TULSA, Okla. (KTUL and ABC) — Rhonda Mengert is suing the Transportation Safety Administration after she says they strip searched her at the Tulsa International Airport on Mother's Day.
Mengert says the TSA agents at the Tulsa airport not only humiliated her, they ruined her Mother's Day and it was one she'd waited nearly a decade for.
That same day, she said goodbye to her son and grand-kids before she headed back home to Las Vegas.
"It was my first Mother's Day with my son in nine years. He was military, and deployed," said Mengert.
She says she told agents she had a metal hip-implant, so they brought her through the body scanner and then across the room for a "pat-down" search.
In her lawsuit she says agent's felt a feminine hygiene product under her pants, so they conducted an explosive trace residue test, which came back negative.
Mengert says the two female agents weren't convinced that it was just a feminine hygiene product they'd felt during the pat-down.
"I was told I needed to pull my pants and my underwear down to my knees and remove the item and show it to them for inspection," said Mengert.
She says she was in disbelief, but not knowing what else to do, she complied.
"It was horrific. It was horrible. It was humiliating. Degrading," said Mengert.
A TSA spokesperson said they can't comment on pending litigation, but added a quote, "TSA does not conduct strip searches and is committed to ensuring the security of travelers."
"I'm here to tell you, they absolutely do," said Mengert.
Mengert's attorneys are seeking $75,000 for violating her fourth amendment rights and emotional distress.
But Mengert says it's not about the money.
"I want change," she said.
Mengert says she plans to petition congress for new laws regulating TSA agent behavior.