A California resident filed a lawsuit this week against Princess Cruise Line, which is owned by Carnival Cruise Lines. The victim alleges in a lawsuit that a year ago she was vacationing aboard the Island Princess going from Acapulco to Florida when a crew member assaulted her.
The man, whose name is unknown, grabbed the victim and then began to grope her and try to kiss her, all before forcing her to go to a deserted part of the ship. The victim then claims she tried to escape her assailant but he physically prevented her from doing so. Once he had her in a more secluded area, he allegedly trapped her against a counter top, hiked up her skirt and further touched her inappropriately. The victim then was able to push the crew member off and escape.
The passenger on the cruise ship who was assaulted claims that she was not only attacked, but that her assailant has a “prior, similar incident of misconduct” while being employed aboard one of Princess’ other passenger cruise ships.
Tragically, this is not the first time someone has complained and reported being sexually assaulted aboard one of Princess Cruise Lines ships. A previous incident was reported in March of 2009 when the FBI arrested a waiter in Los Angeles. The alleged claim came when the waiter was charged with aggravated sexual abuse after the victim had wine with him and then was assaulted. In this incident the waiter was afterwards acquitted claiming that the act was consensual.
An astonishing study by professor Ross Klein from Memorial University in Newfoundland, Canada found that, based on statistics provided by the U.S. Congress, passengers are nearly at twice the risk of being sexually assaulted on aboard a ship then they are on land. The study also showed that nearly 70 percent of the sexual assaults reported are by crew members against passengers.
The California passenger who was assaulted states that she immediately reported the attack to authorities on the ship and that the crew member was then taken off the ship.
While a cruise can be a great vacation for the whole family, it is important to be aware that sexual assaults and other criminal activity have been known to occur on cruise ships. By becoming more aware of the possibility of criminal activity, passengers can better protect themselves from becoming a victim. Congress recently passed the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act which will result in increased disclosure of the number of incidents of criminal activity on cruise ships, and as a result increased awareness by the public of such. Hopefully, this legislation will lead to less crimes aboard cruise ships and passengers can continue to enjoy a great and safe vacation.