The Sun Sentinel reports today that a Holland America Line (HAL) crew member sexually assaulted and then tried to throw a woman from her balcony.
Reporter Paula McMahon writes that the crime occurred aboard the HAL Nieuw Amsterdam.
The crew member is identified as Ketut Pujayasa, age 28. from Indonesia. He worked a stateroom attendant. He used a master key card to gain illegal entry into the victim's cabin.
The article describes that the crew member "appeared with no warning inside the passenger's darkened stateroom in the middle of the night, raped, beat, punched and strangled her and then tried to throw her from the balcony into the ocean in international waters somewhere off the coast of Roatan, Honduras."
The attack was horrific. The newspaper states that the crew member struck the woman several times including using a laptop computer and a curling iron, and that he "used a phone cord and curling iron cord to try to silence her screams and yells for help."
The attack "went back and forth from her bed to the stateroom balcony and back into the room."
The criminal charges against the HAL crew included an account of another passenger who saw the victim when she ran out of her cabin, dressed only in a tank top that was covered in blood:
"The passenger also noted that [the victim] had a curling iron wrapped and tangled around her neck and/or hair. He also described [her] as having black eyes and visible bruising around her neck and shoulders. [The woman], fearing death was imminent, asked the passenger to relay to her family how much she loved them."
The 31 year-old woman was flown by air ambulance to a hospital in South Florida because of her severe injuries.
The crew member was booked into the Broward County jail. He claims that the rape and assault were revenge because he felt slighted.
We previously mentioned the incident in an article on February 15th: Crew Member Assaults Passenger Aboard HAL's Nieuw Amsterdam During "Bare Necessities" Cruise.
Our View: We have attended six Congressional hearings before the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate about crimes against passengers, There have been several hearings where other women have described the danger of permitting male cabin attendants to have access to master key cards for the passengers' cabins. There is no good reason to permit male cabin attendants to be responsible for cabins where there are single women or children. Their key cards must be deactivated after working hours.
Photo: Ketut Pujayasa - Sun Sentinel / Broward County Sheriff's Office