Winthrop man charged with statutory rape; victim is 14 years old

Wednesday, March 10, 2010
By Seth Daniel

A Logan Airport Transportation Security Administration (TSA) passenger screener from Winthrop has been charged with enticing a young girl and sexually assaulting her at his Winthrop home during last month’s school vacation week.

Sean Shanahan, 45, of Winthrop, was charged by Winthrop Police with statutory rape, enticement of a child and indecent assault and battery on a person 14 or older.

He was arraigned Tuesday in East Boston District Court and held on a $50,000 cash bail. He is also ordered to have no contact with minors in the interim.

Allegations against him say that Shanahan repeatedly sent a 14-year-old Winthrop girl sexually explicit text messages and sexually assaulted the girl at his home during school vacation week.

It did not appear that Shanahan had any prior record of such crimes before these allegations.

Ann Davis, a spokesperson with the TSA, said that Shanahan is not working at Logan now.

“I can tell you he has been with TSA since 2006 and he is not working at the airport at this time,” she said.

She said he was a Transportation Security Officer, which means he had been responsible for screening baggage and passengers at the airport.

She said that he had been subject to a background check before being hired, but it apparently didn’t reveal anything bad.

“We can also assure travelers that each TSA employee takes a background check to protect passenger safety,” she said. “Unfortunately, those checks do not reveal future behavior.”

He will appear in East Boston District Court again on April 5. He is represented by Attorney John Hayes.

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