Articles Tagged with “Allure of the Seas”

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Cruise Ship Lawyers Blog was first to report the alleged sexual assault that occurred during a 10-day cruise aboard Royal Caribbean operated ship the Allure of the Seas.

Luiz Scavone was charged last January with two counts of lewd and lascivious battery on a 15-year old female passenger. Initially, Scavone plead not guilty and attempted to post bail in order to wait for trial in Brazil, his home country. You can read our previous posts on this incident here:

scavone-original_resize.jpgCruise Ship Passenger Raped Aboard Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas

Alleged Cruise Ship Rapist Asks Judge to be Released

Alleged Rapist of Cruise Passenger Luiz Scavone held without Bail

Last week, Scavone plead guilty to the battery charges and was sentenced to one year in jail. Once released, Scavone will have to register as a sex offender and will be deported to Brazil immediately.

Even though Scavone’s family and lawyer claimed that the 15-year-old teenager consented to having sexual relations with the 20-year-old, the facts of the incident were never questioned. According to the prosecutor, the teenager was lured by Scavone’s little brother (15) to Scavone’s cabin under false pretenses. The young girl thought she was going to a small party cabin and to meet other friends. She realized once the door closed behind her that she was alone with Scavone and his little brother where it is alleged they took turn raping the minor cruise passenger.

allure of the seas rccl_resize.jpgThe next day, the parents of the victim alerted the crew. The FBI and local authorities were called and arrested the Scavone brothers as soon as the ship arrived in Fort Lauderdale.

The criminal case against the younger of the two Scavone was completed several weeks ago and he is now back in his home country. His brother, Luiz Scavone, will not be back in Brazil before he spends the balance of his sentence behind bars.

Judge Matthew Destry was faced with an important decision early on in the criminal trial, having to rule whether Scavone could be freed on bail. The State of Attorney’s Office argued that it would be ill-advised for Scavone to be allowed to post bail because they could not prevent him from leaving the country and returning to Brazil while the charges were pending. To their point, a recent amendment to the Brazilian constitution provides that Brazilian citizens are not to be deported to a foreign country when criminal charges are pending against them. In other words, allowing Scavone to post bail and leave the USA would have meant that the teenager’s attacker would never be punished for the alleged rape.
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We have previously reported on the suspicious death of Kenneth John Gemmell who was a cruise passenger on the Allure of the Seas, a cruise ship operated by Royal Caribbean Cruises.

It has not been over two weeks since the 30-year-old man disappeared at sea and the questions asked by the family to help them understand what may have happened on the night of the incident still remain unanswered today.

Initially, Royal Caribbean issued a statement saying that their passenger apparently committed suicide. That conclusion had been reached after the cruise company spokesman confirmed that existed video footage of Kenneth Gemmell standing up on the table in his cabin and jumping off the ship, apparently on his own.

kenneth john gemmell 2.jpgRead more on the initial statement by Royal Caribbean here: Another Death of 30 year-old Royal Caribbean Cruise Passenger

Despite the claim that said video footage exists, the family has yet to see it. In the days following the incident, the authorities in charge of this passenger disappearance case stated that the open investigation was still ongoing and that they could not reach the same conclusion that Royal Caribbean had reached only several hours after the tragedy occurred.

In the last week, many passengers who were on that same cruise began to come forward by reaching out to the Gemmell’s family directly, while others left comments on the internet, describing what they recall seeing or knowing about the incident that may be of help in piecing together the last few hours of Kenneth’s life aboard the Allure of the Seas.

Of particular interest, we have now learned that Kenneth entered into an argument with a cruise employee that night. The employee in question is so far nowhere to be found. The family suspects that the employee was allowed, by Royal Caribbean, to disembark in Cozumel, Mexico.

While Royal immediately issued a statement contradicting these latest reports, the latest declarations made by the family to the media yesterday certainly add another layer of suspicion surrounding this case.

The family confirmed to Examiner.com that the lead investigator in the Bahamas has confirmed to them that Royal Caribbean has video footage of the dispute between Kenneth and the cruise employee/bartender. He further confirmed that, contrary to what it stated in one of its earlier releases, Royal did in fact allow one of its employees to board off the ship and was never asked to return.

This raises suspicion on what happened in the moments leading to Kenneth’s disappearance. Several fellow cruisers who were on the Allure of the Seas have commented on several internet forums and online boards that the employee with whom Kenneth was seen to have an argument was selling drugs to passengers.
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Earlier this week we reported on the death of a cruise passenger on the Allure of the Seas, operated by Royal Caribbean.

At the time, Royal Caribbean’s public relations was in full damage control mode, cooperating with the local authorities, providing investigators with captured footage of the ship’s closed-circuit surveillance cameras. The only conclusion one could reach after reading RCCL’s statement was that the 30-year-old cruise passenger had committed suicide by jumping over the railing of his cabin located on deck 11. The investigators in charge, looking at the same evidence, had not reached that same conclusion, and simply stated that the investigation was still ongoing.

Within the last 24 hours, more information has surfaced that may very well change how the young man came to disappear at sea.

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An investigation led by the authorities in the Bahamas and assisted by Federal Agents is underway after yet another cruise passenger fell off the ship and died as a result of his injuries.

At the time the incident occurred, Allure of the Seas, cruise ship operated by Royal Caribbean, was approximately one mile off the coast of Cozumel, Mexico. It has been reported by other passengers that the young man was a British citizen, and allegedly fell from the balcony of his stateroom located on Deck 11.

allure.jpg

As soon as the incident became known the crewmembers, multiple public announcements were made over the speakers throughout the entire ship and Royal Caribbean employees began searching for the missing passenger. Once it became clear to crewmembers that the passenger was indeed missing and had probably fallen off the ship, the captain immediately alerted the local authorities of the incident.

Royal Caribbean has since issued a statement saying “a review of the ship’s closed-circuit camera footage observed the British guest going over the balcony railing in his stateroom on deck 11. The location of the ship at the time the guest went overboard was marked on the ship’s Global Positioning System (GPS) and the US and Mexican Coast Guard were alerted. Our Care Team is providing support to the guest’s family and our thoughts and prayers are with them.”

All signs in the early stages of the investigation point to a suicide, yet Superintendent Paul Rolle, Head of the Central Detective Unit, has shared with members of the media that the investigation is not complete. He said in an interview with The Tribune: “We do not have much information we can share with the public at this point. All we know is a British man is dead and it may or may not have been suicide. We are still conducting our on scene investigations and interviewing eyewitness. We are being assisted by other law enforcement agencies and expect to wrap up our investigations shortly. At that time, I will provide an update,”

The deceased, whose name the authorities have not released, was on board a ship along with more than 4,500 passengers as it sailed from Florida to Cancun on a gay and lesbian-themed seven-day cruise.
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As we previously reported here, Luiz Scavone is facing charges for committing a lewd and lascivious act on a 15 year-old girl while on a Royal Carribean cruise ship “Allure of the Seas”. Yesterday, Scavone’s defense counsel asked Broward Circuit Judge Matthew Destry to set a low bail or no bail at all. The prosecutors moved for a high bail arguing that Mr. Scavone, a Brazilian citizen, poses a substantial flight risk. Judge Destry will hear arguments from both sides before ruling on the bond issue, during a court hearing set for Friday morning. At the hearing, Judge Destry’s decision is surely going to take into account the fact that exists a loophole in Brazil’s constitution which was recently amended and now provides that the extradition of its natives accused of crimes in other countries is prohibited.

Luiz Scavone Mugshot.jpgLuiz Scavone, along with another 15-year-old male, also a Brazilian citizen, allegedly lured a teenage girl into a private cabin and sexually assaulting and raping her. The 20-year-old faces charges for a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

The lawyer and relative of the two Brazilians who were arrested at Port Everglades and now accused of sexually assaulting and raping the 15 year-old teenage girl stated that they are innocent and that the intercourse was consensual. The newspaper Folha de S. Paulo reports that the 15 year-old resident of Ponta Grossa (PR), said he met the girl in the nightclub of the ship. His attorney is claiming that the sex was consensual: “He’s a child. They went to the bedroom and had sex. At no time there was persuasion. Then, pressed by her family, she said she was raped. Her mother is a lawyer”.

The uncle added that the ship has cameras and the family intends to use the images to show that there was consent. To the police, the girl said she thought she would find friends, but in the cabin, the Brazilian was forced to have sex. She testified and underwent clinical examination. According to the lawyer, the Sao Paulo resident, Neto Luiz Antonio Scavone, also was in the cabin. He had invited another girl, who then walked away. The attorney for Luiz Scavone, said today that his client “will plead not guilty when formally charged”.
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A 15 year-old girl, who was vacationing with her family on a ten day cruise that returned to Port Everglades on January 3rd, 2012, was raped by 20-year-old Luiz Scavone and another 15-year-old teenager. The young girl was lured from “Fuel”, the ship’s teen dance club, to a private cabin by the 15-year-old male, where she was told she was meeting friends for a party in the cabin. But when the girl entered the cabin, instead of seeing friends, she was face to face with Scavone who, with the help of the other male passenger, forcibly restrained her in the cabin. They ripped off her clothes, forced oral sex, and then both raped her. The Broward Sheriff’s Office said that the victim was unable to stop her assailants even though she repeatedly said “no” and begged them to stop while trying to fight her way out of the cabin.

According to the arrest report, the victim reported the assault immediately. Royal Carribean notified the FBI and BSO, and both alleged assailants were arrested at Port Everglades. Scavone, Brazilian, was arraigned at a first-appearance court hearing on Wednesday when he stood before Judge John Hurley. Scavone is accused of one count of lewd and lascivious act on a minor and faces a $10,000 bond. Judge Hurley also ordered Scavone to relinquish his Brazilian passport. Luiz Scavone is currently behind bars in a Broward County jail pending an immigration hold. The minor assailant was also charged with one count of lewd and lascivious battery and transported to Broward’s Juvenile Assessment Center.

 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmxjbF2vtAA
 
Video of Arraignment above

This tragedy is unfortunately not an isolated occurrence on cruise ships. In an article of January 2007, the LA Times revealed that “Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., the world’s second-largest cruise operator after Carnival Corp., accounted for 66 of the 178 reports of sexual assaults. But internal company records turned over as part of a civil lawsuit — and obtained by The Times — revealed that at least 273 people told Royal Caribbean that they had been the victims of sexual assault, battery, harassment and inappropriate touching during a shorter time period.” (over 32 months) Read the article here

Safety and security of cruise ship passengers, even if claimed by cruise lines as their paramount concern, has been all but neglected. Cruise lines refuse to implement proven security measures including additional security guards, monitoring closed-circuit cameras around the clock, or increasing visual police force to deter criminals. Allure of the Seas is the largest ship in the world and has a capacity of well over 6,300 people. While there are hundreds of cruise ship employees manning the restaurants, bars, clubs, malls, and shows, on the other hand this city on water has a minuscule number of employees assigned to passenger safety and security. As such, sexual assaults and other criminal acts on cruise ships are neither ever prevented nor stopped until it is too late.
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