SEATTLE WA March 24 2017 - A former Transportation Security Administration agent accused of taking "upskirt" video of a woman last year at Sea-Tac Airport pleaded guilty Thursday to attempted voyeurism.
The agent, identified as Nicholas James Fernandez, 29, of Tukwila, now faces a possible sentence of up to 364 days in jail and a $5,000 fine. He will be formally sentenced on April 14 in King County Superior Court.
Fernandez came under suspicion last July after a citizen complained to the media about him, court documents say.
A special TSA security agent and a detective then watched Fernandez, who was a lead security agent at one checkpoint. Fernandez took a break, walked to the escalator in baggage claim and got close behind a woman.
He put his phone under the woman's dress and turned on the flashlight illumination feature of his phone, court documents say.
The person who complained to the media said he saw a TSA agent stand close to a woman on the escalator, hold his phone down by his knee and was "looking into space" as if to hide what he was doing, court documents say.
Fernandez originally was charged with voyeurism, but eventually pleaded guilty to the reduced charge of attempted voyeurism.
The prosecutor, Thomas O’Ban, is recommending a suspended sentence in lieu of Fernandez serving either 30 days in jail or in a work release program followed by 24 months of unsupervised probation.
The recommended probation would include a full sexual deviant treatment program with quarterly check-ins and and abiding by a treatment plan that includes no alcohol or drugs, no violations of any law, no use of a camera without prior approval and various other conditions.
Ferguson must still pay a mandatory victim penalty fine of $500 and a $100 DNA collection fee.