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Estes Carter Thompson III – American Airlines Fires Legal Team That Blamed 9-Year-Old For Being Filmed in Bathroom by Flight Attendant

American Airlines has fired its legal team after the company’s lawyers said that a 9-year-old girl should have known she was being filmed in the airline bathroom by a flight attendant. This decision followed American Airlines’ retraction of a filing from an outside law firm, which claimed the girl’s injuries were due to her “own fault and negligence.”

As CrimeOnline previously reported, Estes Carter Thompson III was indicted in April on one attempted sexual exploitation of children and one count of possession of images of child sexual abuse.

On September 2, 2023, midway through a Charlotte to Boston flight, Thompson escorted a 14-year-old girl to the first-class lavatory when the main cabin lavatory was occupied. He then went inside to allegedly wash his hands.

When the girl entered, she saw red stickers on the underside of the toilet seat lid, with an iPhone set up to record with the phone’s flashlight. The girl took pictures with her phone and told her father, who informed other flight attendants.

Investigators then found records of girls aged 7, 9, 11, and 14 on Thompson’s phone, all recorded in aircraft restrooms. They also found hundreds of images of child sexual abuse generated through artificial intelligence on Thompson’s iCloud account. He has been in custody since his arrest in January.

The families of the 14- and 9-year-old girls subsequently filed suit against American Airlines.

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The Dallas Morning News reports that the airline called a legal filing in the case an “error” after it blamed the 9-year-old for the incident.

The defense originally claimed that “any injuries or illnesses alleged to have been sustained” by the plaintiff “were proximately caused by the plaintiff’s own fault and negligence” and that she “knew or should have known” the compromised lavatory contained a visible and illuminated recording device.

A new lawsuit has since been filed without placing blame on the child.

“Our outside legal counsel retained with our insurance company made an error in this filing,” an American Airlines spokesperson reportedly said in a statement.

“The included defense is not representative of our airline and we have directed it be amended this morning. We do not believe this child is at fault and we take the allegations involving a former team member very seriously. Our core mission is to care for people — and the foundation of that is the safety and security of our customers and team.”

Thompson has not worked for the airline since the 14-year-old found his iPhone, the AP said. He is due in court again in July.

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