Disney Dream Child Molestation Case: Staff Captain Instructed Security Officer Not to Contact U.S. Law Authorities

After a 33 year-old Disney waiter molested an 11 year-old girl aboard the Disney Dream at the port of Cape Canaveral, the cruise ship's staff captain ordered a security officer not to contact local U.S. police officers or the FBI. 

That's what former Disney security officer Dawn Taplin told Orlando news station WKMG Local 6 in an interview which aired last night. WKMG reporter Mike DeForest conducted the interview.  

The Dream then left the U.S. port and sailed to Nassau where Disney flew the pervert back to his home in India.

According to the WKMG interview, Officer Taplin previously worked for the Palm Bay Police Department and Port Canaveral Police. Disney Cruise Child MolestationDisney recruited her to work for the family-oriented cruise line as a Security Officer. She was responsible for supervising 8 or 9 security guards. She was the first female security officer at Disney. 

In 2012 Officer Taplin was involved in the investigation of a child molestation case on the Disney Dream. An upset, crying 11 year-old girl told her that a 33 year-old Disney waiter followed her into an elevator and grabbed her breast and kissed her on the mouth. Officer Taplin reviewed surveillance video that confirmed the incident and wanted to call Port Canaveral police or her longtime contact with the FBI in Brevard County. However, Officer Taplin says that the cruise ship's staff captain ordered her not to report the crime. 

WKMG reported that the Disney Dream left Port Canaveral promptly at 5:02 p.m. with the victim and the molestation suspect still on board.

Officer Taplin told WKMG that "Disney waits on passengers' luggage . . . not setting sail on time. I remember waiting until 6:30 one time on somebody's luggage."

The Disney staff captain was not identified in the interview.  it will be interesting to determine his identity and find out whether he is still working on Disney cruise ships. It will also be interesting to learn whether the staff captain contacted Disney's shore-side risk management department about the crime before the cruise ship left the jurisdiction and determine whether the quick departure was approved by Disney's corporate management. Disney was quoted, when WKMG exposed the cover-up, saying that the ship handled the case properly. 

Image and video credit:  WKMG Local 6 (Orlando)

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WKMG Local 6 (Orlando): "A Former Disney Cruise Officer Speaks Out"

Tonight an Orlando television station is airing an interview with a former Disney Cruise Line security officer about her experiences working aboard Disney cruise ships.

WKMG (Orlando) has released a short preview of the interview on a Facebook page. The program tonight is entitled "Exposed - Crimes Going Unreported."

The interview was conducted by WKMG reporter Mike DeForest. The Facebook page states:

"I speak exclusively with a former Disney Cruise Line Security Officer. She'll expose the Disney Cruise - Sexual Assaultcrime she saw while working on the inside, and share info you and your family need to know before sailing."

WKMG has been the leader in reporting on cases where Disney cruise line employees have sexually molested girls during cruises. 

Last year, WKMG reported on a 33 year old Disney waiter sexually assaulted an 11 year old girl. Even though the crime occurred at the port in Cape Canaveral in Florida waters, Disney refused to report it to U.S. law enforcement and sailed the cruise ship to the Bahamas where Disney flew the sexual predator back to India.

This year, a 36 year old Disney cabin attendant sexually molested a 13 year old girl aboard the Disney Dream.

Hopefully this former Disney security officer can shed some insight into the case where Disney refused to report the child molester to the police in the U.S. 

I will be posting the interviews when they become public. Update: Watch the complete video here: Disney Dream Child Molestation Case: Staff Captain Instructed Security Officer Not to Contact U.S. Law Authorities.

 

 

Hot Potato: No One Arrested After 12 Year Old Alleges Sexual Assault Aboard Celebrity Century Cruise Ship

KTOO in Alaska reports on what is being described as an alleged sexual assault by a thirty year old man against a 12 year old girl on a cruise ship operated by Celebrity Cruises. 

KTOO states that a "30-year-old Japanese man allegedly groped a Canadian girl near the pool of a Celebrity cruise ship on June 28th. The alleged attack took place after the ship had departed Ketchikan, but while it was still in Alaska waters."

The incident was reported to ship security who apparently did not detain the man but reported the Cruise Sexual Assault - Celebrity Century Cruise Ship  incident to the Vancouver Police Department. Vancouver authorities initially investigated but turned the matter over to the the FBI, The FBI, in turn, then referred the case to Alaskan State Troopers.

The Alaskan Troopers say the case has been referred to the District Attorney in Ketchikan, Alaska for review.

KRBD identifies the cruise ship as the Celebrity Century. The news station states that no one has been arrested.

The case illustrates the difficulties prosecuting crimes on cruise ships.

A 30 year old Japanese man apparently molests a 12 year old Canadian girl in Alaskan state waters. The cruise ship apparently does not apprehend the man or return to an Alaskan port. The ship sails on to Vancouver, Canada which does not arrest the man even though the victim is Canadian, but reports the crime to the FBI which does not have jurisdiction because the incident occurred in state territorial waters of Alaska. The FBI sends the matter back to Alaska where the crime is alleged to occur.  By the time the Alaskan Troopers are involved, the Japanese man is long gone. 

Around and around we go, with no one wanting the hot potato, and the cruise line hoping the situation will just disappear.

The local District Attorney in Ketchikan Alaska is now looking at trying to figure out how to prosecute a Japanese cruise passenger, who allegedly molested a little Canadian girl, and who probably escaped to Japan and will never return to the U.S. again.

Have a thought? Please leave a comment below or join the discussion on our Facebook page

 

Photo Credit: Cruise Critic

Royal Caribbean Cruise Passenger Sentenced to Jail for Over 5,000 Images of Child Pornography

Gary Lee Reed - Chilh PornographyIn a story we first reported on in December last year, a cruise passenger aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship was sentenced to eight years in federal prison for transporting thousands of child pornography photos and videos on a cruise from Port Canaveral. 

Gary Lee Reed seemed like a normal passenger but an initial search of his laptop computer revealed 1,162 photos and videos when he cruised on Royal Caribbean's Monarch of the Seas ship during a cruise to the Bahamas and back to Florida. 

Federal agents searched the 47-year-old's computer laptop he brought during the cruise and found the extensive collection of child pornography. The Orlando Sentinel reported that around 350 of the victims in photos and videos were identified by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The images included sexual abuse of toddlers and babies.

Reed was returning to Port Canaveral at the end of the cruise to the Bahamas. The investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Office of Homeland Security Investigations.

Reed is from Idaho and a newspaper there reported earlier this year that Reed had a desktop computer, thumb drives, CDs and DVDs where he downloaded and stored child pornography images at his home.

A forensic search of the computers, discs, USB flash and digital hard drives revealed a staggering amount of child pornography: 38,731 images and 680 videos of child pornography.  A more detailed search of his laptop seized after the cruise in Florida revealed a total of 3,021 images and 2000 videos of child pornography.

Reed faced up to 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and five years of supervised release for the crime, according to the plea agreement, which adds that he will also have to register as a sex offender.

Think passengers and crew members with child porn on cruises are rare? Read here

 

Photo Credit: Florida Today

Police in Bahamas Defend Dropping Disney Child Molestation Case: "There is No Complaint in the Bahamas and There is No Issue"

A police officer in Nassau, Bahamas finds himself in the middle of a controversy regarding another botched investigation by the Bahamas into a Bahamian-flagged cruise ship matter.    

Nassau police superintendent Paul Rolle is quoted in an article in the Nassau Guardian about the molestation of an 11 year old girl by a 33 year old crew member aboard the Disney Dream cruise ship, saying: "As far as I am concerned there is no complaint in the Bahamas and there is no issue."

These remarkably insensitive comments by police officer Rolle in the Bahamas are an insight into how indifferent many law enforcement officials are in the flag-of-convenience countries where cruise lines register their cruise ships to avoid the scrutiny of the United States.      

Disney Dream Cruise Ship Molestation CaseJust today an article appeared in the Australian press discussing how cruise ship passengers who fall victim to serious crime may find their cases handled in countries like the Bahamas with poor human rights records. The articles states: "More than half of the world's cruise ships are registered in Panama, Liberia and the Bahamas . . . passengers could have their case heard in countries with a poor human rights records and a history of ignoring crimes against women."

In the Disney Dream case, the shipboard video clearly shows the Disney crew member stalking the child and following her into an elevator. The child promptly reported to cruise ship security that the Disney crew member grabbed her breast and kissed her. This occurred an hour and one-half before the ship's departure time. (The Nassau Guardian erroneously reports that the incident occurred on the cruise "shortly after it left Port Canaveral.")  But Disney decided not to promptly report the crime to the Port Canaveral police, choosing instead to sail out of the U.S. jurisdiction. It reported the matter the next day to the Bahamas which permitted the crew member to fly home to India.

In an article "Police Defend Action in Cruise Ship Matter," Officer Rolle says:

"The Americans already have their laws as to how they deal with matters on-board any ship that is owed by Americans or an American company. The fact is that the individuals at the time did not wish any complaint and no one has since come forward and indicated that they wanted to make a complaint."

Rolle is wrong on both counts.

Disney Cruise Line is not an "American" company. It legally operates as the "Magical Cruise Line" and incorporated itself in the U.K. and registered its cruise ships in the Bahamas to avoid U.S. taxes, labor laws and oversight. 

Regarding the victim's alleged decision not to make a complaint, the fact is that the little girl and her Disney Cruise Sexual Assault - Child Molestationgrandmother did make a complaint to the security personnel of the Bahamian-flagged cruise ship. A victim does not have to make multiple complaints on and off the ship over multiple days. The girl cooperated in answering the security officer's questions (in tears), completing forms and identifying the Disney perpetrator. The girl and her grandmother demonstrated courage by pressing criminal charges when they should have been enjoying the beginning of a cruise of a lifetime. 

If Disney had reported the crime immediately to the police in Port Canaveral or provided the child's grandmother with the local police's telephone numbers, the case would have turned out differently. As the Brevard County Attorney General said: "the decision to prosecute that serious a crime in Florida rests with a prosecutor, not a grandmother."

Plus, there are many reasons why a child and her grandmother may have decided not to make a second complaint in the Bahamas. How was the child treated after making the first complaint?  The Disney perpetrator should have been handcuffed and taken off the cruise ship and the girl should have seen a counselor. Instead, the girl was forced to sail on the ship with the perpetrator still aboard.

The reporter investigating the crime, Tony Pipitone, said that the cruise line repeatedly provided him with false information. Did Disney also lie to the child and her grandmother?  In many cases, we see the cruise lines and police officers at the next port of call intimidate the victim's family. They tell them that they will have to travel back to port of call repeatedly for criminal hearings and trial. By the time the cruise ship arrived in Nassau, the little girl and her grandmother were undoubtedly tired and traumatized. They had not been permitted to speak with U.S. law enforcement, a social worker or counselor, or their own legal representatives.  Instead they had to deal with Disney and the Bahamas which have their own agenda to keep matters like this quiet.

Rolle is sensitive to issues of tourism. He understands the effects of crime on tourism both in the Bahamas and on Bahamian-flagged cruise ships. When a U.S. crew member was shot and killed in Nassau two weeks ago, Rolle defended himself saying "We aren’t no play-play cartoon police force." He told the Nassau Guardian "Tourism is our life blood.”  

Nassau Bahamas Paul Rolle Police Superintendent Bahamas police officer Rolle is also no stranger to Disney cruise ship controversies and protecting Disney's image. When a Disney crew member, Rebecca Coriam, disappeared from the Bahamian-flagged Disney Wonder two years ago under disturbing circumstances, it was Rolle who the Bahamas tasked with flying over to Los Angeles to briefly board the cruise ship to investigate what happened.  Rolle conducted a quickie investigation which of course exonerated Disney. The international media characterized Rolle's efforts as a "farce" designed to assist Disney in covering the matter up. 

Rolle promised the Coriam family that he would release the results of his "investigation" into their daughter's disappearance. But he has persistently refused to do so. To date, the Bahamas refuses to cooperate with the Coriam family and has kept Rolle's report secret from the family. Disney and the Bahamas have erected a wall of silence when the Coriam family seek information about Rebecca.      

With the likes of tourism-sensitive Officer Rolle responsible for official cruise ship investigations, it is no wonder that Disney refused to timely report the child molestation to the U.S. police in Port Canaveral. By sailing the crime scene over to the Bahamas, media-sensitive Disney assured that its police friends in Nassau would do nothing. Disney could then fly its child-molester employee home with Rolle's blessings.  

 

Have a thought? Please leave a comment below, or join the discussion on our Facebook page.

Photo Credit:

Top: WKMG Channel 6 in Orlando

Middle: Jim Walker

Bottom: Nassau Guardian

"Sickened" By Molestation of Child on Disney Dream, Brevard County Attorney General Vows to Zealously Prosecute Cruise Ship Crimes

Disney Dream Cruise Ship Crime Disney Cruise Line's decision to sail its Disney Dream out of the jurisdiction to Nassau, Bahamas has caused concern and outrage not only with the local police department in Brevard County but has also caught the attention of the new Attorney General for Brevard County, Phil Archer.

After watching the video tape obtained by WKMG Channel 6 in Orlando and learning that Disney had assisted the assailant crew member in leaving the jurisdiction and avoiding prosecution, Attorney General Archer said he was "sickened."  He vowed to prosecute crimes on cruise ships which are all too often not timely reported to the local law enforcement or are ignored by the FBI.

According to WKMG, which again aired an informative report on this disturbing case, Archer said that "at least two crimes" may have occurred on the Disney Dream while in Brevard County's waters: "false imprisonment, as the suspect cornered the child in the elevator, which he prevented from moving by blocking the door as he appeared to molest her; and lewd or lascivious molestation on a child under 12, a felony that could have produced a life sentence."

Archer characterized the Disney molestation case as "serious" and promised vigorous prosecutions of crimes like this in order to protect other families who may cruise in the future.  The local police chief also promised a more active role in investigating allegations of cruise ship crimes and completing reports.

When asked to respond to Disney's excuse that the child's grandmother allegedly said she did not want to pursue a criminal prosecution in the Bahamas, Attorney General Archer said: "the decision to prosecute that serious a crime in Florida rests with a prosecutor, not a grandmother."

Watch the video below:

 

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Did Disney Cruise Line Really Sail a Crime Scene from the U.S. to Nassau? International Press Focuses on Disney Child Molestation Case

In a case likely to have long term ramifications for the image of Disney Cruise Line (Magical Cruise Company), the story of Disney-flying-a-child-molester-back-to-India which was broken by a local news station in Orlando last night has already reached a national and international audience.  

The case is essentially no different that an airline learning that one of its flight attendants, age 33, molested an eleven year old child on an airplane and then flying the crime scene, the assailant, and the victim to a foreign country where it knows that criminal prosecution is impossible. Then, to top it off, paying for the crew member to fly home to the other side of the world rather than returning him to the U.S. for prosecution.

Disney Dream Cruise Ship Sexual Crime Cover UpDisney's outrageous conduct is not lost on reporters from around the world. 

Daily Bhaskar (India) reports Caught on camera: Disney Cruise Line employee molests 11-year-old in ship elevator.

The U.K.'s Daily Mail published The Shocking Moment Disney Cruise Line Dining Room Server, 33, Molested Girl, 11, in Ship Elevator.

The International Business Times reported: Did Disney Cruise Line Let A Child Molester Go Free?

News Beat (Greece) reports Ship worker sexually harassed 11 year old girl

The New York Daily News published Disney Cruise Line Failed to Promptly Notify Police that Crew Member Molested an 11-Year-Old Girl.

The highly respected travel writer Peter Greenberg wrote: Cruise Scandal: Did Disney Cover up Employee Sexual Misconduct?

The Stir (a popular blog catering to moms) got it right in the article Disney Cruise Employee Caught on Camera Molesting 11-Year-Old But Goes Free Anyway

There are other news articles on line from China, Romania, Turkey, and Germany about the case.

Expect others in the news media to cover the disturbing story of how the family-friendly Disney Cruise Line responds to crimes against kids on its cruise ships.  

 

Read our other articles on the case:

Images of a Disney Nightmare: Are Your Kids Safe Sailing With Disney?

Did Disney Cruise Lines Cover Up Sexual Molestation of 11 Year Old Girl on Disney Dream? 

Image credit to WKMG Channel 6 in Orlando.

Images of a Disney Nightmare: Are Your Kids Safe Sailing With Disney?

Last night a local news station in Orlando Florida aired a blockbuster investigation into a crime aboard a Disney cruise ship (the Disney Dream) at Port Canaveral where a Disney waiter stalked an eleven year old girl and molested her in an elevator.

Yes, crimes occur everywhere. But the disturbing thing thing about this story is that Disney clearly knew what happened and who did it, but it took steps that resulted in its crew member avoiding prosecution. Instead of reporting the crime promptly to local law enforcement in Port Canaveral which has jurisdiction over crimes in the port, Disney left the port without reporting the crime to U.S. authorities. Disney reported the crime to the police at the next port in Nassau, Bahamas. But Disney flies the flag of the Bahamas and has a cozy relationship with that island.  

A prosecution of a Disney employee in Nassau? Never going to happen. Sure enough, Disney quickly flew the child molester back to his home country in India rather than return him to the U.S. for prosecution.   

We covered the story which you can read here: Did Disney Cruise Lines Cover Up Sexual Molestation of 11 Year Old Girl on Disney Dream?    

We created a Facebook photo album of images from the program aired by WKMG Channel 6 in Orlando, which you can see here.  A couple of images from WKMG Channel 6 Orlando are below:

Disney Dream Child Molester

Disney Dream Child Molester

Disney Dream Child Molester

 

Did Disney Cruise Lines Cover Up Sexual Molestation of 11 Year Old Girl on Disney Dream?

Disney Dream Cruise Ship Child MolestationTonight a local news station in Florida reportied on a case involving a cruise line which markets itself as being family friendly and kid oriented.

At 11 PM tonight, WKMG-Channel 6 in Orlando aired what is being described as a "shocking report about a Disney Cruise Line employee fondling an 11-year-old girl and the strange events that followed."

The news station states that it has video of a Disney crew member groping an 11-year-old girl in August 2012.

The article is entitled Disney Cruise Line Fails to Promptly Report Molestation of 11-Year-Old Girl in Port

The incident occurred on the Disney Dream cruise ship before it departed Port Canaveral for a Caribbean cruise. The crew member followed the child into an elevator and "repeatedly grabbed her breast through her clothes and forcibly kissed her on the mouth as he cornered her in an elevator on the Disney Dream."

The news station states that Disney knew what happened, and had video evidence substantiating the child's account. But it chose not to promptly report the crime to the local police in Florida.  Instead, it reported the crime the next day, after the ship was headed to the Bahamas. The news station accuses Disney of lying and trying to cover the incident up. Once the cruise ship reached the Bahamas, the crew member - identified as Milton Braganza from India (photo bottom) - eventually admitted to molesting the child. Disney then flew the crew member home to India, at the cruise line's expense, rather than arrange for Disney Dream Sexual Molestation of Minor him to return to Florida to be arrested. 

In our experiences over the years, we have seen cruise ships delay reporting crimes to the FBI and local law enforcement authorities in the U.S.  Disney registers its cruise ships in the Bahamas to avoid U.S. taxes and wages and safety laws.  By delaying the reporting of the alleged crime, Disney was able to avoid the U.S. investigation into the incident while making certain that any investigation was handled only by the Bahamas which, theoretically can investigate shipboard crimes because Disney cruise ships fly Bahamian flags of convenience.

But the Bahamas has a deplorable record of investigating cruise ship crimes.      

The news reporter who covered the story, Tony Pipitone, stated in a promotional piece: "Find out what happened to the 33-year-old man who avoided investigation in Florida, thanks in part to his employer's inaction."

Disney Crew Member Milton BragnanzaPipitone, referred to Disney having "conflicting accounts of what it knew [and] when it knew it." He mentioned that "he talked to Port Canaveral police, who say they would have liked to know about the crime, which the cruise line didn't report promptly."

Sexual abuse of children during cruises, including Disney cruises, is something we have written about at length here on our blog:

Passenger Indicted for Sexual Abuse of 13 Year Old Girl on Disney Wonder Cruise Ship 

Sexual Perverts & Pedophiles on Royal Caribbean Cruise Ships

Cruise Lines Are A Perfect Place To Sexually Abuse Children

Last week this news station reported on cruise crime on a Disney ship which revealed that crimes are often not prosecuted by federal authorities. You can watch that report here.

Here's the video from WKMG: 

 

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Middle Photo: WKMG Channel 6 Orlando 

Bottom Photo: Milton Bragnanza Facebook

Should I Send My Daughter on a Cruise?

Sexual Abuse of Children - Disney Cruise ShipOne of the web sites which I read from time to time is "TravelTruth." It is a site which describes itself as a "collaborative effort designed to offer the vacation consumer real world advice without exaggeration, deception, or sales bias. It is the ultimate insider’s view of how things really work, written by an award-winning team of travel consultants and journalists."  

TravelTruth recently addressed the issue raised by a mother who asked whether she should let her daughter vacation on a cruise ship in the Caribbean next spring.  The article is entitled "Bottom Line: Should My Daughter Do This Trip?"The article explains some of the dangers which we touch upon in this blog, namely the absence of independent police authorities on cruise ships, and the risk of sexual assault both on the ships and especially ashore in Mexico and the Caribbean islands.

If you are a parent thinking of taking your daughter (or son) aboard a cruise ship, consider reading the articles about the cruise lines below:

Sexual Assault of Children - Royal CaribbeanCarnival, Celebrity, Cunard, Disney, NCL, Oceania, Princess, and Royal Caribbean  

One of our goals at Cruise Law News is public awareness. Thus, the motto of our blog "everything the cruise lines don't want you to know."  The TravelTruth site also provided a link to our blog for parents to read if they are considering taking their daughters on a cruise.  

Our goal is not to scare the public from cruising, but to educate the public that its not safe to let your guard down aboard cruise ships while cruising with your children.  

Photos:

Top: Disney cruise passenger Lucas George Wickes indicted for felony sexual abuse and aggravated sexual abuse of minor aboard Disney Wonder.

Bottom: Royal Caribbean crew member Fabian Palmer indicted for felony sexual abuse of minor aboard Adventure of the Seas.

Another Predator Priest Goes On A Cruise

Bill Carney - Cruise Ship - Priest PedophileThe Daily Record in the U.K. published an article today about who it is describing as a "notorious pedophile priest . . . caught enjoying a luxury cruise among families with young children." 

The article involves ex-Catholic priest Bill Carney who sailed on the P & O Ventura ship on a Mediterranean cruise with his wife.

The article states that Carney terrorized children for years in his native Ireland and was suspected of abusing "up to 32 named victims, with evidence that there were many more." Carney, age 62, became a priest in 1974 and, according to the newspaper article, used his position to molest dozens of children. "He attacked boys and girls from at least eight children’s homes," according to the article. An Irish government report into child abuse by priests described Carney as “one of the most serious serial abusers in the archdiocese of Dublin."

In 1983, Priest Carney was convicted of two counts of indecent assault. He received probation and the archdiocese paid compensation to six victims. He was not defrocked until 1992. 

Carney is not on the sex offenders’ register in the UK.

The Daily Record states that Carney was spotted on the P & O cruise last month, apparently by another passenger who identified him as the predator priest.  “But here he was without a care in the world – and we were surrounded by families and children." The newspaper points out that P & O describes the Ventura cruise ship as “very family friendly,” with “fantastic children’s clubs and a play area for under-twos."

Carney is not the only pervert ex-priest who likes to cruise. 

George Neville Rucker - Cruise Ship Last year, we wrote about George Neville Rucker, an accused predator priest, who sailed on a cruise to South America. Rucker is a defrocked Los Angeles priest who was accused of sexually molesting 33 girls.

Over the years, we have written about sexual predators of all types, young men, old men, eccentric celebrities, child counselors, youth counselors, bartenders, audio visual technicians, pool cleaners, and even captains. Parents need to know not to trust anyone with their children during cruises.

The cruise lines share all types of information with themselves about passengers they don't want on their ships, like casino cheats, credit card scammers, and litigious cruisers. But they don't track smiley faced pedophiles.   

Suspect Pleads Guilty of Raping Minor on Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas Cruise Ship

Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Rape - Sexual Assault A 20 year old Brazilian man pled guilty this week to two counts of lewd and lascivious battery in the rape of a 15 year old girl on the last night day of a Royal Caribbean cruise.

Broward Circuit Judge Matthew Destry sentenced Luiz Scavone to one year in jail and declared him a sexual offender.

Federal officials will then deport Scavone back to Brazil after he serves his jail sentence.  If Scavone returns to the United States, he will be required to notify corrections officials and be supervised as a sex offender. 

During the cruise, Scavone and a 15 year Brazilian teenager lured the young girl from a teen center back to their cabin where they took turns sexually assaulting her.

The crime took place on Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas cruise ship. 

We previously reported on this sexual assault on the Allure of the Seas in our articles Two Rapes Alleged on Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas Cruise Ship and International Media Focuses on Royal Caribbean Cruise Rape Case

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

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

Did Cunard Child Supervisor Molest Other Children During Cruises?

Earlier this week, we reported on the arrest of former Cunard child supervisor Paul Trotter on allegations that he abused a child and possessed indecent photographs of children on his computer.

The British police investigated Mr. Trotter (photo below, playing piano on Cunard cruise ship) after the parents of a child, identified only as being under the age of thirteen, brought the matter to the attention of authorities after the cruise.  The initial newspaper articles indication that Mr. Trotter worked aboard Cunard's Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth cruise ships, although one reader brought to my attention that he also worked aboard Cunard's Queen Victoria.

You can read our last article about Mr. Trotter here.

Cunard Cruise Children Activities Supervisor Paul TrotterThe disturbing thing with Mr. Trotter is that he reportedly worked for Cunard on various cruise ships over the course of five years.  The issue arises whether he allegedly molested other children during cruises. 

It is currently unknown whether Cunard terminated Mr. Trotter's employment or whether he voluntarily resigned.

Any expert in child sexual abuse will tell you that child predators are extremely manipulative and will position themselves to interact with children to satisfy their deviant sexual interests.  They cannot be cured.  They will abuse children again and again if given an opportunity.

It would be naive to think that any sexual predator, working for years and years with children, abused only one child and was promptly caught and prosecuted for that singular crime.  Although the police investigation resulted in an arrest on charges of abusing one child, we know that the British police announced that they are speaking with the families of other children in England who cruised with Cunard as well. 

We have been contacted by other families who cruised on Cunard asking for information on Mr. Trotter - what cruise ships did he work on and exactly when was he a child supervisor on these ships? 

We asked Cunard for this information.  We will update this article if we receive a response.

Certainly families who cruised with Cunard are entitled to know whether an alleged child predator was supervising their children during their cruises?

 February 16, 2012 Update:  Cunard's response is below:

"We are deeply shocked by these allegations as the safety and well being of our customers is of paramount importance to us.  A thorough police investigation is underway which we are supporting and co-operating with fully.  Given that the police inquiry is ongoing, we cannot comment any further or answer any questions at this stage.

What we can say is that we are working closely with the National Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), a UK-based charity which specializes in supporting children and families to ensure that affected families and children are offered appropriate support.  Following these allegations being made, we also asked the NSPCC to conduct an independent comprehensive review of our facilities, policies and procedures.  This review is underway and we will be implementing any recommendations resulting from this review." 

April 20, 2012 Update:  Cunard Youth Supervisor Admits to Sexually Abusing 13 Boys During Cruises
 

Photo credit: stretch gp23 YouTube

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

Did a Cunard Child Predator Molest Children Aboard the QM2 & Queen Elizabeth Cruise Ships?

The Mail Online in the U.K. reports tonight that a crewmember who worked aboard two of the world’s most luxurious cruise ships is being investigated by police on suspicions that he sexually assaulted children during the cruises. 

The newspaper reports that the Cunard crew member who allegedly carried out his indecent conduct worked for Cunard for over five years on Cunard’s flagship, the Queen Mary 2, and its sister cruise ship, the Queen Elizabeth.

Queen Mary 2 - Cunard Child Predator?  Detectives in England started the investigation after a parent of one of the abused children tipped the police.   So far, the detectives have interviewed several families in England.   The crewmember suspected of the crimes lives in Wiltshire, in England.

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

According to this account, the crewmember left Cunard's employment before the police probe began six months ago but has been interviewed by detectives in Wiltshire.  The detectives have apparently examined photographic and computer equipment at the man’s home.

The UK newspaper indicates that Cunard refuses to identify the job position of the the former crew member, "but he is known to have been a low-ranking employee who had regular, close contact with passengers on board."   Based on this description, its sounds like the alleged child predator probably worked as a cabin attendant or a youth counselor.

Sexual molestation of children on cruises is an ugly topic we have written about many times before.  You can read more cases than you want to know about little kids being sexually abused on cruises here.

These two Cunard cruise ships are part of the larger Carnival fleet of cruise ships.  Carnival owns Cunard.  This is the last thing that Carnival wants to be in the press at this time, as it is reeling from the bad publicity after another one of the cruise brand it owns, Costa Cruises, ran a $500,000,000 cruise ship into the rocks and killed around 30 of its guests.

A reckless captain who abandons ship while passengers are drowning in the submerged cabins of the Costa Concordia?  A child predator who worked aboard the Cunard QM2 and Queen Elizabeth for 5 years? 

What's the next shoe to drop in the Carnival fleet? 

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

Passenger Arrested for Sexually Assaulting Minor on Carnival Cruise Ship

Dylan Cole Bloodsworth - Cruise Ship - Carnival - Sexual AssaultNews sources are reporting that a nineteen year old passenger was arrested for sexually assaulting a minor during a cruise aboard the Carnival Elation cruise ship.  Dylan Cole Bloodsworth (photo left) of Gautier, Mississippi was arrested by the FBI for abusing a minor while the cruise ship was sailing in international waters.  The United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Alabama will prosecute this matter, which was investigated by the FBI, Mobile Division.

The disturbing thing about this incident is that Mr. Bloodsworth was arrested a month ago for allegedly threatening to harm a 13 year old girl and her family unless she agreed to have sex with him. 

In an article entitled "Facebook Friendship Leads to Sexual Battery Charge" published on March 8, 2011, GufLive.com reported that Ms. Bloodsworth (photo right) faced "a sexual battery charge after Jackson County Sheriff's Department officers arrested him . . . " 

"The sheriff's office said parents of the alleged victim contacted them on February 23, 2011 alleging that Bloodsworth threatened to harm their 13-year-old daughter and her family unless she had sex with Dylan Cole Bloodsworth - Facebook Friendship - Sexual Assaulthim. The suspect and the child met on Facebook, an investigation revealed."

Bloodsworth had been transferred to a detention center.  The article indicates that Bloodsworth would remain incarcerated "until Judge T. Larry Wilson sets his bail."

It appears that Mr. Bloodsworth may have been on bail when he went on the cruise following the first incident arising out of the Facebook "friendship."   His Facebook page indicates that he was looking forward to going to Mexico early last month, just ten days after being arrested for the February 23rd incident.

Usually criminal suspects are not permitted to leave the jurisdiction when on bail, especially to go on a cruise ship with many minors.    

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.   

 

Photo credits:

Top:  AL.com

Bottom:  GulfLive.com

 

Nabbed at Pier 21 - Another Crew Member Busted with Child Porn in Halifax

On September 7th, Canada Border Services Agency officers nabbed crew member Edward Brillantes Mangubat after they searched his laptop computer and found sexually explicit movies featuring children.

Cunard - Queen Mary 2 - Pier 21 - HalifaxMangubat worked as a stagehand on Cunard's cruise ship Queen Mary 2.  The Chronicle Herald reports that he had worked on cruise ships for seven years.

Today, Mangubat pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 120 days in jail.

Canada vigorously enforces its laws against child pornography.  This is the third case this year where the Canadian Border agents arrested a crew member from a cruise ship.  Most of the crew members are arrested at Pier 21 in Halifax (photo, left).  

If you think child pornography and sexual predators are rare on cruise ships, consider reading:

Another Carnival Crew Member Busted for Child Porn

 

Photo Credit:  Travel and Transitions

Another Carnival Crew Member Busted for Child Porn

The Chronicle Herald in Canada reports today that a crew member on a Carnival cruise ship which that visited Halifax was arrested and charged with smuggling child pornography into Canada.

Carnival Cruise Child PornographyThe newspaper indicates that 26-year-old crew member Nyoman Putra, an Indonesian working as an assistant room steward on the Carnival Glory, allegedly had child pornography on a laptop computer.

Canada Border Services Agency officers were inspecting crew members getting off the cruise ship when they nabbed the Carnival crew member at Pier 22 in Halifax.  Canada's border agents do a good job catching crew members who try and enter the country with child pornography.  

The Canadian newspaper writes that Putra is the second cruise ship employee to be charged with having child pornography so far this year in Halifax.  In May, a Filipino who was an assistant waiter on the Costa Atlantica was sentenced to four months in jail for possession and importation. 

Putra was an assistant cabin attendant.  It should concern any parent who cruises with their children to think of pedophile cabin attendants coming into the stateroom.

Parents don't like to think about these things, and the cruise lines and travel agents hate to admit these things happen.  Consider the following articles:

Costa Crew Member Caught With Child Pornography  (caught at Pier 22 in Halifax too!)

Carnival Cruise Ship - Child PornographyPerverts, Child Predators and Cruise Ships (Carnival crewmember caught with child pornography in Halifax!!)

Another Crew Member Arrested for Child Pornography  (NCL crew member caught with child porn in Halifax!!!) 

Carnival Cruise Ship Bartender Arrested On Charges Of Raping 14 Year Old Passenger

Sexual Predator Abuses 6 Year Old Aboard Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas

Passenger Indicted for Sexual Abuse of 13 Year Old Girl on Disney Wonder Cruise Ship

Cruise Ship Passenger Sentenced in Child Porn Case

Most Wanted Rape Suspect Arrested On Carnival Cruise Ship - Worked As Manager Of Onboard Hair Salon

Top Ten Reasons Not To Cruise: No. 1 - Cruise Lines Are A Perfect Place To Sexually Abuse Children

What To Do If You Are Sexually Harassed or Assaulted on a Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship

Last night, a member of the one of the leading online cruise communities - CruiseCritic - contacted me about a cruise line passenger who had been harassed and battered by a cabin attendant in Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship - Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault her cabin.  This was far from a rape, but it certainly sounds like something other than a "cultural misunderstanding."

Some of the CruiseCritic members supported the passenger and made some generally okay suggestions like call the cruise line and tell them what happened. But it was obvious that everyone online was basically just shooting in the dark.  Unfortunately, some of the members mocked her story.

Now a little background information may be in order.

No Pre-Employment Screening and the Cruise Lines Sweep Bad Conduct Under the Rug  

I have represented over 60 women and children raped or sexually molested on cruise ships over the past ten years. I have also represented six women who have appeared before Congress during hearings on crimes and unsafe conditions on cruise ships.  I am not talking about "harassment" but conduct which is criminal in nature and should land the perpetrator in jail for a long time.  When we sue the cruise line and obtain the cruise line perpetrator's employment files and conduct an investigation, we often find that there is virtually no pre-employment investigation before hiring crew members. Plus, we discover that after joining the cruise line, some of the crew members engage in what the cruise lines characterize as "minor" problems such as sexual comments or "inappropriate touching" by the crew member.  These early warning signs are sometimes ignored or swept under the rug. 

Profile of the Who, When and Where a Cruise Line Predator Strikes

In our experience, the crew member most likely to harass or assault a passenger is a male cabin attendant in his late 20's or early 30's.  And the cruise line where you are most likely to be harassed or assaulted?  Without question, in our experience, Royal Caribbean.  By far.  And the most likely time to be "hit upon?"  The last night of the cruise.  

So it was disturbing to hear that that the incident involving the CruiseCritic passenger involved - you guessed it - a cabin attendant on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship on the last night of the cruise.  Here is a portion of the passenger's account posted on CruiseCritic:

The Passenger's Account - Still Coming to Grips with What Happened

"My room steward came up behind my chair on our balcony and proceeded to put his hands on my shoulders, that's ok but when he ran them down the front of me, well that was not ok. I tried to not let it upset me, but I am still really bothered by this. We were 2 women traveling alone. I am in my late forties and very comfortable traveling solo. Unfortunately this really made me start to think, How safe is it really? I didn't want to make a complaint because it was our last night on the cruise . . . I know i will probably get the people telling me to get over it and that it is no big deal, and that is how I tried to look at it, But how safe is it for other women traveling alone with that steward . . .

Royal Caribbean - Sexual Assault - Cabin AattendantsHe was a big man and i was a little unnerved by his size. I just stopped his hands and didn't say anything. I know I am stupid for not reporting right away, but i just wasn't sure what to do. I had another incident occur on a Royal ship years ago with my then 11 year old son, where a fellow passenger hauled off and cold cocked him while he was at the kids club. The security really didn't do much about it, told his parents and told them to stay close to their son for the trip, but he was still allowed in the kids club and left unsupervised on the ship. Needless to say my son had a black eye throughout our vacation and the fact that security just didn't make sure that this other kid was allowed where my son was, was even more upsetting. Maybe that is why I didn't report him at the time for fear of security not really doing much . . ." 

This Is a Crime on Miami Beach - But Business As Usual on Cruise Ships  

If this happened in a club at South Beach, the bouncers would haul Mr. "Happy-Hands" outside and he would find himself face down on the sidewalk only to be hand-cuffed and hauled off in a squad car and end up being finger printed at the cop shop on Washington Avenue.  But on a cruise ship, its another matter. You are in the middle of the ocean with no police within a thousand miles.  A crew member is between you and your cabin door.  The balcony is behind you.  Women have disappeared on cruise ships.

In September 2007, one of our clients was featured in a Congressional hearing. Her Royal Caribbean cabin attendant was very attentive, too attentive.  This led to increasing aggressive behavior of "inappropriate talk" - to casual touching - to offers of champagne - to using his key card to enter her cabin at night while she slept in her bed - to raping her.

Royal Caribbean Knows They Have a Problem . . .

In another one of our court cases, we obtained an excel spreadsheet from Royal Caribbean (only after the Court threatened Royal Caribbean with a fine of $1,000 a day if it did not comply) listing the number of incidents of sexual assault and harassment on its cruise ships for a period a little longer than two and one-half years.  I know the data was incomplete, but it indicated that over 250 women were sexually harassed, assaulted or battered.  This reflects a real problem throughout the Royal Caribbean fleet.  A large number of the incidents occurred in the passenger cabins.  

. . . But Royal Caribbean Keeps the Passengers in the Dark

It is therefore additionally disturbing at this late date to think that a woman on a Royal Caribbean ship could be sexually harassed and battered (yes - a non-consensual, offensive touching is a criminal offense!) and yet the cruise line would have no published protocols to explain to the guest what to do and she would have to resort to a public plea for assistance.  It is equally discouraging that a large and well established cruise community like, CruiseCritic, would not have an online resource for its members to refer to to understand what steps they should take.    

Cruise Ship Crime Recently, a bill was introduced before Congress (HR 3360) which will require cruise lines to provide contact information for assault crisis centers. But the Senate has not voted on the bill yet.  As matters now stand, cruise lines continue to keep the passengers in the dark regarding what to so or who to contact in circumstances like this.

A Few Suggestions

So here are some suggestions when you are sexually harassed or, as some people understate, "inappropriately touched" on a Royal Caribbean cruise:

Head directly to the Purser's Desk.  Request to see the Security Officer, the Head Purser, the Staff Captain, and the Hotel Director.  Ask for their names and write them down.  Give your name, cabin number, name of the crew member if known, and a short statement of what happened.  Request that the cabin attendant be removed from his responsibility for your cabin. Demand that the cabin attendant's key card be taken away from him. Before you return the statement, ask for a copy.  Request the full name and employee number of the crew member. Ask for the email and telephone of the head of security for Royal Caribbean in its corporate headquarters and one of cruise line's in-house lawyers in Miami.  Ask for a telephone number or email to contact these individuals in Miami before you leave the cruise ship. 

Who to Contact After You Leave the Cruise Ship

If you leave the ship without making a complaint (about 40% of women are too upset, traumatized, or disoriented to report the incident on the cruise ship so don't beat yourself up) don't waste your time calling the cruise line.  You will be directed to a low level representative in the customer care department - the same people who take calls regarding lost luggage, or handle silly complaints about bad food or poor service.  You will be ignored or they will eventually call you back and offer you a 25% discount on your next cruise. You will feel worse after dealing with these knuckleheads.  You need to document what happened and demand that action be taken by the top security and executive leaders.  

Empower yourself!  Take control of the situation.

Send a letter to the President (Adam Goldstein) and CEO (Richard Fain) of Royal Caribbean at 1050 South Caribbean Way, Miami FL and send an email copy to the head of Royal Caribbean's security department Gary Bald (GBald@rccl.com) and one of the top lawyers at Royal Caribbean such as Tony Faso (TFaso@rccl.com).  Don't let them interrogate you without a lawyer being present.  Ask them to notify law enforcement and provide you with the telephone number and address of the FBI. Look up the FBI office closest to you and call and write them a letter.  

Keep your letter or email to the executives and the lawyer short and to the point.  And make certain that you write: "Submitted without prejudice.  Not to be used against me in a civil or criminal proceeding."

Royal Caribbean Cruises - Sexual Harassment and Sexual AssaultFollow up in writing and by email.  Don't let it drop until you are satisfied. 

Royal Caribbean claims that it has a "zero tolerance" program against sexual harassment.  The crew members are instructed never to touch a passenger.  This particular crew member and his wandering hands should be terminated.  Otherwise, he will become emboldened and his conduct will become more aggressive.   

Think of the Next Passenger Who Will Climb Aboard the Same Cruise Ship and Meet Your Cabin Attendant  

Remember - the male cabin attendant who sexually harasses you and touches you "inappropriately" is the one most likely to use his pass key and enter a woman's cabin at night.

Think of the next passenger who may be traveling alone on the next Royal Caribbean cruise or the child left alone in her parent's cabin when this cabin attendant enters under the guise of cleaning the cabin or making the bed.   

If the incident involves a rape, then call the Purser's desk and ask for the Security Officer to come immediately to your cabin.  Ask for medical treatment and request the Security Officer to lock and seal your cabin.  Ask for a telephone number for the FBI and a national rape crisis center such as the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN)

Cruise Ship Passenger Sentenced in Child Porn Case

The Virginia Pilot newspaper reports that a passenger was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for downloading child pornography. 

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents arrested passenger Timothy David Webb, 32, after he disembarked Royal Caribbean's cruise ship Cruise passenger sex offenderGrandeur of the Seas at the Norfolk cruise ship terminal.  Webb is a convicted sex offender and has a conviction in 2000 for sodomy in the state of Virginia.

The customs agents pulled Webb from a line of passengers disembarking the cruise ship and  searched his laptop, which contained child pornography videos.

Caught By U.S. Federal Agents - Not By the Cruise Line  

I have written about the problem of crew members, as well as passengers, with child porno on cruise ships.  They are usually caught, not by the cruise line, but when custom agents view their laptops or iPhones and discover the pornographic images. 

In an articles entitled "Perverts, Child Predators and Cruise Ships" and "Another Crew Member Arrested for Child Pornography," I discussed crew members from Carnival and NCL cruise ships recently being arrested in Canada for pornography on their laptops and computers.

The web site "Cruise Ship Sex Offenders" lists some of the sex offenders who have worked or sailed on cruise ships. 

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

Love BoatMost passengers don't realize the danger which women and children face on cruise ships.  For example, who would think that they are at risk of being raped on the cruise line featured in the popular television series the "Love Boat?"

The "Love Boat" - Carefree, Romantic Cruises 

Princess Cruises is a cruise line headquartered in Santa Clarita, California.  It is perhaps most famous for the Pacific Princess which served as the cruise ship for the "Love Boat."  It now operates thirteen large cruise ships: Caribbean Princess, Coral Princess, Crown Princess, Dawn Princess, Diamond Princess, Emerald Princess, Golden Princess, Island Princess, Ruby Princess, Sapphire Princess, Sea Princess, Star Princess, and Sun Princess - as well as four smaller cruise ships, Ocean Princess, Pacific Princess, Royal Princess, and Tahitian Princess. Princess markets an illusion of carefree honeymoon vacations and luxurious romantic getaways. 

Rapes and Molestation on the "Love Boat?" 

But notwithstanding its idyllic image, crew members have drugged and raped women during cruises on the "Love Boat" fleet.  Anguished parents have also reported their children being sexually assaulted and molested during cruises with Princess.

Princess Cruises - Cruise LawThe most publicized sexual assault this year involved Jorge Manuel Teixeira, a head waiter aboard Princess Cruises' Coral Princess.  According to the FBI, the Princess crew member invited a 42-year-old passenger to share a bottle of wine and then attacked her. He was charged with a federal count of aggravated sexual assault.  The 17-page FBI affidavit that describes the crime and a 100-page transcript of the crew member's interview with two FBI agents are available on line.    

Sexual Crimes on Cruise Ships are Rarely Prosecuted

What is remarkable about this particular crime is not that it occurred, but that the FBI actually arrested the crew member and he is awaiting trial.  Most crimes on foreign flagged cruise ships involve foreign crew members and do not result in arrests.  Although Princess is headquartered in California and has a base of  operations in Los Angeles, Seattle, and South Florida, it tries to use the fact that it registered its business in Bermuda (to avoid U.S. taxes) to also avoid culpability. Trust me, the country of Bermuda is not going to send a team of investigators to a Princess cruise ship sailing to Alaska and conduct an investigation that leads to an arrest of a Princess Cruises crew member.

There have been a number of sexual assaults against women and children on the Princess cruise ships over the years.  These crimes continue to this day.  I recently had to fly from Miami to Seattle to a Princess cruise ship after a Princess crew member had been drugged and raped on the cruise ship.  I have also discussed in other articles the problem with sexual assaults on the Princess sister company P & O Cruises, which like Princess Cruises, is wholly owned by cruise giant Carnival Corporation.   

Princess Cruises - Sexual AssaultForeseeability of Sexual Assaults on Cruise Ships?

A number of rapes over the last year or two have not yet been reported by the press.  However, there are cases readily available on line.  For example, in the case of  D.C. v. Princess Cruise Lines, filed in California, a 15-year boy traveling with his family reported that he had been sexually assaulted in the sauna on the cruise ship.

Princess Cruises claimed that it was not "foreseeable" that a passenger could be sexually assaulted during a cruise. Princess made this claim notwithstanding the hundreds of rapes and molestations which the cruise line industry was required to report to Congress during cruise crime hearings.  

Princess Cruises - a Problem Dating Back to 1993

The child's attorney introduced evidence that Princess knew that there had been a history of prior crimes.  The in-house lawyer for the cruise line, Mona Ehrenreich, admitted in deposition testimony that there were seven incidents of sexual assault alone from the time she joined the cruise line until year 2002. One incident  involved an assault by a crew member against a minor in a cabin.

In addition, the case contains fascinating testimony by Charles Harris, who was employed as the Senior Chief Security Officer of Carnival Cruise lines between 1991 and 1994. 

Princess Cruises' Parent Company - Carnival - A Prevalence of Sex Crimes During Cruises 

Officer Harris indicated that the problem of sexual assault on ships was "well known" and "well documented" and he was aware of the "prevalence" of sexual assaults and rapes on cruise ships. While retained in a case against Carnival, he learned that Carnival had had over 100 reported cases of sexual assault and rape on its ships. FBI agents in Miami reportedly are called to investigate a shipboard sexual assault case "about every other week."

A Lack of Transparency 

One of the problems with cruise lines is they lack transparency.  For example, last year I attended a hearing before the U.S. Senate regarding cruise ship crimes. This hearing was just one of the five Congressional hearings I have attended in the last four years regarding the problem with sexual assaults.  The cruise industry's chronic under-reporting of rapes has always been a hot topic with Congressional leaders. 

Princess Cruises - Sexual AssaultOne of the speakers at the hearing was Evelyn Fortier, the former vice president of the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network.  She informed the Senate sub-committee that there are three explanations for cruise line's refusal to accurately report shipboard rapes: (1) cruise ships were not required to report crimes on cruise ships and there was no way to assess whether the ships fully and accurately reported sexual assaults on their vessels; (2) sexual assaults, whether on land or sea, are historically under-reported; and (3) cruise lines conceal, under-report or misclassify sexual assaults out of fear that the bad press will cause them to lose customers. 

Added to this list should also be that the cruise lines like Princess try to avoid legal liability for the crimes their crew members commit.  Concealing or mischaracterizing rapes is one way the cruise lines try and protect their legal interests.  

These issues were discussed in an interesting article entitled: "Sexual Assaults on Cruise Liners May Be More Frequent Than Previously Reported" in SecurityManagement.com.

"Love Boat" Crime Statistics

Like other cruise lines, Princess Cruises has a problem with sexual assaults on its cruise ships. And like other lines, it pretends it doesn't have a problem.  Last week, the House of Representatives passed the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2009 which requires cruise lines to report all crimes to the U.S. Coast Guard and the FBI. Now it will be interesting to see just how much crime really occurs aboard the "Love Boat."

 

Photo credits:

"Love Boat"             Amazon.com The "Love Boat" Season 1, Volume 1 

Ruby Princess       Rezsox's Flickr Photostream

Coral Princess       Brad Graverson / Staff Photographer of the DailyBreeze.com   

Star Princess         Jim Walker, Seattle WA July 4, 2009       

  

Perverts, Child Predators and Cruise Ships

A Canadian newspaper reports that a crew member from Indonesia will soon find out whether he will serve additional jail time for possession of child pornography. Crew member Hendri Dharmawan, age 29, was working as a pastry chef on the Carnival Triumph when he was arrested September 1 in Halifax.  He has been in a Nova Scotia jail for the past five weeks after pleadings guilty to the child porn charges.

The crew member was caught with pornography on his iPhone as he returned to the Carnival cruise ship.  The border police then accompanied him back to his cabin where they discovered over two hours of child pornography on Dharmawan's laptop and external hard drive. The footage depicted girls as young as eight and boys as young as 10 being abused.

This type of story should serve as a wake up to parents who take their children on cruises.  Yes, there are sexual deviants and predators on cruise ships. We have had too many cases where unsuspecting parents leave their kids in the cabin when they go to the casino, or stay late at the disco. While the parents are gone, a cabin attendant enters the cabin with his pass key. Let's skip the details. Trust me, leaving a 12 year old boy or his 14 year old sister alone in a cabin is a bad idea.

Cruise lines suggest that the crew members are carefully screened before they are hired.  Nonsense.  First of all, the cruise line themselves do not perform background checks at all. They rely on the hiring agents around the world to perform all of the "screening."  But what type of background check can be performed in countries like Nicaragua, Trinidad, or India?  These places do not have computerized databases for drivers licenses or social security numbers much less a database for criminals or a tracking system for sexual predators.  Many of the hiring agencies who are suppose to be conducting background checks are paid commissions when they place employees on cruise ships.  There is a disincentive to keep the bad apples off of the cruise ships.  

If a crew member molests your child on the cruise ship, don't expect the cruise line to believe your child.  Cruise lines have a notorious and well earned reputation of covering up crimes.  Their priority too often is defending the crew members and their own marketing image. 

There is also the danger of other passengers abusing your children.  A cruise ship presents the same dangers as your home town.  You can read about the problem of  sexual assault of teenagers and child abuse during cruises here.