Recently, a federal judge in New Jersey sentenced a former cruise ship crew member to 13 months in prison for sexually abusing a sleeping female passenger while aboard the ship. The 26 year old defendant from Mauritius pled guilty to one count of abusive sexual conduct. Prosecutors report that the defendant was employed by a cruise line and charged with restocking mini bars within passengers’ rooms. As a part of his job description, he was provided with a key that gave him access to the guest rooms.
The defendant admits to entering a female passenger’s room while he was off-duty. He proceeded to touch the woman inappropriately while she slept. The former employee will now serve 13 months in prison with an additional year of supervised release.
Several Sexual Assaults and Rapes Have Occurred on Cruise Lines in Recent Years
A cruise should be a time of fun, relaxation, and rejuvenation. No one boards a cruise ship expecting to be assaulted or raped, but for hundreds of sexual assault victims this has been the reality. Exact figures as to the number of rapes and assaults occurring on cruise lines are hard to come by due to a lack of sufficient reporting and no central database. It is estimated that at least 150 sexual assaults have occurred on cruise ships in the past four years, a figure that seems high given the short amount of time people are on board the ship.
Tips to Reduce Your Risk of Cruise Ship Sexual Assault
Cruise ship rapes and sexual assaults appear to be on the rise and all cruise passengers, not just women, are at risk. The following is a list of a few steps you can take to minimize your chance of becoming an assault victim while traveling on a cruise ship:
- Travel in groups: It is easier for a sexual predator to target passengers who are alone. Larger groups act as a deterrent, shielding individuals from being lured away and made the victim of sexual assault. This is especially important for children and no children should be left alone on a cruise ship.
- Avoid isolated areas: Many sexual assaults take place in guest rooms or isolated areas of the ship where no one will witness the abuse. As such, only travel to your room with others, if possible, and always be sure you keep the door locked. Do not go into areas that are marked off limits or areas with poor lighting and little foot traffic.
- Be cautious: Above all else, exercise caution. Just because you are on a cruise ship, do not assume you are safe from harm. Do not go to the rooms of passengers of whom you do not know well and also, do not be overly trusting of crewmembers.
Greenberg Stone and Urbano: Assisting Cruise Line Sexual Assault Victims
Being sexually assaulted on a cruise ship can leave you physically and emotionally traumatized. The Miami Cruise Ship Accident Attorneys at Greenberg Stone and Urbano can assist sexual assault victims in seeking compensation from the cruise line that failed to take adequate measures to ensure their safety. We have over 130 collective years of experience representing cruise accident and assault victims in South Florida. We have the experience and knowledge to provide you with top notch legal representation. Our firm has received a coveted AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and the Miami Herald recognized us as a top firm in South Florida. Allow our exceptional attorneys to provide you with superior legal services in the South Florida area. Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule your initial consultation.