Articles Tagged with “Sexual Assault”

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During a Valentine’s Day Cruise on the Holland America Line cruise ship “MS Nieuw Amsterdam”, cruise employee, Ketut Pujayasa, 28, who is an Indonesian citizen, savagely raped, beat and attempted to kill an innocent 31-year-old female cruise passenger.

As is often the method used by cruise employees who sexually assault female passengers, Pujayasa gained access to the passenger’s stateroom using a master key issued to many crewmembers, which give access to every single stateroom throughout the ship. Once inside, he hid on the balcony of the room. Moments later, the passenger returned to her room, where she was jumped on by the crewmember. According to the latest reports, he beat her with a laptop, and a curling iron. Once he thought he had physically won his victim over, he used the curling iron’s cord and the phone’s cord to choke the woman. Fighting for her life, she was able to loosen the grasp of her assailant by kicking his exposed genitals.

Ketut Pujayasa mugshot.jpgAt that time, Pujayasa told the FBI that he attempted to kill his agonizing victim by throwing her over the railing of the stateroom’s balcony. That is when knocks on the room’s door scared him away and he escaped by climbing out of the room, into another balcony. The victim ran out of her room half naked, with the cord of the curling iron still wrapped around her neck and body.

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According to the following report filed by Orlando local station WKMG-Channel 6 last night, Disney Cruise Line knowingly delayed to report a sexual molestation crime to local police last summer. Rather than possibly be sitting in jail awaiting trial right now, the crewmember was allowed to fly back to his home country of India with a clean criminal record. Below is the chilling story reported by WKMG reporter Tony Pipitone.

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This report would be only chilling if it was not customary for crimes in general and sexual crimes in particular to be unreported or widely under-reported. Since the passage in 2010 of a mandatory reporting law of crimes occurring on cruise ships, the number of crimes has inexplicably decreased. One could leap to the conclusion that cruise ships are becoming safer and safer with time, but that would be the wrong assumption. In reality, when a crime occurs on a cruise ship, the cruise line has sole discretion to categorize an incident as criminal in nature. No one doubts that crimes aboard cruise ships is not the best publicity. Especially sexual molestations on minor children aboard a Disney cruise! So the cruise line must find a way to minimize and lessen the number of crimes it reports to the competent authorities. So a cruise line will categorize a crime as a non-criminal event and bypass the reporting laws.

The other way cruise lines have hidden the true frequency of crimes on their ship is by threatening victims. We have reported on several occasions that alcohol consumption aboard cruise ships is on the rise. Invariably, more alcohol being consumed translates in more fights and physical assaults. When the victim of an assault comes forward, the security officers will offer the victim to report the incident to the local authorities and press charges against the assailant at the next port. But the caveat is that, in order to do so, the victim must disembark the ship (sometimes with their entire party) and return home without further assistance from the cruise line. Faced with additional aggravations and a very deterring option, most victims choose to remain on the ship, and the crime goes unreported.

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Last March, we reported on the arrest of Norwegian Cruise Lines’ Assistant Cruise Director, Senad Djedovic. Last week, U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday sentenced Djedovic to 9 years in federal prison.

The details of the alleged crimes were discussed in detail in our previous article: Norwegian Cruise Line’s crewmember arrested after having sex with 16-year-old female passenger

Facing mounting evidence, Djedovic plead guilty to possessing child pornography last Summer. Investigators discovered photos and videos depicting minors engaging in sexually explicit acts on Djedovic’s computers. Among them were approximately 20 photos sent by a 16-year-old female passenger whom Djedovic met on the Norwegian Star, a cruise ship Djedovic was assigned to as the Assistant Cruise Director.

Last May in Court, he admitted to having engaged in sexual acts with the minor girl while on the ship and to having exchanged explicit photos with her after the cruise. In his plea agreement, Djedovic declared that he knew the girl was 16-years-old and underage.

senad djedovic arrest.jpgUltimately, this crime and criminal would never have been discovered or prosecuted had Djedovic himself not bragged about it. Days after the cruise was over, Djedovic began talking about what he did to and in front of other crew-members, even showing to some of them the photos he had received from the minor passenger. One of the crew-members alerted the authorities and Djedovic was arrested shortly thereafter by the FBI.

Sex crimes aboard cruise ships are becoming more and more frequent and the prosecution of individuals who engage in sexual acts with minor passengers are prosecuted more and more often. This latest case is however very troubling because the criminal involved was a cruise employee. Djedovic was employed by Norwegian Cruise Lines from 2006 through 2012, until he was arrested.
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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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We reported last week that, Luiz Scavone, a 20-year-old Brazilian citizen, was arrested during a cruise on Allure of the Seas.

On Friday, Broward Circuit Judge Matthew Destry ordered 20-year-old Luiz Scavone to be held without bail Friday. Judge Destry motivated his decision by the belief that, if released on bail, Scavone could easily flee the country: “This is South Florida. Let’s face it: If you want to get on a boat and leave for South America, that can happen, with or without a passport. It’s not difficult to do.” Prosecutors argued in favor of Scavone to be held without bail because of his brazilian citizenship.

LuizScavoneHearing2.jpgBrazil has recently passed an amendment to its constitution making it illegal for a Brazilian citizen to be extradited from Brazil to a foreign country to face criminal charges. In other words, should Scavone leave the country and enter Brazil, The United States would never be able to prosecute the 20-year-old for his alleged criminal acts.

The victim, a 15-year-old teenage girl from Iowa, reported the sexual assault immediately to the cruise ship employees. She claims that another 15-year-old male lured her into a private cabin under false pretenses. Luiz Scavone was waiting for them in the cabin. The minor victim refused the two men’s sexual advances, and they proceeded with ripping her clothes off and took turn raping her.

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We have recently learned that the minor who lured the victim to a private cabin is Luiz Scavone’s 15-year-old brother. The alleged minor assailant who is being held as a juvenile faces criminal charges, though not as serious as his big brother. Luiz Scavone is charged with lewd and lascivious battery on a victim younger than 16 and older than 12. He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

You can read our reports here:

Cruise Ship Passenger Raped Aboard Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas

Alleged Cruise Ship Rapist Asks Judge to be Released

The attorney for the two alleged assailants, their uncle, has declared last week that the victim consented to the sexual encounter and that she was not forced to do anything. Luiz Scavone has pled not guilty.
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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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