Princess Cruises Captain Pleads Guilty to Sex Crime Against Girl on Princess Cruise Ship

A newspaper in the U.K. reports that a cruise ship captain pled guilty last October to sex crimes against a 14 year old girl.  The Spalding Guardian newspaper identifies the sex criminal as Captain Peter Russell, who entered the girl's cabin, apparently when her parents were not present, and performed an unidentified sex act on her.    

The U.K. newspaper indicates that after the cruise, Captain Russell contacted the girl on the internet and made obscene suggestions about the girl’s breasts, urged her to perform a sex act, and requested that the girl take a photograph of herself naked and send it to him.  According to the Captain Peter Russell - Princess Cruises - Child Predator - Sex Crime article, the disturbing circumstances were revealed to the child's parents when the girl broke down in front of her father and showed him the online conversations. 

Captain Russell subsequently admitted to the unlawful sexual activity with a child on the cruise ship and over the internet.

As is often the case, the newspaper did not identify either the cruise line or the cruise ship where the crime occurred.  The available information on the internet indicates that Master Russell captained a number of different cruise ships for Princess Cruises, including the Sun Princess and Sea Princess.  We asked Princess Cruises for information about when this occurred, what cruise ship was involved, how long Captain Russell worked for Princess and what, if anything, it did when the crime was committed.  No response so far.      

We have written many articles about the danger of passengers leaving their children alone in cabins on cruise ships, and trusting the cabin stewards and waiters.  Little did even we consider the depravity of a captain of a cruise ship targeting a little girl like this.  Consider this observation of Captain Russell during a Princess cruise from an unsuspecting passenger:

"After a day or so at sea we realised the ship's good-humoured tone was hugely influenced by Captain Peter Russell, a warm Englishman who spreads himself around the passengers like a favourite uncle at a wedding. The crew adore him. Forty-five years at sea, from tankers to cruise ships, Captain Russell exudes nautical wisdom and is also a bubbling fount of humorous stories  .  .  ."  

Yikes!

We have also written several blogs about the problem of sexual predators on Princess Cruises and the disturbing attitude that this cruise line, known ironically for the iconic "Love Boat" series, has toward sexual crimes against women and children like this.  In my opinion, Princess Cruises has one of the best deserved reputations for sex crimes on its cruise ships and engaging in cover-ups of such crimes.  Take a moment and read:

Unsafe on the "Love Boat?" - Sexual Assaults on Princess Cruise Ships

Sexual Assault Reported on P & O Cruises' Pacific Sun Cruise Ship     

Below is the unedited article from the Spalding Guardian:

SHIP CAPTAIN JAILED FOR TEEN SEX OFFENSES 

"A 'world class' cruise ship captain from Donington has been jailed for nine months for sex offences against a 14-year-old girl while she slept in her cabin.

Lincoln Crown Court heard on Thursday how Peter Russell (64), of Bicker Road, performed a sex act on a teenage girl while she was asleep in her bunk.

The victim thought she had dreamt the incident but it later came to light when Russell chatted to her on the internet on MSN Messenger and made obscene suggestions.

Matthew Lowe, prosecuting, said Russell made comments about the girl’s breasts and urged her to perform a sex act while chatting to him over the internet.

Princess Cruises - Sex Crimes - Child Molestation Russell went on to request that the girl take a photograph of herself naked and send it to him.

The incidents came to an end when the girl broke down in front of her dad and showed him the records of her online conversations she had with Russell.

Russell admitted two charges of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity together with sexual activity in the presence of a child and a further charge of sexual activity with a child.

Judge Sean Morris jailed Russell for nine months and placed him on the sex offenders’ register for ten years.

The judge told Russell: 'You are a sea captain of great distinction and have a glittering reputation.'

'You have brought that crashing down.'

Russell worked throughout the world as a captain of oil tankers for the Esso oil company and, following his retirement, went on to skipper cruise ships.

William Powell, defending, said: 'He stands before the court an utterly humiliated person.'

'His outstanding career is in complete ruins. He is a man who has disgraced himself to an appalling extent.'

'He has spent almost his entire career at sea.'

'He retired from Esso at the age of 50 with a reputation as a world class player.'

'He was up there with the elite. He was hugely regarded.'

Mr Powell said that Russell went on to skipper cruise ships but his job came to an abrupt end following his arrest.

He urged the judge to show mercy to Russell who was previously a man of 'good character.'

 

March 27, 2011 Update: Princess Cruises provided the following information to us:

"We only found out about this incident when contacted by the Linconshire Police in May 2010.  Nothing about this incident was ever reported to us.  We understand that this involved a family member, and that the incident occurred in 2008.  We tried to get more information from the Police but they would not give us much because they said it had nothing to do with Princess.  He worked for Princess at the most 4 years.  He signed off  from the Sea Princess at the end of his contract in Dec. 2009.  He did not work on board any of our ships again." 

 

Photo credits:

Captain Peter Russell - Dick Drayer / Picasa Photo

Princess Cruise Ship  - TravelServer

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Comments (16) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Sean - March 28, 2011 11:41 AM

You do an amazing job with the information you provide. I like to check sources because of exactly your recent post about Cruise Bruise. I never liked that website and stopped reading it along time ago.
Thank you for your research. I am looking for more information about the dissappearance of the Disney cruise councelor.

slade - March 28, 2011 6:05 PM

Great information, I am looking to book a cruise soon and I will not be using this service! Several accusations have been made against this company and they should be exposed. Thanks for the info!

A Co-worker of Captain Russell - April 8, 2011 12:11 AM

I worked onboard ships with Captain Russell in 2008 and 2009 and I am shocked to read this. In my entire career at sea, I have worked with MANY CAPTAINS, of all different walks of life. Captain Russell was in my view an upstanding human being. He was compassionate to employee situations and excellent with the passengers. He didnt have the "GOD" complex that Many Captain's do, and was approachable and available for anyone. He was a happily married man, who's wife used to travel with him frequently onboard and one of the highlights of his career was when he officiated the marriage ceremony onboard for his son and daughter-in-law in 2008. He supported the crew, ensured the quality of life onboard was good for them, and genuinely took care of people. I am SHOCKED to read this about him, as I worked so closely with him on both the Sun and Sea Princess....and can honestly say that he was an amazing Captain....no one could quite park a ship like he could. I always looked forward to working on a ship with him, though I no longer work for the company.

Princess Cruises does have a policy against this kind of conduct, and it is unfortunate that a Captain broke this cardinal rule, as the Captain is always the deciding force in when to disembark a guest, or fire an employee for inappropriate conduct. The company has a policy in place and takes infractions of it very seriously. If this had taken place on the Sea Princess (which was his reported last ship) I worked with him during his last voyage. I believe his wife was also onboard for the majority of the tour of duty...which is even more surprising. She is the one I feel the worst for, as she was another amazing individual that many of the crew thought of as a maternal figure. I only hope that this was an isolated incident and that Captain Russell and his family can pull through this. My thoughts are also with the victim that she can do the same...the entire event is unfortunate and I could NEVER imagine this of Captain Russell.

mattspurs - April 14, 2011 10:59 AM

what a dirty perv this guy is!...let's hope he gets some attention from Mr Big in the showers - that'll teach him. If I was the judge i'd have added.."maybe all the years at sea fuddled your depraved old wrinkly brain ..at least we got you. You're a total no mark..I'm minded to throw away the key..the only boat you'll be sailing again will be in your scummy bath!"

dennis knox - May 10, 2011 3:20 PM

My wife and I have cruised on three different cruise lines. But we have taken our last six on the Princess because it is head and shoulders above the other two. Sexual assualt accusations against crew members have occured on all the cruise lines over the years.(which the blogger failed to shed a light on) Some real, some for monatary gain. You can't bruise the reputation of an outstanding line because of something that one low life takes part in.

Jim Walker - May 11, 2011 9:48 AM

Dennis:

Our blog sheds light routinely on sexual assaults of women and children, on cruise ships including Princess and others.

Please cite to me one case where one person has alleged sexual assault on a cruise for "monetary gain."

Jim Walker

Igor - February 24, 2012 4:15 PM

I can't believe it!!! I've done few contracts with this captain, it is one of the best masters ever and not only master but a person. Always smiling, greeting all the crew and extremely polite!!! It is quite doubtfull that this level of a man will go for such a stupid act.!!! Knowing how those sexual harassment cases are falsificated by some nasty passengers who want to get money from a company or a freaking free cruise and the fact the cruise company will never cover such a scandal I could assume that this case is a moneymaking fake!!!
AND suggesting people not leave their children alone meaning that princess cruises crew are sexually addicted is a direct insult to all workers. Don't you think it is a paranoia ?!!
Regards Igor. Former princess cruises crew.
Be objective.

Karina - February 24, 2012 7:58 PM

How did the capitan get the girl email address?!
Besides that I do not think this just happen in Princess Cruises, it is very
unfair saying that this just happens in Princess Cruises.

I give my point of view as a ex-crew member of Princess Cruises.

PRINCESS CREWMEMBER - February 24, 2012 8:21 PM

THIS IS NOT FIRST TIME WHEN SOMETHING LIKE THAT HAPPENING ON PRINCESS CRUISES.PERSONALLY I WAS SEXUAL HARASSED BY THE MAITRE'D NOT ONLY ME SOME OTHER GIRLS AS WELL.IT DOESEN'T MATTER HOW MUCH I COMPLAINED TO ALL THE HIGHER POSITIONS ON BOARD (MOST OF THEM ITALIANS LIKE HIM) THEY TRIED TO FIRE ME AND THEY TRY TO MAKE ME SHUT UP....FEW YEARS LATER HE WAS FIRED BECAUSE HE SEXUAL HARASSED AN US SINGER AND PRINCESS GOT SCARED OF A TRIAL....I QUIT PRINCESS FEW MONTHS AGO AFTER 12 YEARS WORKING FOR THEM BUT BE SURE THAT ON PRINCESS YOU ARE NEVER SAFE IT DOESEN'T MATTER IF YOU ARE CREW OR PASSENGER.

Myra - March 8, 2012 2:41 PM

Hy,i think is to much to talk about waiters and cabin stewards,that you do not trust them,because of one seek old guy!Maybe this is happening because Princess Cruises is one of the cruise ships company that they are not fighting for hiring couples,actually they do not care about couples at all,i know the story of few unhappy crew couples fighting with them so they can work together on the same ship,but they do not help them to have a partner on board,imagine how much frustration and after that many sexual problems!Just think about this!

Nini - April 11, 2012 5:35 PM

In fact I was so excited to cruise with my man soon for our honeymoon, but after being through the endless list of terrorising activities that apparently takes place on board including murder, missing persons, sexual assaults, robberies, norovirus virus, etc etc, I lost every interest in cruising =(
I mean not even ONE single cruise line is not listed!! EVEN Disney is there!!!
WHAT A SHAME!!!
Anyhow, 10x a lot for your continuous efforts which we truly appreciate,, keep in lighting us, we are in REAL need for such information in today's deceiving world.
"I prefer an ugly TRUTH to a pretty LIE"
Be blessed,

basse - August 4, 2013 5:39 AM

I just want to say that whoever wrote this article should maybe invastigate on other cruise lines before destroying Princess cruise name... its the same everywhere, some get caught, others not... and for those who dont want to cruise anymore because "things happen on ships", keep in mind that ships are made of human, the same as on land with same flaws...

sandra fields - August 4, 2013 3:47 PM

i am sorry for the victim in this situation and hopes that she and her family can heal from this being done to her.

having said i have worked on a cruise line for 9yrs and hearing stories from employees who have changed companies over the years.....DEAR BLOGGER... CHECK YOUR FACTS because it happens on most if not all cruise lines who are currently operational. No need to point a finger at Princess Cruise alone....instead a light on a problem that occurs through out the cruise industry.

persecute the offender as well as the industry.

DO YOUR HOMEWORK !

Jim Walker - August 4, 2013 3:59 PM

Ms. Fields:

I have written extensively about the sexual assault of passengers, including children, throughout the cruise industry. Sexual assault is indeed a problem throughout the cruise lines and is not limited to Princess Cruises. Look at the topics listed in the left column "Rape," "Sexual Assault" and "Sexual Assault of Children" and you can read dozens and dozens of articles about the problem. You'll see articles about Carnival, Celebrity, Costa, Cunard, Disney, Holland America, MSC, Norwegian, P&O Cruises, and Royal Caribbean.

Jim Walker

jesus S palomino - August 4, 2013 10:03 PM

I worked on the (Love Boat) back in 1986 we were doing the Mexican riviera and the first thing that shock me was that all the Mexican crew were studs for the gay crew mostly British
since the wages were so low ( 300) a month the guys had to prostitute themselves,and they even had a commission set up, $20 for bj, and $50.for the whole thing I was lucky enough to get a lady. but everybody knows that the gays Paradise is the cruise ships they were also dumping the bags of trash on the ocean in the coast of Baja.

Princess Crew member - August 15, 2013 6:02 AM

I also know of crew members being sexually harrassed by Maitre'd's as well, they do it so that the girls can get better shifts and jobs, the management does nothing about it,

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