An update to the story about the American Airlines flight attendant who has been accused of surreptitiously filming a teenage girl in the lavatory of a flight: he has now been arrested and evidence of additional acts have been found on his phone.
American Airlines Flight Attendant Arrested After Evidence Emerges He Secretly Filmed FIVE Teenage Girls In Aircraft Lavatory
The trigger incident occurred last September. A 14-year-old girl rose to use the lavatory in economy class. There was a line. A male flight attendant approached her and told her she could use the first class lavatory, but he needed to wash his hands first. He remained in the lavatory for approximately one minute. Stepping out of the lavatory, he told her that the toilet seat was broken (not the toilet itself).
When she entered the lavatory, she purportedly observed red tape over the toilet seat, but then noticed a mobile camera taped on the seat. The camera (flash) light was on, suggesting it was recording. She snapped a picture of it (below).
Upon stepping out of the lavatory, the same flight attendant went back in and came out moments later.
She reported the suspicious phone to her mother, who stopped other passengers from entering the lavatory. Police were notified and met the aircraft in Boston.
The family has since sued American Airlines and the flight attendant.
> Read More: Teenage Girl Found Hidden Camera On American Airlines Aircraft Toilet (Photo)
> Read More: Family Sues American Airlines Over Flight Attendant Who Placed Camera In Lavatory To Surreptitiously Film Teenage Girl
Now, federal prosecutors have arrested the (former) American Airlines flight attendant, identified as 37-year-old Estes Carter Thompson III of Charlotte, North Carolina.
Thompson was found allegedly in possession of recordings of four additional minor female passengers who had used lavatories aboard the same aircraft (on different flights).
When investigators met Thompson in Boston, he had already restored the iPhone to factory settings, but in searching his baggage investigators found 11 additional “inoperative catering equipment” stickers identical to what had been used to secure the phone to the toilet seat lid.
Upon searching his iCloud account, they found four additional instances from the period of January – August 2023 in which a minor was recorded in the lavatory. Those victims were 7, 9, 11, and 14 years old. Police also found over 50 images of a 9-year-old unaccompanied minor who had flown with Thompson (these were not sexual in nature, but included close-ups of the kid while she was sleeping).
He has been charged with two counts, including:
- attempted sexual exploitation of children
- possession of child pornography depicting a prepubescent minor
U.S. Attorney Joshua Levy explained:
“The deeply disturbing conduct alleged here is something no parent or child should ever have to worry about when they travel. Mr. Thompson allegedly used his position to prey on and surreptitiously record innocent children, including unaccompanied minors, while in a vulnerable state aboard flights he was working.”
Estes Carter Thompson III was detained for one act of placing a mobile phone in an aircraft lavatory to record a teen minor but has now been arrested for at least five such instances as revealed by his iCloud account. American Airlines has said it is horrified by the incident and cooperating with law enforcement officials in the investigation.
image: Blue Ridge Regional Jail Authority