The Royal Gazette in Bermuda reports that a judge in Bermuda dismissed the sexual assault charges leveled against a "41-year-old Filipino national" by a "26-year-old Filipino woman" who worked with him on a Bermuda registered cruise ship.
Readers will recall that in a previous article two weeks ago, we reported that Filipino crew member Johnwill Reyes Abdon allegedly assaulted a younger crew member aboard the Caribbean Princess (photo), a Bermuda-registered vessel, on December 28, 2010. We were critical of the Royal Gazette for not publishing the name of the cruise line or cruise ship where the incident allegedly took place or identifying the name of the crew member who committed the alleged crime. The newspaper responded by stating that Bermuda law reportedly prohibits the disclosure of a defendant's name in a rape trial, and then argued that the disclosure of the name of the cruise line or cruise ship would somehow lead to the disclosure of the name of the defendant. (The ironic thing is that we learned the name of the crew member because another newspaper in Bermuda, the Bermuda Sun, published the crew member's name and then retracted it after we published our article.)
There is no such prohibition under U.S. law in naming rape suspects, and it serves no public purpose to hide the names of corporations, vessels or maritime employers in cases like this. It should be noted that Princess Cruises flies the flag-of-convenience of Bermuda and is incorporated in Bermuda to avoid U.S. taxes.
The newspaper in Bermuda reports that Senior Magistrate Archibald Warner explained his decision to dismiss the charges by pointing out that the alleged victim did not make an allegation of sexual assault until after realizing that she was pregnant. According to the newspaper, the judge also said: “In all the circumstances, I am not satisfied that the complainant did not consent, and that the defendant did not have an honest and reasonable belief that it was consensual.” (I have read this double-negative sentence several times and am not sure what this means).
We have written about rapes and sexual alleged assaults on Princess Cruises before: Unsafe on the "Love Boat?" - Sexual Assaults on Princess Cruise Ships.
The last sex assault trial against a Princess crew member occurred in Los Angeles Federal Court in November 2009. A U.S. jury acquitted a headwaiter, Jorge Manuel Teixeira (from Portugal), of sexually assaulting a U.S. passenger during a cruise last March between Fort Lauderdale and Los Angeles, while the ship was at sea off the coast of Mexico.
The last article we published regarding sexual criminal conduct on the Princess fleet of ships involved the captain of a Princess cruise ship who admitted to molesting a child.
Photo credit: courtesy of wirralwater's Flickr page (via Wikimedia Commons)