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U.S. Customs agent accused of groping three women detained at MIA

A Customs and Border Protection officer was arrested Friday on federal charges that he groped the breasts of three women detained at Miami International Airport in January 2011.

Paulo Morales, 47, was indicted Thursday on three felony counts of abusive sexual contact and three misdemeanor counts of deprivation of civil rights. If convicted he faces a maximum of nine years in prison.

The indictment said that Morales, while working at the airport, purposely touched the breasts of three women through their clothing “with the intent to abuse, humiliate and degrade” them “and to arouse and gratify the defendant’s sexual desire” without their permission.

The women were from Guatemala, Honduras, and Israel.

A representative for Customs and Border Protection declined to comment. Morales is scheduled for his first court appearance on Monday.