Teenagers are victims in shipboard assaults

Teenagers are victims in shipboard assaults

Our Miami cruise ship injury attorneys see the peril of shipboard crimes such as sexual assault and the law’s inability to address these tragedies. These consequences are alarming for victims under 18 as these media reports show.

Cruise line offers apology and trip to assault victim

A 16-year-old charged that a trainer on a Carnival Caribbean cruise raped her in the ship’s gym. He assured her that he was performing a consultation but took off the victim’s clothing, lifted her shirt and touched her intimately. Carnival apologized to the victim’s family through e-mail and offered a refund, a complimentary cruise and payment for counseling. Her mother said that the FBI took a brief statement from the family. Carnival claimed that it offered medical care and responded right away.  The line said that no charges were filed because of conflicting statements and insufficient evidence. Carnival claimed that a third-party contractor employed the alleged perpetrator and that he no longer works on its ships.

Teenager assaulted in dark area         

A 15-year-old girl started to act out on a 2016 family cruise to the Virgin Island and attempted suicide when the family returned home. Months later, she told her mother what happened.  A man that she met on the cruise took her to an area on the ship where alcohol was being served. After she had two drinks, he forcefully shoved her down and raped her. No charges were filed even though the local sheriff was contacted and she was tested for sexually-transmitted diseases.

Defendants sentenced to monitoring

The suspects were prosecuted but received unbelievably lenient punishment. A 14-year-old Canadian girl was assaulted by two-16-year-old passengers during a cruise off Florida. She was taken immediately to an onshore crisis center and underwent rape testing. The perpetrators were sentenced to community service, sex offender treatment, court monitoring, a curfew and payment of the victim’s counseling.

Younger victims

In 2016, sexual assaults constituted 62 of the reported 92 alleged shipboard crimes. A 2013 Congressional report found that minors were the victims in a third of these assaults.Many of these cases are inadequately investigated and reporting is delayed because of crime victim embarrassment or stress. Jurisdiction is also complex. Because of foreign registration of ships, assaults occur in international waters and the offenders may be foreign nationals. Florida may investigate crimes on ships that leave its ports. The FBI may investigate cases where a ship departs or arrives in an American port but cannot gain access to evidence until a ship returns.Investigations and deterrence is further impaired because police are not stationed on liners. Private security may have a conflict of interest because their employer may be lawsuit defendants.

Experienced cruise ship lawyers in Miami may help assure that victims of cruise line assault can pursue fair and just compensation. If you were injured by cruise line negligence, contact an attorney at the Miami personal injury law offices of Gerson & Schwartz, PA who specializes in these cases. For a free case consultation, call 877-475-2905 today.


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