Articles Tagged with Rape

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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.

Celebrity-Equinox.jpgThe 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.”
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Norwegian cruise line crewmember, Senad Djedovic, was arrested on February 27, 2012 by the FBI for possession of child pornography.

This came about approximately four weeks after the assistant cruise director aboard the Norwegian Star met with a 16-year-old female passenger during a seven-day cruise that began on January 29, 2012. The FBI has alleged in its criminal complaint that Djedovic, 29, pursued her sexually and ultimately had sexual relations on March 5, 2012 with the child in one of the staircase of the ship.

senad-djedovic.jpgAfter the cruise ended, Djedovic exchanged photos and videos of a sexual nature with the 16-year-old using his work email address. Other crewmembers became aware of the situation after Djedovic bragged about the fact that he had sexual relations with the female child and even showed some of the photos he had received from her to fellow co-workers.

Djedovic was arrested by the FBI as soon as they were aware of the situation. After his arrest, the FBI’s search of Norwegian’s assistant cruise director’s private computer revealed videos categorized under folders named “12 yrs old”, “15 yrs old”, and “16 yr old”.

Today, Djedovic is in jail awaiting trial on charges of Child Pornography.

Charges for statutory rape were not filed because of the applicable laws in this matter. At the time the sexual relations between the child and the 29-year-old employee occurred, the ship was presumably still outside Florida’s territorial waters where Florida criminal law applies. Had the ship been in Florida territorial waters, Djedovic would have been charged with statutory rape because the age of consent in Florida is 18. Being that federal law applies in this case, Djedovic cannot be charged with raping a 16 year-old because the age of consent under federal law is 16.

Under certain circumstances, Florida law can apply for crimes occurring on the high seas. In Skiriotes v,. Florida, the US Supreme Court held that states may exert criminal jurisdiction over their citizens on the high seas under certain circumstances, provided that Congress has not preempted the field. To read more about those special circumstances, read The Long Reach of U.S. Law over crimes occurring on the High Seas, written by Leesfield Scolaro’ maritime law attorney Robert Peltz.
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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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In February 2011, a female cruise passenger, Jane Doe (“JD”), boarded a cruise ship in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for an 7-day cruise in the Eastern Carribean. She was traveling with a wedding party of 25 from Canada to celebrate her best friend’s wedding which was planned to take place on the beach in St. Thomas. JD was to be the Maid of Honor and was sharing a cabin with the bride’s mother.

That day, after enjoying a day of relaxation and sunbathing, JD decided she had enough sun and went up to her cabin. Once back in the cabin, she went to bed and fell asleep. Moments later, she was attacked by a crew member / room steward. JD’s attacker performed forcible oral sex on her and raped her as well. JD repeatedly told the crew member to stop, but he continued raping her. That is when the bride and her mother entered the cabin and walked in on their friend being raped.

It was established that the crew member had entered JD’s cabin by using his staff key while JD was asleep, Cruise Ship Attorney Alexander Perkins was able to reach a seven figure settlement for our client.

Cruise Lines Ignore Sex Crimes by Cruise Employees on Passengers

The repetitive problem of sex crimes by cruise employees aboard cruise ships finally surfaced in 2005 after several high profile incidents on the high seas. It culminated in congressional hearings, where the cruise industry leaders testified they would address the safety concerns and implement preventive measures, including uniform reporting of crimes and cooperating with federal authorities such as the FBI and Coast Guard. The specific problem of cabin stewards having unlimited access to passenger rooms was a major area of concern. The cruise line industry promised to take corrective action. Sadly for JD, the situation has yet to be addressed.

In September 2007, a Royal Caribbean cabin attendant used his key card to enter a female passenger’s cabin at night while she slept in her bed and raped her. In another publicized RCCL rape case, the Court required RCCL to provide the number of incidents of sexual assault and harassment on its cruise ships for a period of two and a half years. It indicated that over 250 women were sexually harassed, assaulted or battered. A large number of the incidents occurred in the passenger cabins. Between 2003-2005 there were 149 reported sexual assaults and in 2007 there were 69 sexual assaults reported aboard RCCL cruise ships, the majority by crew members against passengers. These statistics also do not include incidents between crew members, and of course the fact that many victims of sexual assault do not report it. The rate of sexual assault aboard cruise ships was found to be twice the rate found in the US.
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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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