Police Arrest American Airlines Flight Attendant For Allegedly Trying To Film Minors In Airplane Bathroom, DOJ Says

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Mariane Angela Contributor
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Authorities arrested an American Airlines flight attendant for allegedly trying to film minors while using the airplane bathroom, court documents show, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said in a press release Thursday.

36-year-old Estes Carter Thompson III was apprehended Jan. 18 in Virginia and is facing charges including one count of attempted sexual exploitation of children and another of possession of child pornography, notably featuring a prepubescent minor, court documents revealed, the DOJ stated.

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The case unfolded when a 14-year-old passenger, flying from Charlotte to Boston in Sept. 2023, alleged that Thompson guided her to a first-class lavatory with a supposedly broken toilet seat, court documents read, the DOJ said. Inside, the girl allegedly discovered an iPhone concealed beneath stickers and took a photo before exiting, according to the documents. Upon learning of their daughter’s alleged experience, her parents alerted the flight crew, who in turn informed law enforcement, the documents said. (RELATED:‘Pedo Pete’: Massive 4Chan Hack Of Hunter Biden’s Explicit Texts, Images, Videos Rocks The Internet)

This alleged incident led to a broader investigation revealing Thompson’s alleged pattern of such activities, the documents revealed, according to the DOJ. Analysis of his iCloud account allegedly uncovered recordings of four other minors in similar alleged situations, aged between seven and fourteen, and allegedly over 50 images of a nine-year-old passenger, the documents said. Hundreds of AI-generated child pornography images were allegedly found in his possession, according to the documents.

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Thompson’s charges carry severe penalties, including up to 30 years for attempted sexual exploitation and up to 20 years for possession of child pornography, the DOJ press release said. Additionally, a supervised release post-sentence, hefty fines, and restitution are on the table, according to the DOJ.

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“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,” Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy stated, according to the DOJ press release.

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Jodi Cohen, the Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Boston Division, expressed deep concern over the allegations. “What Mr. Thompson is accused of doing is disgraceful, and we believe, calculated, given that this alleged conduct occurred on at least five flights,” Cohen stated, according to the DOJ.