A former American Airways flight attendant was criminally charged Thursday and accused of utilizing a phone to secretly report a younger woman in an airplane toilet, federal prosecutors mentioned.
The woman found the iPhone on a rest room seat, with a big sticker over the seat that was damaged to partially conceal it, on the Sept. 2, 2023, flight from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Boston, officers mentioned.
Estes Carter Thompson III, 36, was arrested Thursday by the FBI and charged with one depend of tried sexual exploitation of a kid and one depend of possession of kid pornography depicting a prepubescent minor, the U.S. Lawyer’s Workplace in Boston mentioned in an announcement.
Prosecutors mentioned investigators additionally found movies of 4 different underage women additionally utilizing the services on planes the place Thompson labored.
Thompson was instantly faraway from service after the incident and has not labored since, American Airways mentioned.
“We take these allegations very severely. They don’t mirror our airline or our core mission to take care of folks,” the airline mentioned in an announcement on Thursday. It added that it has totally cooperated with investigators.
Appearing U.S. Lawyer Joshua S. Levy known as the alleged habits “deeply disturbing” and one which no traveler ought to must expertise or fear about.
“Mr. Thompson allegedly used his place to rob and secretly seize harmless kids, together with unaccompanied minors, whereas working in a weak situation aboard flights,” Levy mentioned. said in a statement.
The household of the 14-year-old sufferer of the September flight filed a lawsuit towards the airline in December.
In Thompson’s iCloud account, investigators discovered movies of 4 different younger women in airplane bogs, ages 7, 9, 11 and 14, the U.S. Lawyer’s Workplace mentioned. In response to an FBI assertion, they had been dedicated between January 26 and August 23 final yr.
On-line federal courtroom information didn’t seem to listing an legal professional for Thompson.
He’s being held pending an preliminary look in West Virginia, the U.S. Lawyer’s Workplace mentioned.
The cost of tried sexual exploitation of youngsters carries a minimal of 15 years and a most of 30 years in jail if convicted, the U.S. Lawyer’s Workplace mentioned, and the opposite cost carries a minimal of 5 years and a most of 20 years in jail.