Home News American Airlines flight attendant accused of luring children into first-class bathroom held...

American Airlines flight attendant accused of luring children into first-class bathroom held until trial

483
0
SHARE


Muri Assunção
New York Daily News
(TNS)

A flight attendant accused of “surreptitiously recording or attempting to record” a teen using the bathroom on an American Airlines flight last year appeared Tuesday in Boston federal court and agreed to voluntary confinement until trial.

Estes Carter Thompson III, of Charlotte, North Carolina, was arrested earlier this year and charged with one count of attempted sexual exploitation of children and one count of possession of child pornography depicting a prepubescent minor.

According to the charging documents, the 36-year-old suspect allegedly concealed his iPhone “on the underside of the toilet lid” in an airplane’s lavatory and tried to film a 14-year-old female passenger using it.

The incident happened midway through an American Airlines flight from Charlotte to Boston on Sept. 2, 2023, while he was working as a flight attendant.

Officials said the teen got up to use the restroom but found it was occupied. Thompson then allegedly led her to use the first-class lavatory but told her he needed to wash his hands first.

He also allegedly told her the toilet seat was broken.

When the teen entered the lavatory, she saw the concealed iPhone, took a photo of it, and showed it to her parents, officials said. The parents then reported the incident to the other attendants onboard the flight.

Thompson was arrested after landing at Boston’s Logan Airport. Even though his phone had already been restored to factory settings by then, officials said a search of his iCloud account revealed four additional instances between January and August 2023 in which Thompson had recorded a minor using the lavatory on an aircraft.

Those victims were 7, 9, 11 and 14 years old, investigators said.

Additionally, more than 50 images of a 9-year-old unaccompanied minor were allegedly found in Thompson’s iCloud — including close-up shots of her face when she was sleeping, officials added.

Thompson was “immediately withheld from service following the September 2023 incident,” American Airlines previously said in a statement.

During his initial court appearance on Tuesday, Thompson did not enter a plea.

The charge of attempted sexual exploitation of children carries a sentence of at least 15 years and up to 30 years in prison. The charge of possession of child pornography depicting a prepubescent minor carries a sentence of at least five years and up to 20 years in prison.

Both charges provide for at least five years and up to a lifetime of supervised release, a fine of up to $250,000 and restitution.

______

©2024 New York Daily News. Visit at nydailynews.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

If you have any problems viewing this article, please report it here.