Former US Customs worker charged with assaulting woman at LAX

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Friday, August 11, 2017

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A former U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer has been charged with assaulting a female employee at Los Angeles International Airport, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office announced Friday.

Kanwar Dhaliwal, 36, was charged with the following counts: assault to commit rape, sodomy and oral copulation, sexual battery by restraint and assault by a public officer. He was expected to be arraigned on Friday.

Dhaliwal was working as an agricultural specialist officer for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection when he approached the victim and made sexual advances on Aug. 28, 2014 at LAX, prosecutors said.

According to the district attorney's office, Dhaliwal 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.

Prosecutors are recommending bail be set at $100,000. If convicted as charged, Dhaliwal faces up to six years in state prison.

The investigation is ongoing.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.