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American Airlines blames victim in hidden bathroom camera case – NBC Boston

A disturbing discovery last September on a Boston-bound plane is now prompting an unexpected response from American Airlines.

In an effort to avoid being held financially responsible in a Texas civil lawsuit, American Airlines lawyers appear to be trying to blame a 9-year-old girl for allowing herself to be secretly recorded by a flight attendant’s phone air in an airplane toilet.

In a court filing this week, the airline’s lawyers claim the child’s harm was caused by her “own fault and negligence” and her “use of the compromised restroom, which she knew or should have known was ‘they contained a visible and illuminated recording device’. .”

The girl’s parents told the Herald the accusation both shocked and angered them.

The disturbing allegations involving American Airlines first came to light last fall when a 14-year-old girl went to the bathroom on her Sept. 2 flight from Charlotte to Boston. According to investigators, Estes Thompson III, a 37-year-old flight attendant, asked the girl to use the first-class restroom and escorted her there.

The girl told authorities that before entering the bathroom, Thompson told her he needed to wash his hands and that the toilet seat was broken. After he left, she entered the bathroom and saw red stickers under the lid of the toilet seat, which was in the open position. Underneath the stickers, Thompson allegedly hid his iPhone to record a video. The girl used her phone to take a photo before returning to her seat.

When federal authorities intervened, they allegedly found videos of four other girls — ages 7, 9, 11 and 14 — on Thompson’s phone, as well as dozens of photos of a 9-year-old unaccompanied minor.

Thompson, of Charlotte, North Carolina, was arrested in January in Lynchburg, Virginia, and charged last month. On Monday, he pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual exploitation and possession of child sexual abuse images in federal court in Boston. He is being held without bail on these charges.

Thompson is also a defendant in the civil lawsuit filed in Texas.

NBC10 Boston reached out to American Airlines for comment on the backlash following their attorney’s filing, but has not yet received a response.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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News Source : www.nbcboston.com

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