breast of the female agent Thursday at the Terminal 4 checkpoint.

Police say she squeezed and twisted the agent’s breast with both hands.

Officers say Mihamae admitted to the crime.

There’s no word why she touched the agent.

When I read a story like this, I like to read the applicable law. It’s a little service I provide for my readers to try to distinguish myself from every other idiot commenting on the story. Here‘s the applicable law:

A person commits sexual abuse by intentionally or knowingly engaging in sexual contact with any person who is fifteen or more years of age without consent of that person or with any person who is under fifteen years of age if the sexual contact involves only the female breast.

“Squeezing and twisting someone’s breast with both hands” is sexual contact, even if there is no intent to arouse or gratify anyone’s sexual desire. But the lack of sexual intent is a defense (h/t Matt Brown, my go-to guy in Arizona):

It is a defense to a prosecution pursuant to section 13-1404 or 13-1410 that the defendant was not motivated by a sexual interest.

I don’t know what motivated Ms. Mihamae, but “there’s no word why she touched the agent,” suggesting that when she “admitted to the crime” she didn’t admit that she was motivated by a sexual interest.

If Ms. Mihamae was protesting rather than propositioning, she may have committed a misdemeanor assault—a class 1 misdemeanor (up to six months in jail), at the worst, if she caused physical injury.

If everyone you arrest hasn’t committed the crime of which you’ve accused them, it will—I promise you—come back and bite you.

14 responses to “Another Bad Screening Arrest”

  1. If everyone you arrest hasn’t committed the crime of which you’ve accused them, it will—I promise you—come back and bite you.

    Everyone? Maybe if everyone had the means to afford a Mark Bennett. Unfortunately, most do not, and prosecutors use these trumped-up charges as leverage to force a guilty plea to the proper charge. I fail to see the “bite” in these cases…

    I’ve been seeing a lot of prosecutors lately who accept a felony charge only to downgrade it to a misdemeanor after an attorney is retained, which costs the accused two or three-times the amount than if the proper misdemeanor charge had been filed in the first place. Just an observation from a non-lawyer who reads a lot.

  2. Well, if the agent was doing a typical TSA patdown, perhaps Ms Mihamae mistook it for an invitation. After all, when someone touches you intimately, it’s not normally a crime to respond in kind.

  3. Fyi, all, two contacts if you want to show your support for Yukari Mihamae (and there are already at least two Facebook pages supporting her for those who are on FB):

    Bill Montgomery is the County Prosecutor in Maricopa county. Maricopa County Attorney Office 301 West Jefferson Street, Phoenix, AZ 85003
    Phone 602-506-3411.
    You can send an e-mail through this link: http://www.maricopacountyattor?
    Here’s what I submitted to Bill Montgomery via that link (hoping the formatting goes through here):

    Dear Mr. Montgomery:

    As a journalist who has been covering TSA abuse for the past 18 months, and a lifelong advocate of non-violence, I am urging you to drop all charges against Yukari Mihamae (Miyamae).

    My understanding is that Ms. Mihamae had already endured repeated gropes by TSA agents in the past, and finally snapped. While I don’t advocate physical confrontation, I can understand how this happened and I sympathize with Mihamae.

    If this comes to trial, I don’t believe there’s a jury in the country that would vote to convict.

    This is a critical civil liberties issue. TSA abuse is rampant. Incidents aren’t few and far between, and they aren’t minor. I’ve compiled just the ones that have received a modicum of publicity, in a document that stands at over 40 pages. You can see it at this link:

    It seems to me those incidents are what law enforcement should be investigating, not Yukari Mihamae.

    Lisa Simeone
    Baltimore, MD

    Re here defense, according to FB and Martindale Hubbell, her attorney’s name is Judd Golden, who practices constitutional law, as well as general law. Says he’ll be issuing a statement “soon.” He’s also chair of the Boulder County ACLU.

    By the way do you know how far you have to push a culturally conformist person like a Japanese woman to fight back like this?? The Japanese are raised to bow to authority; it’s a cultural imperative. Think about that for a minute. This woman must’ve been abused beyond endurance. And she has more guts than most Americans, who love to brag about “freedom” and “democracy” and “independence.” I think the prosecutor is going to have to make an example of her; otherwise, this will start happening all over the country, and they know it. It will start happening anyway, of course, as people with guts make a stand, but example still Mark will be able to give us insight on this.

  4. Mr. B., do you think this (tit-for-tit) case will make it to a Jury trial or end up in the “Plea Bargain Files” ?

    Also does anyone have a bet to place on the timeline in which the female clientele only attorney Gloria A. will hold a press conference next to Ms. Mihamae?

    And could this case lead to jail overcrowding due to all of the waitresses getting ass-slapped and hugs lasting for more than 10 seconds in public? This just might bring the country out of it looming deficits due to increased fines and jobs? Thanks.

    Note: if it’d been a male that snapped & started squeezing boobs, he’d been beat down and the smell of the taser(s) would linger in the concourse for weeks.

    • “Note: if it’d been a male that snapped & started squeezing boobs, he’d been beat down and the smell of the taser(s) would linger in the concourse for weeks.”

      Have to agree. The police are mighty fond of their Tasers these days. But I predict this kind of thing will start happening more and more. Not necessarily return-groping, but slapping-away-of-hands, pushing, shoving, etc. And yes, people will then be further abused, as has already happened (Claire Hirschkind; Nadine Kay Hays; the woman at Reagan National who was given a concussion and whose name I forget; countless others).

      I can imagine a father watching his wife or children getting groped and losing it.

      I still say there’s not a jury in the country who would convict said man or Yukari Miyamae (by the way, her lawyer Judd Golden weighed in at one of the FB pages set up to support her and said it’s spelled with a “y” not an “h”).

      Would love to hear Mark’s views on this.

      • Unfortunately, since a Class 1 Misdemeanor has a maximum punishment of six months in jail, Ms. Miyamae would not be constitutionally entitled to a jury trial.

        Sure, a lawyer could plead her guilty to sex abuse, but unless she admitted sexual intent on tape or on paper I don’t envision that happening.

        Unless Ms. Miyamae is determined to stand on principle (I hope she is), I’ll bet the case gets pled down to a class 3 misdemeanor assault.

    • Twenty bucks on the way to Yukari now, thanks for the link Lisa!

      I *sincerely* hope this starts a trend. At the very least, it will put a twinkly glimmer of fear in the porcine eyes of the misfits who staff checkpoints.

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