LOS ANGELES — A former U.S. Customs and Border Protection specialist was charged with sexually assaulting a female employee at Los Angeles International Airport, prosecutors said Friday.
Kanwar Dhaliwal, 36, is awaiting arraignment on sexual battery by restraint, assault by a public officer and other charges, 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.
Dhaliwal was removed from his post at Customs and Border Protection in September 2016, said CBP spokesman Jaime Ruiz.
“U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) places a great emphasis on the integrity and professionalism of our workforce and does not tolerate actions that would tarnish the reputation of our agency,” Ruiz said in a statement.
A call to a number listed for Dhaliwal in public records rang unanswered and it wasn’t immediately clear if he had an attorney who could comment on the allegations.
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.