Customs Officer Charged With Sexually Assaulting Female LAX Employee

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer was charged with sexually assaulting a female employee at Los Angeles International Airport, prosecutors said Friday.

Kanwar Dhaliwal, 36, is scheduled to be arraigned Friday on charges of assault to commit rape, sodomy, and oral copulation; sexual battery by restraint; and assault by a public officer, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

Dhaliwal was working as an agriculture specialist for the CBP when he approached the woman in August 2014 and made sexual advances, prosecutors said. They say he then pushed the woman and sexually assaulted her.

Agriculture specialists who work for the agency typically inspect luggage and packages, aiming to prevent the introduction of harmful plant pests and foreign animal diseases.

The allegations against Dhaliwal come several months after the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform began probing allegations that CBP employees were subjected to violent hazing and sexual abuse by fellow officers at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey.

Prosecutors will recommend bail be set at $100,000 at his Friday hearing.

If convicted as charged, Dhaliwal faces up to six years in state prison. He was fired by the CBP in September 2016, according to the agency.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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