The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is now saying screeners at John F. Kennedy Airport acted improperly when searching two elderly women last year.
In a letter sent to State Senator Michael Gianaris, officials apologized for any discomfort or inconvenience that the women felt but added that they were not strip searched.
However, Ruth Sherman, 88, and Lenore Zimmerman, 85, claimed they were subjected to humiliating strip searches back in November.
Homeland Security officials say they've interviewed both women, the screeners involved and have reviewed security footage.
They say the women were both screened by the pat-down method in a private room. One was asked to remove a back brace that was then x-rayed, and the other was asked to present a colostomy bag for inspection.
The agency says while both of these requests were not standard operating procedure, at no point did the women remove any articles of clothing.