Case Study: Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. - Avoiding U.S. Taxes, Labor Laws, Environmental Regulations & Criminal Accountability

Royal Caribbean Cruises - A Liberian CoporationToday I read an interesting case analysis from the Journal of Business Case Studies (May/June 2012), which studied the business model of the second largest cruise company in the world, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd.   

The article is entitled "Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.: Innovation At A Cost?" (click on the pdf link)

The article focuses on Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. which was formed in 1997 when Royal Caribbean Cruise Line (founded in 1968) and Celebrity Cruises (founded in 1988) merged together. 

The article explains that the foundation of Royal Caribbean is the avoidance of U.S. taxes and regulation. It accomplishes this by:

  • Incorporating in a foreign country (Liberia, Africa), and
  • Registering its cruise ships in weak, poor and disorganized foreign countries (mostly Liberia and the Bahamas).  

By registering its corporation and ship overseas, it avoids U.S. taxes, labor and environmental laws, and criminal culpability.  U.S. executives are offered millions in bonuses while the cruise line itself pays no U.S. taxes, which is the key to its profitability. The Journal writes that Miami based cruise lines, like Royal Caribbean:

" . . .  take advantage of maritime laws to avoid paying U.S. taxes, gain immunity from American labor laws, avoid U.S. courts in workplace disputes, and fend off new environmental regulations, government records and industry reports show. They have done this by incorporating in Central America and Africa and registering their ships under the flags of foreign nations . . ." 

Although this theoretically gives tiny countries regulatory power over one of some of Florida's Flag of Convenience - Royal Caribbean Cruiseslargest corporations, the flag states " . . . are not only reluctant to discipline major contributors to their economies, but also do not have the resources to enforce regulations or even punish polluters."

Flying flags of convenience has historically been used to conceal criminal activities, and is now "used primarily for economic reasons and sanctuary from restrictive regulatory environments."

Tonight in England a documentary will air about the exploitation of crew members on the Eclipse cruise ship which is operated by Royal Caribbean's sister company, Celebrity Cruises, out of Southampton England.  Crew members work 12 hours a day (sometimes more), every day, every week for the length of their 6 - 8 month contracts with no time off. When injured, the crew members  are often dumped back in their home countries and paid only $12 a day and denied competent medical treatment.

You can trace the root cause of this abuse back to the earliest days of Royal Caribbean in the late 1960's when the cruise line decided to skirt U.S. laws by incorporating in the lawless country of Liberia.       

 

Don't miss:

"Celebrity Cruises Crew Member Controversy Brewing in Britain"

"Profits Over People: Carnival's Exploitation of Crew Members is Standard Industry Practice"

"Royal Caribbean Executives Get Richer While Crew Members Get Poorer"

 

Credit: Flags of convenience article - "Flags at Sea . . . "

Leader of Carnival Cruise Gang Rape Indicted

A federal grand jury indicted a Florida man arrested for participating in and encouraging the gang rape of a 15 year old girl on a Carnival cruise ship last month. The grand jury indicted Casey Dickerson on sexual abuse charges Wednesday for engaging in the rape of a girl in a cabin on the Carnival Sensation cruise ship.

The victim told the FBI that she and a friend went to Dickerson's cabin with him and four other boys. She said that Dickerson and the boys held her down and took turns raping her. 

Dickerson denies the charges but said he was drunk and didn't know when anything got "sexual." 

This is a case we have blogged about before here and here and here.  

The case demonstrates the danger of free flowing cruise booze and the danger to minors of sexual assault on cruise ships.

The good thing, if there is such a thing, about this case is that the FBI actually made an arrest and there will be a federal prosecution - which is rare.

Casey Dickerson - Carnival Sensation Cruise Ship Gang Rape

Photo credit: FanDaily

15 Year Old Girl Alleges Gang Rape on Carnival Sensation

 A local news station in central Florida is reporting that a 15 year old cruise passenger alleges that she was gang raped by other passengers while cruising aboard the Carnival Sensation cruise ship.

WFTV reports that one of their news reporters interviewed a man who was arrested for allegedly raping a a 15-year-old girl during a Carnival cruise. The news station reports that "investigators said the girl was raped on the Carnival Sensation cruise ship by the man who then encouraged other attackers to do the same."

The Orlando Sentinel reports that the teenage victim stated  that she and another friend, also 15, went to 31 year old Casey Dickerson's cabin with him and four other boys.

The newspaper states that once in the cabin, the girl said, Dickerson and the boys held her down and took turns having sex with her. 

At the same time, the victim's teenage friend was being held in the bathroom by one of the boys.

As Dickerson and the others sexually assaulted the victim, they told each other to "switch," so that they would change positions.

The girl said someone knocked on the door while she was being attacked and one of the boys answered it.

The girl said she was on the floor of the cabin, wearing only a bra, and after the person who knocked at the door left, Dickerson and the boys continued their sexual attacks, the complaint says.

The WFTV reporter, Jeff Deal, talked with the suspect, Dickerson, in jail. Dickerson denied raping anyone.

Carnival Cruise  Rape Allegation"According to investigators, a group of underage people asked Dickerson to buy them alcohol.

'You admit you bought alcohol for them?' Deal asked.

'I admit I bought alcohol,' said Dickerson.

Dickerson had access to two rooms because his wife had complained about noise early on in the cruise. Carnival gave them keys to a second room.

Investigators said the group started partying in the first room and that's where the 15-year-old claims she was essentially gang-raped.

Investigators said the girl first claims Dickerson raped her and then two underage boys raped her too.

Investigators said the boys said Dickerson told them to do it.

During the interview, Dickerson claimed he didn't know the age of the young people . . and when we pressed him on the rape allegations he suddenly decided to end the interview." 

 

Photo credit: WFTV

Court Rejects Carnival's Attempt to Dismiss Lawsuit Filed on Behalf of Sexually Assaulted Girl

Yesterday a federal judge in Miami rejected a motion filed by Carnival Corporation seeking to dismiss a lawsuit filed on behalf of young girl who was sexually assaulted on a Carnival cruise ship.   

The case involved a nine year old girl who was raped on Carnival's Destiny cruise ship. The case is a reminder that sexual assaults against children occur during cruises, even when the children are entrusted to youth counselors on cruise ships. The case also shows how far cruise lines like Carnival will go to avoid legal responsibility when crimes occur during cruises.

The allegations against Carnival in this case were described as follows:

At the age of nine, the child took a cruise aboard Carnival’s Destiny cruise ship. She was accompanied on this cruise by several family members. During the cruise, and at a Carnival employee’s encouragement, the child's father signed her into a shipboard children’s program (“Camp Carnival”). The father told Camp Carnival personnel that his daughter was to stay with them until he returned for her. However, when the little girl asked for permission from the Camp Carnival staff member to attend a teen party with her cousin and friends, the staff member permitted her to go. After leaving Camp Carnival, the girl was physically and sexually assaulted.

The lawsuit alleges negligence on Carnival’s part in the false advertising of Camp Carnival, the failure to implement appropriate safety precautions, and the refusal to warn the child's parents of the numerous sexual assaults of passengers, including minors, during cruises.

The mother hired a lawyer in Florida and filed a lawsuit within three years of the rape.

Under federal maritime law, lawsuits involving minors must be filed within three years after the injury, or within one year from the date a legal representative is appointed for the minor (whichever date is shorter). 

Even though the lawsuit was timely filed both within three years of the rape and within one year since the mother was appointed as the child's legal guardian, Carnival moved to dismiss the case as "untimely." Carnival made a technical argument that the one year limitations period began to run when the mother learned of the crime or, alternatively, within one year after the mother retained a lawyer and the attorney sent a claim letter to Carnival. 

The Court rejected Carnival's argument and permitted the case to continue.

The child is represented by David Brill who is a skilled trial lawyer who represents crew members and passengers against cruise lines.

The motion to dismiss the child's case was filed by defense lawyer Lauren DeFabio of the Mase, Lara law firm.

 

Photo credit:  Maxum255 / Wikipedia

Former NCL Assistant Cruise Director Pleads Guilty to Child Porn

The Tampa Bay Times reports that yesterday a former Norwegian Cruise Lines crew member formally pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography.  Earlier this month, the crew member agreed to make this plea. 

The case involves former NCL Assistant Cruise Director Senad Djedovic, age 29, from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Djedovic engaged in sexual relations with a 16 year old girl during a cruise last January. Later, Djedovic solicited naked images from the minor and reportedly received more than 20 pornographic images. 

Senad Djedovic - NCL Pervert - Child PornThe article points out that Djedovic used a NCL company computer to correspond with the teen and receive the images. 

Cruise Law News reported on the case back in February in our article "FBI Arrests NCL Assistant Cruise Director for Engaging in Sex With 16 Year Old Passenger & Child Pornography."

We mentioned that under a sub-folder entitled "scandals" there were several videos depicting sexual acts with 12 to 15 year old girls, which were downloaded from the internet. The Department of Justice charged Djedovic with sexual abuse of a minor and possessing materials involving the sexual exploitation of minors.

Djedovic worked for Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) for six years for a number of different NCL cruise ships.

Light Sentence for Cunard Child Predator

A judge in the U.K. has sentenced a notorious child predator who filmed himself sexually abusing children on Cunard cruise ships to jail for four years.

Cunard child supervisor Paul Trotter, age 34, worked as a "play zone supervisor" on the Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary II cruise ships where he sexually abused children. 

Also referred to as a cruise line "au pair," Potter was arrested only after the police in England caught him only while investigating child pornography over the internet. Newspapers in the U.K. are reporting that the police discovered "almost 1,000 indecent images of children and the investigation uncovered abuse stretching back over a decade and spanning the globe."

The prosecuting attorney told the court that it was "clear that some films had been shot covertly on the cruise liners where he had worked."

Paul Trotter - Cunard Child Predator - Cruise ShipTrotter, formerly of Salisbury, but now living in Pontefract, Yorkshire, pleaded guilty to 13 counts of sexual assault of a child, five of taking, five making and one possession of indecent images of children.

According to the Salisbury Journal,  the sentencing judge told Trotter: “It is most disturbing to see you have been employed with children up to now; firstly as an au pair but then working with Cunard shipping line on their cruise ships looking after the young children of passengers . . . When the parents dropped their children off you led them to believe they would be in safe hands and nothing remotely like this would happen to them. Whilst abusing them you filmed them, and filmed them for your own sexual gratification.”

We have written several articles about Trotter and Cunard's handling of the matter.

There is some new information in the recent newspaper coverage:

  • Trotter's victims were as young as seven years (7) old.  This may come to some comfort to parents of toddlers, although it is less than clear whether the police have ruled out that Trotter abused younger victims.
  • Trotter liked to film himself spanking the boys on their bare bottoms or over their clothes, and then watch the video in his cabin for his sexual gratification.
  • Trotter possessed 900 - 1,000 images of children, ranging in seriousness from level 1 to level 5 (this must be scale of pornography in the U.K.) 
  • Trotter intended to open up a nursery after leaving Cunard.

Unfortunately, this is a story that the U.S. media has largely ignored even though the Cunard cruise ships called on U.S. ports such as New York and South Florida and sailed with American families. Cunard has released no information to the U.S. public.  You can read our thoughts here:

Cruise Ship "Prey Zones" - U.S. Media Ignores Widespread Sexual Abuse Of Children On Cunard Cruise Ships 

Although the judge found that Trotter had a "deep obsession" with little boys and presented a danger to the public, he demonstrated leniency in his sentence. An order of four years in jail for 13 admitted victims? What a joke.  One English family member whose child was victimized stated:

“We are extremely disappointed in the sentence given to Paul Trotter. We do not believe this sentence is a strong enough deterrent to paedophiles . This is a man who admitted to police that he was aware of his predilection for abusing young boys. We hope that all organisations who provide care for children will use this experience to take a fresh look at their own policies, tighten up procedure and consider reviewing them with external experts to ensure the very best safeguarding of children. That’s about the only positive that may come out of this nightmare."

Another newspaper quoted the family saying: "Long after this calculating and evil man leaves prison, we face the prospect of our children coming to understand fully what happened to them and the possible long-term impact of the abuse."

Cruise Ship Perverts, Rapists & Child Predators - Part I

I started this blog only two and one-half years ago.  I have written about several dozen rapists and child predators, as well as a lot of pedophile crew members and cruise passengers who are arrested for child pornography.  One motto of Cruise Law News is "everything the cruise lines don't want you to know, like this: 

Paul Trotter - Cunard Cruise Ship Child Predator.Paul Trotter, age 34, is the most prolific cruise child predator known to the public so far.  He worked for Cunard for seven years as a child supervisor aboard the Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth.  He would take the children to areas not covered by surveillance cameras and physically and sexually abuse them.  A real sicko, he would film himself sexually molesting the children.  This was ultimately what got him caught. Someone tipped the police off in the U.K. where he lived.  A police search of his computer revealed not only child pornography but his own videos of his crimes against the kids he was entrusted with on cruises.   One newspaper reported that he supervised the "play zone" on 295 cruises over his seven years with Cunard.  He admitted to abusing thirteen child probably because he was caught with images of 13 victims, is my suspicion.  295 cruises and several thousand children. A play zone of his own with no one supervising him while he abused the customer's kids.  A pedophile's dream.  How many more victims are there?  Read more here about Trotter.       

Cruise Ship Child Perverts - Cunard - Pier 21Edward Brillantes Mangubat, age 40, (no photo) is another pedophile who worked for Cunard. He was arrested in Halifax when Canadian Border officer searched his laptop computer and found sexually explicit video featuring children. Mangubat worked as a stagehand on Cunard's cruise ship Queen Mary 2.  He worked on cruise ships for seven years.  Did he know Trotter and exchange porno tapes? Border agents went to Mangubat’s cabin and discovered that his laptop contained several videos showing “what can only be described as sexual assault of children,” including children under 12.”  He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 120 days in jail.

Canada vigorously enforces its laws against child pornography. This is the fourth case we know where Canadian Border agents arrested a crew member with child pornography from a cruise ship. Most of the crew members are arrested at Pier 21 in Halifax (photo, left).  Canada has also arrested a Carnival crew member from the Carnival Glory, a Costa crew member from the Costa Atlantica, and and a NCL crew member from the Norwegian Jewel - all for child pornography in their computers on cruise ships.  

Amado Nicholas Hernandez - Celebrity Cruises - Child PornographyAmado Nicholas Hernandez, age 31, is a pedophile employed by Celebrity Cruises as an audiovisual manager and provided onboard guest-entertainment services.  

Hernandez was arrested after police determined that his computer contained 450 photographs and about 250 video files of child pornography portraying a total of 44 different victims. The criminal complaint filed against Hernandez alleged that upcoming cruises included several stops in Mexico. Hernandez, in documented online chats, reportedly had bragged that he had bought young boys for sex in Mexico and “almost offed one,” the criminal complaint alleges. 

The issue of child predators and crew members with child pornography on cruise ships is something we have written about frequently.  Read more here.  

Dylan Cole Bloodsworth - Carnival Cruise - Sexual AsaultDylan Cole Bloodsworth, age 19, of Gautier Mississippi, sexually assaulted a 13 year old girl during a cruise aboard the Carnival Elation cruise ship. The minor met Bloodsworth on near the elevators onboard the cruise ship and agreed to meet him on the top deck after dinner. She later went with Bloodsworth to get a jacket from his cabin, where the sexual abuse occurred. Bloodsworth had been arrested a month before the cruise for allegedly threatening to harm a 13 year old girl and her family unless she agreed to have sex with him. Usually criminal suspects are not permitted to leave the jurisdiction when on bail, especially to go on a cruise ship with many minors. The prosecutor told the judge that Bloodsworth is ". . . a serial rapist. He preys on underage girls.” He was sentenced to ten years in jail. 

Cases like this should be a reminder to parents that cruise lines do not conduct background checks on passengers who sail on cruise ships. The teenager in the cabin next to your family could be out on bail for abusing children ashore. Read more here

Check back for Cruise Ship Perverts, Rapists & Child Predators - Part II.

Cruise Child Predator - Did Paul Trotter Molest More Than 13 Children on Cunard Cruise Ships?

The Sun newspaper in London contains some new and troubling information about who it is describing as the the "vile" kids’ activity supervisor on Cunard luxury cruise liners. 

Prior newspaper accounts have avoided stating exactly when Trotter began working for Cunard and when he ended his employment.  It would be a simple matter for Cunard to explain his exact dates of employment and include information explaining when he worked on Cunard's three cruise ships, the Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria.  Such information may provide some peace of mind for concerned parents.

But instead there is no such information publicly available.

The Sun's article Cruise Ship Pervert’s Sex Assaults on Kids indicates that Trotter worked on Cunard cruise ships for seven (7) years and supervised children over the course of two hundred and ninety-five (295) cruises. Prior accounts suggest he worked for 4 to 5 years. 

It further states that he admitted to 24 sexual offenses involving "involving victims aged between seven and 13 — mostly boys."  He filmed himself abusing the child and was also caught with child pornography he down loaded from the internet.  The specific offenses are as follows: 

Cunard Child Supervisor - Paul TrotterHe admitted 12 counts of sexual assaulting a child under the age of 13, one count of sexual activity with a child under the age of 13, five counts of taking indecent images of a child, five of making indecent images of a child and one of possessing indecent images of a child.

Many families who cruised with Cunard are understandably concerned about whether Trotter abused other children. One person who left a comment on the Sun article:

"My son was in the care of this sick pervert on several occasions, NSPCC refered my complaint back to Cunard and violated confidentiality. I want to find out what were the ages of victims, I suspect toddlers. Trust me, there may be hundreds of victims, he was the supervisor of childrens programs on all 3 Cunard ships."  

Read our other articles about Mr. Trotter here

Frommer's Names Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria "Best Cruise Ships For Kids," Even Though 13 Kids Were Sexually Abused on Cunard Ships

Today, Frommer's travel website published an article "Best Cruise Ships For Kids."

When I saw the title, I thought to myself: oh no, not Frommer's.  The Frommer's people didn't include any of the Cunard cruise ships on its "best for kids" list did it? I prayed not.  I held my breath and clicked on the article - Cunard's Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria - two of the "best cruise ships for kids."  

Jesus Christ.

There are times I become so angry at the way that cruise lines and travel writers work that I want to rip my monitor from the computer and smash it against the wall.

For the past three months I have been writing about the disturbing case case of a Cunard youth supervisor, Paul Trotter, who was investigated in January and arrested in February of this year for the Cunard Cruise Ship Child Sexual Predator sexual abuse of a child on a Cunard cruise ship.  I was the first one in the U.S. to write about it.  You can read the articles here and here.

Where there is smoke, there is fire.  

Where there is an arrest of a sexual predator for victimizing a child, there are at least a dozen victims.  

I asked in a follow-up article two months ago how many other children did the Cunard youth counselor sexually molest?  After all he worked on several Cunard cruise ships for 4 to 5 years. Many thousand of little kids were dropped of by their unsuspecting parents in the "play zone" managed by "certified" children specialists like Trotter. 

Since then I have corresponded back and forth with the English press.  Our firm has represented around 80 children and women sexually assaulted on cruise ships, including several women who have testified before our U.S. Congress.  "Do you represent other victims of Trotter?" the British press inquired. "What do you know about how many children were involved? I responded. There was little known about the extent of the harm to children on either side of the Atlantic.

The police officers in the U.K investigating the issue kept mum, but clearly they were onto something big.

Last week we learned that that the investigating police officers were going to release a statement. The truth emerged: Trotter molested at least 13 boys. To boot, the sick pervert took video of himself abusing some of the children, the police stated.

I immediately blogged about the serial Cunard child predator.  I posted my article on facebook, tweeted about it to my 9,000 Twitter followers, emailed the blog to 1,000 subscribers and sent it out on the RSS feed.  For the past week, I have written additional articles about the Cunard predator who worked on Cunard's Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria cruise ships.

Cunard Queen Mary Play ZoneThe police said that Trotter molested the children when he was assigned to the children's "play zone" on the ships.

The same kid friendly "play zone" from the Queen Mary 2 that Frommer's depicted in its article

It might as well be called a "prey zone" if truth be known.

Most U.S. travel writers and supposedly reputable newspapers looked the other way. Only a couple of cruise bloggers touched the story.  Why upset their cruise sales or anger the cruise line advertisers, especially with so much bad cruise news these days? 

There are many travel writers and journalists who are unabashed shills for the cruise industry, the Miami Herald being at the top of the list.  (The Miami Herald has not written about the Cunard child sex crimes even though Cunard is owned by Miami-based Carnival.)

But Frommer's is not in that bunch of unethical vagabonds and cruise cheerleaders.  Arthur Frommer was one of the few travel writers who congratulated the International Victims Organization for its five year struggle against the cruise industry to obtain the passage of the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act which President Obama signed into law to protect cruise passengers.  Arthur Frommer is a man of integrity, known for his straight moral compass. He is certainly not the cruise lines' bitch.

So how did Frommer's pick two Cunard cruise ships where unspeakable crimes against children occurred?  The best cruise ships for kids?  Why not just pour salt into the wounds of the parents grieving the loss of their children's innocence? Why did Frommer's include a photograph of the crime scene where Trotter abused the little innocent victims, for Christ's sake?

I'm don't know.  Perhaps someone at Frommer's can explain?   

 

Photo credit: QM 2 "Play Zone" - Cunard via Frommer's    

Cruise Ship "Prey Zones" - U.S. Media Ignores Widespread Sexual Abuse Of Children On Cunard Cruise Ships

Yesterday, we reported on the case of Cunard cruise youth supervisor Paul Trotter who was arrested in February after police in England were tipped off that his home computer contained indecent images of children. When the police seized his computer, they realized that Trotter had filmed himself sexually abusing the children on the cruise ships.

We reported on the story after reading a police statement which indicated that the abuse occurred in and/or around the children's "play zone area."  Many cruises lines have lax policies and procedures and permit adult crew members to be alone with children and take them into the bathrooms in the children's clubs.

Paul Trotter - Cunard - Sexual Abuse of Children The police had the difficult task of identifying the victims, and then faced the unpleasant task of informing the parents that their children were molested by the youth counselor whom they entrusted with their children's safety during a family cruise.  

I posted an article about this disgusting set of circumstances early yesterday morning. There were already two articles posted in England.  I anticipated that the U.S. press would soon follow.  After all, Cunard is owned by Miami-based Carnival and many thousands of U.S. families have sailed aboard Cunard's Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria cruise ships.

The police found evidence that Trotter abused at least 13 children.  But he worked for Cunard for many years, some articles say 4 years others say 5 years.  Although one victim is too many and 13 victims is a lot, do you think that is all of the victims?  Trotter enjoyed the luxury of waiting for his victims in the "play zone" over the course of hundreds and hundreds of cruises where unsuspecting families dropped their kids off to be watched by him.  

We know from the Penn State-Jerry Sandusky case and the failures of the Catholic Church for decades, that sexual predators who target kids cannot be cured. They will abuse children for decades.  First there's one victim, then 2 or 3, then a dozen, and then the public comes to the uneasy realization that there must be many more but there will never be a definitive list. Victims, particularly child victims, are afraid to tell their parents what happened and try to suppress the trauma out of shame or confusion.  

Were U.S. children victimized by Trotter in the children's "play zones" of the three Cunard ships?  Only the most naive person would think not.  

Is Trotter the only child predator who worked for Cunard or Carnival?  Only the most naive person would think so. 

The "play zones" were Trotter's "prey zones" where he would target his victim, groom the child, and then engage in his depravity while videotaping the crime - probably in a bathroom.      

At the end of the day yesterday, there were over a hundred articles about Mr. Trotter all showing his creepy looking mug shot. All of the articles were in the U.K. and in other European countries.

Not a single U.S. newspaper or television / cable news covered the shocking news.  Only this blog, Cruise Law News.

I emailed the articles to news reporters, tweeted about the crimes and challenged the local newspaper and bloggers who cover cruise news to address the issue. Everyone remained silent.  Their journalistic ethics of honestly reporting on an important story fell short of their financial self-interest of not losing cruise sales or not embarrassing Cunard or Carnival or CEO Micky Arison.  As I write this follow up article this Saturday morning, the U.S. media remains silent. 

Newspapers like the Miami Herald and USA Today are deep in the cruise lines' pockets.  The cruise lines advertise heavily in the larger newspapers, and the "journalists" simply look the other way when stories appear that may embarrass their cruise lines friends.  I have warned for years about this problem. Take a moment and read Perverts, Child Predators and Cruise Ships or Cruise Lines Are A Perfect Place to Sexually Abuse Children.

Newspapers like the Miami Herald and USA Today should be ashamed.  They do the public a terrible disservice not warning parents of the dangers posed to children on cruise ships. They are happy to write puff pieces for Carnival and Cunard but avert their eyes when things go terribly wrong.  They are complicit with the Carnivals and Cunards who don't protect the children and then choose their marketing reputation over the children's welfare. 

 

 

Who's reporting on the Cunard / Paul Trotter story as of April 21, 2012:

U.S.A:  

Cruise Law News

U.K / Ireland:

BBC News Telegraph Mail Online The Sun Daily Echo Lancashire Evening Post Pontefract and Castleford Express ITV News The Independent Swindon Advertiser Belfast Telegraph Bourne Local Huffington Post UK MSNBC News UK Isle of Man Today and a hundred others in England.


Update of U.S. Media reporting on Cunard / Paul Trotter:

Old Salt Blog - April 21, 2012

Cruise Radio - April 22, 2012

South Florida Business Journal - April 23, 2012

Sun Sentinel - April 24, 2012

Cruise Critic - April 24, 2012

Royal Caribbean Crew Member Pleads Guilty to Sexual Abuse of 14 Year Old Passenger

A Royal Caribbean crew member has pleaded guilty to the sexual abuse of a 14 year old girl during a Caribbean cruise.

25 year old Fabian Palmer admitted engaging in sexual relations with the girl during a cruise from Baltimore in December 2010.

Crew member Palmer was employed by Royal Caribbean as a pool attendant and interacted regularly with passengers during cruises.  He met the girl and her family earlier during the cruise. 

Palmer took the child into a men's locker room on the Enchantment of the Seas and engaged in sexual acts in the bathroom.  You can read more about this crime, and similar incidents, in our Fabian Palmer - Royal Caribbean - Sexual Abuse of Minorarticles BUSTED! Another Crew Member Arrested for Allegedly Raping on Cruise and Royal Caribbean Crew Member Arrested for Sexually Abusing 14 Year Old Girl.  

He faces imprisonment with a maximum sentence of 15 years.  His sentencing is June 29th in Baltimore. 

As part of the plea agreement, the crew member must register as a sexual predator where he lives and where he works.  To my knowledge, there are no sexual predators databases or programs in Jamaica where Palmer is from.   

In an unusual move, it was the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) which issued the press statement announcing the guilty plea.  The FBI has increasingly been criticized for its reluctance to involve itself in shipboard crimes.  

 

Photo Credit:  Fabian Palmer facebook

Cunard Child Supervisor Arrested for Sexually Molesting Child During Cruise

Several news stations in the U.K. are reporting that the police arrested a former Cunard crewmember on charges that he sexually molested at least one child during a cruise.

Paul Trotter, age 34, of Pontefract, West Yorkshire, in the U.K., is alleged to have abused the child between December 20, 2011 and January 5, 2012 while working in the children's child activities facility on an undisclosed Cunard cruise ship.   His official job title was "children's activity supervisor" for Cunard.  He was also charged with possessing indecent photographs of children. 

We reported on the fact that the police in England were investigating child molestation on Cunard cruise ships last month in our article:  Did a Cunard Child Predator Molest Children Aboard the QM2 & Queen Elizabeth Cruise Ships?

Queen Mary 2 - Child Molestation?The police in England started the investigation after a parent of one of the abused children tipped the police.   Although the U.K. media is referring to only one abused child at this point, the police have interviewed several families in England, Mr. Trotter worked for five years for Cunard  on Cunard’s flagship, the Queen Mary 2, and its sister cruise ships, the Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Victoria.

These Cunard cruise ships carried passengers of course from many other countries, including the U.S.

So far, Cunard has not disclosed the incident to the public nor informed families who they should contact for information.

Cunard's website refers to "Children's Activities" and assure parents that their kids are safe: " . . . you can be certain that they are in the best of care with our certified Early Years staff . . . " 

Molestation of children by cruise employees is one of the cruise industry's nastiest secrets.  You can read about the problem in our prior blog articles, including Cruise Lines Are A Perfect Place To Sexually Abuse Children.

February 16, 2012 Update: Did Cunard Child Supervisor Molest Other Children During Cruises?

April 20, 2012 Update:  Trotter Admits He Sexually Abused 13 Boys

Royal Caribbean Crewmember Indicted For Sexually Abusing 14 Year Old Girl

Fabian Palmer - Royal Caribbean - Sexual Abuse of MinorThe Baltimore Sun reports today that a Grand Jury in Baltimore, Maryland indicted a Royal Caribbean crewmember of sexually abusing a minor during a cruise ship out of Baltimore. 

According to a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, crewmember Fabian Palmer, age 25, befriended a 14 year old girl and her family during a cruise that departed from Baltimore on December 17, 2010.

The newspaper reports that on December 23, 2011, the victim told authorities that she was alone on a deck on the cruise ship when crewmember Palmer took her into a men's locker room and "began having sex with her."  He stopped only when another employee knocked on the door.

The cruise ship's CCTV video cameras captured images of the crewmember, the victim and a second employee outside the locker room around the same time that the victim said the abuse occurred, according to the newspaper.  During an interviewed by Royal Caribbean security, Fabian Palmer - Royal Caribbean - Sexual Assault - Cruise Ship crewmember Palmer admitted having sex with the girl, but claims that he believed that she was 16.

The newspaper does not identify the cruise ship, but it appears that it involved the Adventure of the Seas.

The Grand Jury returned the indictment yesterday.

The FBI has special maritime jurisdiction to investigate crimes like this involving U.S. citizens on the high seas.  An adult engaging in sexual intercourse with a 14 year old minor is in violation of federal law and is considered to be "sexual abuse" which can be prosecuted by the Department of Justice. 

Mr. Palmer's facebook page indicates that he is from Jamaica and worked as a pool attendant on Fabian Palmer - Royal Caribbean - Cruise Ship Sexual Abusethe Royal Caribbean cruise ship.  His facebook page shows him fraternizing with numerous women around the cruise ship pool and other areas of the ship.  The photos are all from his facebook page.

This incident comes at a time when the international media is reporting on the rape of a 15 year old girl on another Royal Caribbean cruise ship, the Allure of the Sea.

The newspaper reports that Royal Caribbean did not immediately respond to a request for comment today.

A similar incident occurred in November on a Carnival cruise ship when a crewmember identified as Kert Clyde Jordan, age 35, a waiter from the country of Grenada, took a 14 year old child into a bathroom on the Carnival Liberty cruise ship. 

He was indicted on sexual abuse and is in jail in Miami awaiting trial.  

You can read about that incident here and here.

Do you have information about any of these crewmembers or incidents?  Please leave a comment below.  

Fabian Palmer - Royal Caribbean - Sexual Abuse of Minor

"Serial Rapist" Sentenced to 10 Years for Rape of 13 Year Old During Carnival Cruise

A news blog in Alabama, al.com, reports tonight that a Gautier, Mississippi man dubbed a “serial rapist” by prosecutors will serve 10 years in prison for sexually assaulting a 13 year old girl during a cruise aboard a Carnival cruise ship. 

The case involves Dylan Cole Bloodsworth who was accused of raping the young passenger while he was sailing on the Carnival Elation cruise ship last March.  We reported on this crime in articles earlier this year entitled Passenger Arrested for Sexually Assaulting Minor on Carnival Cruise Ship and Carnival Passenger Admits to Sexually Abusing Minor During Cruise.  

Dylan Cole Bloodsworth - Cruise Ship RapeAlthough Bloodsworth admitted to the crime and said that he had "made a terrible mistake," the Federal District Judge sentenced him to a decade in jail and ordered that  spend the rest of his life under supervision by the U.S. Probation Office when he gets out of prison.

The prosecutor cited a prior sexual assault against another girl and told the judge that Bloodsworth is ". . .  a serial rapist.  He preys on underage girls.”

Bloodsworth's victim on the Carnival ship was on a cruise to Mexico with her family when she met him and agreed to go with him at his insistence to get a jacket from his cabin, where Bloodsworth sexually assaulted her according to court records.

Cases like this should be a wake up call to parents that rapes occur on cruise ships by older passengers as well as crewmembers.  You can read about cases where child predators abuse children in cases on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship like this or where a Carnival crew member rapes a 14 year old girl like this.   

Even supposedly kid friendly cruise lines like Disney Cruises have a history of sexual assaults against young girls on their cruise ships: Passenger Indicted for Sexual Abuse of 13 Year Old Girl on Disney Wonder Cruise Ship.

Think this is an isolated problem?  Take a moment and read:  Why Cruises are NOT the Best Vacations with Kids

Carnival Passenger Admits to Sexually Abusing Minor During Cruise

Al.com blog reports today that a 19 year old Mississippi man pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a 13 year old girl during a Carnival cruise ship last month.

Dylan Cole Bloodsworth, 19, pleaded guilty to sexual abuse of a child during the cruise, as well as enticing another young girl to engage in sex back in Mississippi.  We reported on this crime last April.

Dylan Bloodsworth - Carnival Cruise Sexual Assault The blog states that a 13-year-old girl was taking a cruise to Mexico in March with her friend and her friend’s mother.  She met Bloodsworth on March 6th near the elevators onboard the Carnival Elation cruise ship and agreed to meet him on the top deck after dinner.  She later agreed to go with Bloodsworth to get a jacket from his cabin, where the sexual abuse occurred.

An affidavit filed by the FBI stated that the girl told investigators that she did not want to have sex with Bloodsworth and that he hurt her.  Bloodsworth's defense lawyer disputed that force or coercion were involved.  The bottom line is that the girl was too young to legally consent to sex, which is in violation of the Federal Statutes regarding sexual abuse of minors. 

The blog indicates that Bloodsworth faces up to 10 years in prison on both charges.

 

Photo: GulfLive.com

Reason No. 7 Not to Cruise: Cruise Lines Exploit Foreign Crew Members, Like You'd Never Believe

Cruise Critic ran an article a couple of weeks ago about the Top 10 Reasons To Cruise.  I responded with my article "Top Ten Reasons Not To Cruise."  I previously addressed the first six  reasons not to cruise, which are at the bottom of this article.*

The purpose of this series is not to convince you not to cruise, but to educate consumers regarding the dangers inherent in and the consequences of cruising.  I'm not your big brother, trust me.  It you want to cruise, that's entirely your business and none of mine.   But at least educate yourself before you take your family on a vacation you may regret.  

St. Vincent - Royal Caribbean - Exploitation - Crew MemberThe 7th reason not to cruise may not leave much of an impression on most of my American readers because it involves "foreign crew members" who most passengers will never meet.

Our firm and clients have been featured over a hundred times on every major television station, cable news network, radio, newspaper and magazine in the U.S. and abroad.  But the news sources are interested almost exclusively in crimes or injuries involving U.S. passengers.  An injured or victimized crew member from Jamaica, India, or Nicaragua is usually of no interest to U.S. reporters.

The exception was several years ago when The Miami New Times ran a story "Screwed If By Sea - Cruise Lines Throw Workers Overboard When It Comes to Providing Urgent Medical Care."

The article focused on one of our crew member clients from the little island of St. Vincent who, after suffering second and third degree burns on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship sailing to Alaska - was sent by Royal Caribbean on a journey from Alaska to Los Angeles to Miami to Barbados to St. Vincent - as part of a plan by the cruise line Royal Caribbean to abandon him in a third world country with no medical treatment. 

Take a moment and read the article.

You will smell the crew member's rotting flesh half way through the article.

Is "evil," or "diabolical," or "criminal" too strong of a word for this degree of corporate malfeasance?  I suppose it depends if it involved you - or a "foreign" crew member. 

The exploitation of crew members, particularly "utility cleaners" who often work 360 hours a month for around $540 a month, continues.  Last year we addressed the problem in an articles entitled:

"Titanic Dreams" - Royal Caribbean Wins "Worst Cruise Line in the World" Award; and

Cruise Ship Medical Care - Royal Caribbean Gives Their Crew Members the Royal Shaft.

There are few Americans who would cruise if they knew how poorly the cruise lines treat their crew members.  The absolute worst cruise lines which abuse their crew members are Royal Caribbean and Princess Cruises - the only winners of Cruise Law News' popular "Worst Cruise Line In The World Award."

Read the first six reasons not to cruise and then add this article into the mix.  Are you really going to cruise with your family on one of these foreign-flagged cruise ships which exploit the souls of the hard working men and women from Jamaica, India, Nicaragua and St. Vincent?

 

Tomorrow - Reason No. 8 Not To Cruise: Blackwater, Blackwater, Blackwater

 

Credits:   Jim Walker's Cruise Law Flickr Page 

 

*Cruise Law News' Last  6 Reasons Not To Cruise 

No. 1: Cruise Lines Are A Perfect Place To Sexually Abuse Children

No. 2: Cruise Ships Are A Perfect Place to Commit A Crime, And Get Away With It!

No. 3: Carnival, Royal Caribbean And NCL Are Corporate Felons

No. 4: If You Are A Victim On A Cruise Ship, The Cruise Line Will Treat You Like A Criminal

No. 5: If You Are Retired Or A Child, The Cruise Line Considers Your Life Worthless

No. 6: If The Ship Doctor Kills You, Too Bad