Saturday, March 2, 2024
Home Travel Another family sues American Airlines over flight attendant allegedly filming young girl

Another family sues American Airlines over flight attendant allegedly filming young girl

by Staff

The family of a second girl is suing Fort Worth-based American Airlines over being filmed in an aircraft bathroom by the same flight attendant who was arrested for secretly filming a 14-year-old in September.

The parents of the girl only discovered the alleged crime after FBI officers showed up on their doorstep while investigating Estes Carter Thompson III, the flight attendant who was arrested in January after allegedly filming and taking photos of underage girls while working for the air carrier.

Family members of the 14-year-old girl have already filed a lawsuit against American and Thompson, 36, of Charlotte, N.C., after their daughter took a photo of the cellphone taped to a toilet seat lid with stickers only crew members would have.

Almost a year later, “every parent’s worst nightmare” happened, according to Paul Llewellyn, an attorney representing the family.

“It felt like we were living in a nightmare when the FBI showed up on our doorstep to tell us that our daughter had been secretly filmed by an American Airlines flight attendant during a family trip to Disneyland,” the family said in an emailed statement to The Dallas Morning News. “Since then, our daughter has struggled with fear and anxiety. We are doing everything we can to support her during this traumatic time. An important part of our family’s healing is making sure that the flight attendant and American Airlines are held accountable for what happened to our daughter. We hope that this lawsuit is the first step in making sure nothing like this ever happens to another family.”

American Airlines did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The 9-year-old girl was traveling on American Airlines flight 2869 from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport to Los Angeles for a gymnastics competition an visit to Disneyland.

While on the flight, the girl walked toward the airplane bathroom when Thompson told her to wait because he needed to “clean up a mess” and went in before her, court documents show. The girl used the toilet and went back to her seat.

After Thompson came under investigation for the first incident, law enforcement allegedly found more videos and pictures on his iCloud account.

In December, FBI agents went to the second girl’s home in Austin. The agents informed the parents that still images and videos of the girl’s face, unclothed buttocks and genitalia were found on Thompson’s iCloud account, court documents state. The parents confirmed the images were of their daughter.

Because of the nature of the incident, The News is not naming the parents or the child.

The girl was asked by her parents about the incident and could recall moments from it. She now suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, including depression, irritability and anxiety, court documents show.

“Their main concern is just the well-being of their daughter,” Llewellyn said. “We don’t know what happened to the images, evermore, there’s a risk that these images are now out there.”

Llewellyn said Thompson secretly filmed at least five young girls in the restrooms of American flights over nine months.

The first to share their story and press charges was the 14-year-old girl and her family from North Carolina traveling to Boston. When the plane arrived in Boston, police saw that Thompson’s iPhone appeared to be restored to factory settings, according to the Department of Justice.

In a search of his suitcase, Thompson allegedly had 11 of the stickers similar to the ones used to tape the iPhone to the toilet. When law enforcement searched his iCloud account, they discovered four additional instances between January and August 2023 of minors using the restroom on an aircraft, including the girl from Austin. The girls were 7, 9, 11 and 14 at the time.

After the Boston incident, the flight attendant was immediately withheld from service and hasn’t worked since, according to American.

Thompson is 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 Department of Justice. He will remain in custody pending an initial appearance in the Western District of Virginia and later at a federal court in Boston.

The charge of attempted sexual exploitation of children could lead to 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 could mean a sentence of at least five years and up to 20 years in prison. Both charges also provide for at least five years and up to a lifetime of supervised release, a fine of up to $250,000 and restitution.

Llewellyn said he has never come across a case like this before.

“I hope that American Airlines finally takes responsibility for their complete failure to protect these children,” Llewellyn said.

Leave a Comment

Copyright ©️ All rights reserved. | Tourism Trends