Passenger Charged with Raping Boy on NCL Cruise Ship

Adam ChristopherOn August 30, 2017, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts filed criminal charges against a man reportedly from Bay Springs, Mississippi for allegedly raping a 15-year-old boy on a NCL cruise ship during a seven-day cruise from Boston to Bermuda. The sexual assault reportedly occurred on August 14, 2017 while the cruise ship was docked in Bermuda, according to the U.S. Attorney's office in Boston.* 

The incident was first reported by the newspapers in Bermuda, including Bernews and the Royal Gazette, which did not mention of name of the assailant or the cruise ship where the incident occurred. The newspapers in Bermuda, which typically do a poor job of reporting about crimes on cruise ships, did not provide any details regarding the alleged shipboard crime.  

The federal court filing in federal court in Boston (see below) indicates that the United States charged Adam Christopher Boyd, age 30, with one count of sexual abuse of a minor. Mr. Boyd was arrested in Bermuda and faces extradition back to the United States. The court filing indicates that the cruise ship where the rape occurred is the Norwegian Dawn. According to an affidavit from a FBI agent in support of the criminal charges and arrest warrant, the Dawn arrived at the Royal Naval Dockyard in Bermuda on August 13, 2017 where it was scheduled to spend three days before returning to Boston.

The FBI affidavit states that before the rape, the 15-year-old boy was drinking alcohol on deck 13 of the ship with other passengers who he met during the cruise.  Mr. Boyd met the child and informed him that he was an hairdresser and offered to braid the child's hair. Mr. Boyd reportedly asked the child his age and the boy said he was 15-years-old. The FBI reportedly later interviewed another passenger who stated that Mr. Boyd asked him if the boy was really just 15-years-old, and the passenger confirmed that the minor was, in fact, 15-years-old and not 18 as Mr. Boyd later claimed.  

According to the court filing, Mr. Boyd volunteered to escort the boy back to his cabin and offered the boy to stay in Mr. Boyd's cabin which the child declined. The ship's surveillance footage reportedly showed Mr. Boyd and the boy leaving deck 13 early in the morning of August 14th; another passenger verified that the boy appeared to be intoxicated at the time. When they reached a secluded area of deck 14, Mr. Boyd kissed the child and put his hands down the minor's pants and felt his genitals, following which he anally raped the child, according to the affidavit.  After the incident, the boy told a group of other teenagers who he previously met during the cruise, that he had been sexually assaulted. He also he told the police in Bermuda, who later came onto the ship to investigate the incident, that he had been "raped."

The court filing further indicates that other passengers stated that later that morning they saw the boy sitting by himself on deck 13, appearing upset and crying.  The child eventually returned to his cabin and reported the sexual assault to his family who alerted the ship's security personnel who, in turn, notified the police in Bermuda. The local police took the child to a hospital where a rape kit was administered. The police arrested Mr. Boyd who denied that penetrated the child.

The FBI agent, who prepared the affidavit, stated that she believed that there was probable cause that Mr. Boyd violated Title 18 of the United States Code, Section 2243(a) which defines sexual abuse as knowingly engaging or attempting to engage in a sexual act with a minor who has not attained the age of 16 and is four years or more younger than the assailant. The sexual abuse of a minor carries a jail sentence of five to fifteen years and a fine of up to $250,000. 

Sexual assaults of minors on cruise ships is an issue which I write about often; last month NBC News aired an investigation into the sexual assault of minors on cruise ships - NBC News: Hidden Dangers for Children on Cruise Ships. We have written about boys as well as girls being victimized during cruises, not only by crew members but by other adult passengers. Cruise lines are in the business of selling carefree, dream vacations to idyllic destinations; the cruise industry will never warn passengers of the dangers of their children encountering predator crew members or pedophile passengers. 

The U.S. government has jurisdiction to prosecute cases of rape on cruise ships when a U.S. citizen is involved, as either the victim or the assailant.  The criminal charge in federal court in a case of rape of a child is characterized as the "sexual abuse" of a minor; there are no criminal federal statutes for "rape" or "sexual assault."  

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Photo credit: Rap Sheets - of Adam Boyd for arrest on charges of driving under the influence in Mississippi in August 2015. 

*Note: The Department of Justice writes: "The details contained in the charging document are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law."  

 

 

Feds Bust Roatan-New Orleans Cruise Ship Cocaine Plot

The New Orleans Advocate reports that a branch of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has busted a cocaine smuggling operation where crew members smuggled cocaine from Honduras to New Orleans aboard Norwegian Cruise Line's (NCL) Norwegian Dawn cruise ship. 

The drug bust took place last Sunday. On line AIS tracking sites show that the Norwegian Dawn is now cruising to countries in the Caribbean / Central America, having recently left the Honduran cruise port of Roatan which is in the Bay Islands. 

Earlier this year, NCL crew members have been busted before trying to smuggle drugs into the U.S. from Norwegian DawnRoatan. Five NCL crew members on the Norwegian Sun were arrested in Tampa when the cruise ship returned from Roatan where the crew members picked up the drugs. One crew member was recently convicted and the other 4 pled guilty. 

The Norwegian Dawn was last mentioned in our article last year about a NCL Nicaraguan galley worker, tried to board the Dawn with a package of cocaine hidden under his clothes. The ship's security discovered the drugs and reported the incident to the national police, who arrested the crew member.  

The NCL cruise ship drug smuggling stories last year then reportedly involved widespread arrests of NCL crew members on the Epic as well as some on the Sun. Several NCL crew members have told me that as many as 20 NCL crew members from Nicaragua were arrested with cocaine in April last year. 

You can read about the latest NCL drug bust at the New Orlean Advocate in an article by Jim Mustian. The article mention five arrests: Asbert Lowmans, Jean Louis, Esias Felicien, Kevin John, and Alfred Dennison. The first four men appear to crew members. The last, Mr. Dennison identified as being from Jamaica, is alleged to have met with the crew member to buy the drugs. 

Photo Credit: Norwegian Dawn by Fletcher6 licensed under CC BY 4.0 via Commons / Wikipedia.

U.S. Coast Guard Medevacs Sick Passenger from Norwegian Dawn

Norwegian DawnCape Cod Today reports that the U.S. Coast Guard medevaced a sick passenger from a Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) cruise ship near Cape Cod yesterday evening.

The Norwegian Dawn contacted the USCG's station in Boston around 8:30 PM and said that a 19-year-old woman suffering from appendicitis needed medical help. 

A helicopter crew took off from Air Station Cape Cod arrived at the cruise ship around 10 PM.

The woman was hoisted aboard the helicopter and flown to the Barnstable Municipal Airport in Hyannis, and then taken by ambulance to Cape Cod Hospital.

The Norwegian Dawn had departed from Boston around 5 PM to Bermuda.

 

Photo Credit: "Norwegian Dawn Leaving Boston Harbor" by Fletcher6 - Licensed under CC BY 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Norwegian Dawn Hits Reef Near Bermuda

A friend just notified me that the Port Bermuda cam operated by PTZtv shows that the NCL Norwegian Dawn has just hit a reef near the port. 

The cruise ship reportedly launched lifeboats, although there is no indication that anyone was injured. The weather looks nice.  The boats may have been checking the damage to the cruise ship and reef.  

Passengers are tweeting that the cruise ship hit the reef hard and churned up the reef.

The ship was heading back to Boston. 

Some news outlets are reporting that the Dawn lost power shortly after leaving Bermuda. 

You can watch the webcam here.

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Photo Credit: J. Zsiros via CBS Boston

NCL Dawn Bermuda

NCL Crew Member Arrested in Drug Bust in Roatan

Norwegian DawnA NCL crew member employed aboard the Norwegian Dawn cruise ship was arrested yesterday when he attempted to smuggle cocaine aboard the ship when it was docked in Roatan, according to the Teledifusora Insular television station.

The television stations reports that the NCL ship employee, identified as Keneth Antonio Salas Taylor (age 35), a Nicaraguan galley worker, tired to board the Dawn with a package of cocaine hidden under his clothes.  The ship's security discovered the drugs and reported the incident to the national police, who arrested the crew member. 

Last month, five NCL crew members on the Norwegian Sun were arrested in Tampa when the cruise ship returned from Roatan where the crew members picked up the cocaine (seven kilos). Like the instant crew member arrested, these men were galley workers.  

You can read about that drug bust here.

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Photo Credit: Top Fletcher6 via Wikipedia Creative Commons 3.0; Bottom Teledifusora Insular.

 Drug Bust Roatan Honduras

Two Passenger Deaths on NCL Cruise Ship

Multiple news sources are reporting that two passengers died aboard a Norwegian Cruise Line ship which returned to port in Boston this morning.  The passengers died separately on the ship on Thursday.

One of the passengers, a 67-year-old woman, has been removed from the vessel.  State Police said that her death was not suspicious.

The second death, involving a 23-year-old man, is being investigated.  His cabin is being scrutinized by crime scene investigators because of his young age and the unknown cause of his death.

Massachusetts State Police and Suffolk County detectives are investigating the deaths.  

NCL has yet to commented on either death. 

The last time a young passenger died on a NCL was August of last year.  A 21 year old passenger died aboard the Epic after a severe allergic reaction to peanuts.   

Were you on the cruise or have information about these deaths?  Please leave a comment below.

October 28, 2011 Update:  The NCL cruise ship is the Norwegian Dawn.  The local District Attorney states that neither incident involved foul play.  

Cruise Ships & Drug Smuggling

Cruise ships are routinely used by both passengers and crew members to smuggle drugs.  Two recent newspaper articles from the Royal Gazette in Bermuda point this out.

Today, the newspaper reports that a passenger aboard Norwegian Cruise Line's (NCL) Norwegian Dawn was sentenced to seven years in prison in Bermuda for smuggling 5,048 grams of marijuana, with a street value of $252,000. 

Drug smuggling - cruise shipsU.S. passenger Anthony Issac brought the drugs to the Island in a suitcase aboard the NCL cruise ship.  A  "friend" of his paid him $10,000 to go on vacation and to drop the suitcase off in Bermuda.  The NCL passenger, a 34 year-old truck driver from the Bronx, apologized to the court in Bermuda.  He explained that he smuggled the reefer because he was "experiencing financial problems and  thought the money would help."

A couple of months ago, the Royal Gazette reported that a NCL cruise ship employee was jailed  for attempting to import more than $12,000 worth of cannabis into Bermuda. Crew member, Elroy Bent Brackman from Columbia, was offered $500 to import the drug while working aboard NCL cruise ship Norwegian Dawn. He had been caught smoking weed in his cabin, which led to a search.  

Like the NCL passenger, the crew member claims that he given $500 in New York if he would bring smuggle the marijuana on the cruise ship.  The court in Bermuda sentenced him to two-and-a-half years' in jail.

Drugs on cruise ships In November 2006, another NCL crew member Teeteta Lereria was sentenced to five years after trying to smuggle cannabis and heroin valued at more than $311,000 into Bermuda. She was employed as a cleaner aboard NCL's Norwegian Spirit.

Many of the crew members, particularly "cleaners" who do not earn tips, earn as little as $535 a month.  Working as much as 85 hours a week, their wages turn out to be less than $1.60 an hour.  Whereas this does not  justify criminal conduct, low wage employees are susceptible to being used as drug mules.  

The presence of drugs on cruise ships, particularly smuggled by the crew, raises a concern of violence between crew members.  This problem may also be behind the "disappearance" of crew members over the years - stories which have largely been ignored by the U.s. media. 

A search of the Royal Gazette's archives reveals that many passengers have also been arrested or fined for bringing marijuana into Bermuda. 

October 26, 2009 Update:

The Bermuda Royal Gazette reports today that another NCL passenger was busted for pot.  This time it was aboard NCL's cruise ship, Norwegian Majesty.  A Bermuda Customs sniffer dog found 12 joints of marijuana during a search of the cruise ship, while the ship was in port in St. George's.

The cruise passenger is an American, Frank Brazinski from Pennsylvania.  The joints were discovered in the passenger's luggage inside his cabin.  Not sure I understand how this resulted in a charge of importing drugs into Bermuda. The passenger pled guilty.