A frequent topic on Cruise Law News is the danger of sexual assault on cruise ships. One of the problems we write about frequently is that the cruise lines do not conduct adequate background checks on their employees. The cruise lines deny this, of course, and claim that they subject their crew members to rigorous pre-employment screening.
Well, Carnival has a lot of explaining to do considering an article published today in the Oakland Tribune entitled "Man Sought Longest on Fremont's "Most Wanted" List Finally Caught."
It turns out that a rape suspect on the "Most Wanted" list of the city of Fremont, California was arrested last week in Mexico aboard a Carnival cruise ship where he worked as the manager of the onboard hair salon. Kaloyan Kaloyanov (photo left), age 36, was a former star athlete from Bulgaria who was wanted by the police for raping a 15 year old child who he coached in gymnastics.
The article indicates that the former international gymnastics star was placed on Fremont's Most Wanted list in 2002 after he abandoned his wife and daughter and fled the country after the girl informed police that Kaloyanov sexually assaulted her.
The article indicates that Kaloyanov competed in the 1997 and 1998 Aerobic Gymnastics World Championships, and he also participated in several events with his wife (photo below).
The article also indicates that the police interviewed Kaloyanov in 2002, and he admitted to "having sex" with the girl. It is less than clear why the police did not arrest him at that time. After the interview, Kaloyanov fled and has been on the run for eight years.
The police finally caught up with him when they Googled his name and they found photographs of him in front of a cruise ship. The police then determined that Kaloyanov had worked for Carnival Cruise Lines for four years, as a fitness instructor and the manager of a hair salon on a Carnival ship.
Congratulations to the police in Fremont for arresting the bad guy.
Its a shame that Carnival's "rigorous" pre-employment screening does not even include Googling the applicant's name. The cruise line would have learned that Kaloyanov's photograph is posted on an on line "Most Wanted" criminal database.
Carnival has issued a statement indicating that Kaloyanov, although a Carnival crew member, was actually hired by Steiner which operates the spa on the cruise ship. Carnival also stated that Kaloyanov worked with other cruise lines before ending up on a Carnival cruise ship.
Kaloyanov was working on the Carnival Spendour which was sailing from Long Beach, Caifornia.
This means that the U.S. Customs and Immigration officials in California, who are suppose to check the crew and passenger roster everytime a ship enters a U.S. port, failed to realize that Kaloyanov was a criminal suspect - even though he was on a "Most Wanted" database of a city in California.
August 20, 2010 Update:
According to the Oakland Tribune, Kaloyanov was scheduled to appear before an Alameda County judge today to possibly enter a plea and try to persuade a judge to reduce his bail from $500,000, the amount at which it was set earlier this week when he was formally arraigned on two counts of having sex with a minor.
Story credit: Oakland Tribune / Ben Aguirre Jr. twitter.com/benaguirrejr
Photo one: Fremont "Most Wanted" page
Photo two: San Fransisco Chronicle / Kurt Rogers "Gym-dandies / Sportaerobics champions put Fremont on the map"