A newly released photo of the hidden camera that allegedly captured a 14-year-old girl using a bathroom on an American Airlines flight shows how an iPhone was taped to the lid of the toilet, her parents said Wednesday.
The rattled parents — who did not want to be identified as their daughter is a minor — told The Post that it didn’t immediately register that their daughter was possibly targeted by a male flight attendant during a Sept. 2 trip from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Boston.
But they both strongly believe he carried out the alleged pervy exploit they described as “disturbing.”
“I think she’s really angry, like we are, that something like this could happen,” her father said.
“I think there’s a real feeling of violation. I think as a teenage girl she’s a little bit embarrassed that something so intimate as going to the bathroom would be filmed this way.”
Most of the iPhone appears to be taped to the lid of the toilet in the first-class restroom, according to a photo snapped by the teen and provided by the family’s legal team at Lewis & Llewellyn.
The red and white tape has “Inoperative Catering Equipment” and “Remove From Service” printed on it with a note written in marker that says “Seat Broken.” Only the very top of the iPhone, which was upside down, isn’t covered with tape — and it appears that either the flashlight or camera flash was on.
The family’s lawyers provided The Post a photo of their boarding passes, which matches up with American Airlines Flight 1441 that authorities previously confirmed they were investigating.
The family said their daughter originally was waiting in line for a bathroom in the coach section of the plane when the male flight attendant approached her. He told her there was no line for the first-class restroom and led her there, her parents said.
After another passenger got out of that bathroom, the attendant, estimated to be in his early 30s, told the girl he needed to quickly use the lavatory to wash his hands before trash pickup. When he left, the teen entered and used the restroom. But when she flushed, she noticed the iPhone and snapped a photo.
After she headed back to her seat, the same flight attendant went back inside the bathroom, her parents said.
The teen immediately showed her mother the photo, and it took the mom several minutes to understand what she was seeing before her daughter pointed out the iPhone.
“It’s something you never considered before, and it was just really shocking,” her mother said.
The mother feared the item was still taped to the bathroom so she darted up to first class to warn other passengers. She stopped a woman from going in and explained the situation, but when the two checked, the iPhone and tape were gone.
The girl’s father then showed the photo to all four flight attendants, including the male crew member, in hopes of an explanation.
“I remember seeing the male flight attendant’s face just go totally white,” the father recalled, noting they didn’t see the man for the rest of the flight after that.
A female flight attendant approached the family at some point to apologize and express disgust over the alleged incident, the family said.
Massachusetts State Police initially responded to the plane after it landed, though state troopers said federal authorities are now handling the case.
The FBI Boston field office and the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts declined comment Wednesday.
No arrest has been announced tied to the case.
Not much information has been revealed about the case, with state authorities only telling Charlotte-based WSOC that the incident involved a “juvenile, flight attendant, and a cellphone.”
A first-class passenger first told Boston 25 about the alleged incident last week.
While the family was being interviewed by authorities after the flight, an airline rep confirmed to law enforcement that only flight crew would have access to the red tape seen in the photo, the father said.
Police also brought an iPhone to the teen girl, who confirmed it was the same phone she saw in the bathroom, the family said.
The family were the first passengers taken off the flight, and saw the alleged creepy attendant escorted off afterward.
“I was looking at him, and he would not look back,” the father said.
One of the family’s lawyers said American Airlines has not contacted their clients since the day of the incident.
“It is shocking that a sexual predator could brazenly prey on a minor while she used the bathroom on a flight,” Paul T. Llewellyn, a partner at Lewis & Llewellyn, said in a statement.
“This outrageous act should have never occurred and must never occur again.”
American Airlines did not return an email seeking comment Wednesday but previously said it is taking the alleged incident “very seriously.”
The parents said that while their daughter is one of the toughest people they know, she’s dealing with “a lot of different emotions” after the incident.
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