A 27-year-old woman, traveling with her family, was allegedly raped by a crew member during an 11-night Eastern Mediterranean cruise on board the Celebrity Equinox.
The details of what happened are still under investigation, but some facts were reported by the London Evening Standard.
According to the victim who reported the crime to her parents and to the captain, she and the crew member shared some drinks with the young woman. Tired, she walked back to her cabin and after she made it clear that she was going to sleep. At that moment, the nameless crew member, who had followed her, pushed the woman inside her cabin, threw her on the bed, and performed multiple sex act against the woman’s will.
After she was seen by the ship’s doctor, the captain of the ship reviewed video surveillance footage of the ship and observed the victim sharing drinks with the crew member, as well as the alleged assailant following the passenger to her cabin. He ordered his crew to hold the alleged rapist until the ship arrived in the next port. Upon docking in Messina, Sicily, the man was handed over to the police, with a copy of the video footage.
Upon breaking the news, a Celebrity Cruises released the following statement: “We are aware of the incident involving a British guest on one of our ships and she has opted to continue her cruise. We are liaising with the relevant authorities.”
This incident is the fourth sexual assault reported by Cruise Ship Lawyers Blog in the last sixth months. The first three incidents involved minor girls who were victims of sexual acts either by a passenger or by a crew member. Last week, the maritime lawyers of Leesfield Scolaro reported on the lack of reporting of crimes to the authorities: FBI and Cruise Line Industry hand in hand hiding cruise ship crimes from crime database?
Recently, the under-reporting, and more often the non-reporting, of violent and sexual crimes taken on by Cruise Ship Lawyers Blog and numerous media outlets, has finally reached the ears of Sen. John Kerry, who was one of the two sponsors of the Cruise Vessel Security & Safety Act.
A local Phoenix Arizona News outlet reported yesterday that Sen. John Kerry has read the coverage on the non-reporting of crimes issue and promised to reform the newly passed law in order to achieve its initial goal of increasing transparency and safety to all cruise passengers.