A frequent topic on Cruise Law News is the danger of sexual assault on cruise ships.  One of the problems we write about frequently is that the cruise lines do not conduct adequate background checks on their employees.  The cruise lines deny this, of course, and claim that they subject their crew members to rigorous pre-employment screening.

Kaloyan Kaloyanov - Carnival Cruise Line - Sexual AssaultWell, Carnival has a lot of explaining to do considering an article published today in the Oakland Tribune entitled "Man Sought Longest on Fremont’s "Most Wanted" List Finally Caught."

It turns out that a rape suspect on the "Most Wanted" list of the city of Fremont, California was arrested last week in Mexico aboard a Carnival cruise ship where he worked as the manager of the onboard hair salon. Kaloyan Kaloyanov (photo left), age 36, was a former star athlete from Bulgaria who was wanted by the police for raping a 15 year old child who he coached in gymnastics.  

The article indicates that the former international gymnastics star was placed on Fremont’s Most Wanted list in 2002 after he abandoned his wife and daughter and fled the country after the girl informed police that Kaloyanov sexually assaulted her.

The article indicates that Kaloyanov competed in the 1997 and 1998 Aerobic Gymnastics World Championships, and he also participated in several events with his wife (photo below).

The article also indicates that the police interviewed Kaloyanov in 2002, and he admitted to "having sex" with the girl. It is less than clear why the police did not arrest him at that time. After the interview, Kaloyanov fled and has been on the run for eight years. 

The police finally caught up with him when they Googled his name and they found photographs of Kaloyan Kaloyanovhim in front of a cruise ship.  The police then determined that Kaloyanov had worked for Carnival Cruise Lines for four years, as a fitness instructor and the manager of a hair salon on a Carnival ship.

Congratulations to the police in Fremont for arresting the bad guy.

Its a shame that Carnival’s "rigorous" pre-employment screening does not even include Googling the applicant’s name.  The cruise line would have learned that Kaloyanov’s photograph is posted on an on line "Most Wanted" criminal database.   

Carnival has issued a statement indicating that Kaloyanov, although a Carnival crew member, was actually hired by Steiner which operates the spa on the cruise ship.  Carnival also stated that Kaloyanov worked with other cruise lines before ending up on a Carnival cruise ship.

Kaloyanov was working on the Carnival Spendour which was sailing from Long Beach, Caifornia.

This means that the U.S. Customs and Immigration officials in California, who are suppose to check the crew and passenger roster everytime a ship enters a U.S. port, failed to realize that Kaloyanov was a criminal suspect – even though he was on a "Most Wanted" database of a city in California. 

August 20, 2010 Update:

According to the Oakland Tribune, Kaloyanov was scheduled to appear before an Alameda County judge today to possibly enter a plea and try to persuade a judge to reduce his bail from $500,000, the amount at which it was set earlier this week when he was formally arraigned on two counts of having sex with a minor.


Story credit:  Oakland Tribune / Ben Aguirre Jr.  twitter.com/benaguirrejr  

Photo one:  Fremont "Most Wanted" page

Photo two:  San Fransisco Chronicle / Kurt Rogers "Gym-dandies / Sportaerobics champions put Fremont on the map"

  • curious

    was he actually convicted in a court of law in 2002 or you’re assuming he’s a “bad guy”, because he’s on a police list? good journalism.

  • Jim Walker

    Dear Curious:

    Let’s see. This dirtball admitted to “having sex” with a 15 year old girl (his version) and abandoned his wife and child, not to mention the rape allegations.

    I’m not a journalist. I am a trial lawyer and advocate for safety on cruise ships.

    Thanks for reading my blog.

    Don’t come back.

    Jim Walker

  • It seems every time we turn on the news there are stories like this about violence, corporate theft and fraud. As an employer you should be doing thorough background checks on your employees. This will provide a safer working environment as well as minimizing the risk of crimes happening to you. Checking out https://www.candidresearch.com/resources/faqs is a good start for you AND your business!

  • Disgusted1

    Hi Jim…

    Well I work for a cruise line and have been on 2 different ships with Kal and he was a “freaky” guy…. I never did like the way he looked at people…. I now know why… I hope he gets what he deserves for his crime.

    Disgusted 1.

  • I worked with him….

    I worked with him too. PLEASE tell me what does Steiner have to say about this whole thing.

    Never liked him.

    Please keep us posted on the progress of this matter.

  • girl from south africa

    Oh my word I can’t believe this this was my manager I always asked him about his wife and child he said they where no long together aaahhhh I feel sicK!

    I hope he gets what he deserves.

  • abi

    omfg…he was my manager on paradise….i was the only person that got on with him and liked him….now i feel sick…wtf this is soooo creepy….our company stiener should of checked him out before he work with soooo many young girls….stiener has put all our lives in danger the bastards!!!

  • Lauren

    I used to work for Steiner, worst company on the face of the planet! Saying I would interested in what they have to say on the matter, is a severe understatement!!!

  • Ben

    I work for Carnival Cruise Lines. I know this Guy very well. I am 100% sure that half of his employee (GIRLS) were his girlfriends.I ts not nice to mention their names, but they know who they are.

    I am from the Caribbean, and CARNIVAL Cruise Lines is NOT an equal apportunity Employer. So why 90% of their ships gose to the Islands. We should charge a higher TAX for Carnival ONLY.

  • adonisss

    I know Kal , and I worked with him. He likes girls, but who doesn’t? He will always talk nice to a girl and do his best to bring her in his bed, but he will NEVER physically force her or rape her!!!!!! It is true that a lot of girls were in his bed and I am curious to see even one bad comment from such a girl!!! He is always nice, gentle and helpful. For me he is not a criminal. Having sex with a 15-year old is a mistake, bad mistake, but first of all I am sure it was mutual and second of all let’s ask ourselves, does this mistake deserve to ruin a life of young man?

    The media look for sensations and they exagerrate everything and make him look bad, but this is not correct. I would like to see more comments from people who really know him!

  • Adonisss:

    What about the life of the 15 year old girl he raped?

    Jim Walker

  • Steve

    Shame on the cruise line, the sex offender check list is free and takes a second…..not to mention any organization that has kids involved should pay for a simple background check, $30 up front is a lot cheaper than a million in a law suit……….

  • Maurizio

    I worked with him too. He was a wierd guy. Followed my girlfriend all the way back to our cabin on one night! I hated his friend Gemma too. They were always seperate to the rest of the Steiners. Hope he gets what he deserves

  • Toniann

    TO adoniss and curious,

    You both are damn fools and disgust me with your comments. You think this 15 year old girl ASKED to be raped? Can you imagine the emotional and mental scars this young girl has to live with for the rest of her life because of this sicko who tried to rob her of her innocence? If you had a soul at all your foolish comments would eat away at you but it is clear that you dont. The cruise line should be at fault BIG TIME for allowing this filthy pig to work on their ships where there are countless number of young girls who travel with their parents. SHAME ON THEM! Why arent background checks taking place? Thorough background checks at that. Justice needs to be served in this case and nothing less.

  • Baltazar A. Rafaes


    Yes of course, if the applicant has filed a lawsuit against a cruise lines, then, they will not hire the applicant even the applicants has already completed his travel documents, such as PEME, US Visa or even the applicants has already spend over $3,000 for completing his travel documents they do not care! (like Celebrity Cruise Lines/Royal Caribbean/PTC did to me), but if the applicants are like Kaloyan Kaloyanov who raped a 15 years old, or a person with a murder case in the Philippines like Mr. Dingly (let’s just call him Mr. Dingly) (famous Filipino in Acapulco Mexico), they do not care about that!

    [Base on the story that was famous in HAL vessels] Mr. Dingly was committed a murder in the Philippines, after he committed murder he applied as an Assistant Cook in UPL after a few days he was hired and embark at one of the HAL vessels. After a few months when Mr. Dingly realized that his murder case was spreads out, and think that he will be captured at any US or Canada Ports, while the HAL vessels was in Acapulco, he went ashore and did not returned to the ship anymore. After 10 years in Acapulco Mexico he became famous Filipino in Acapulco Mexico! And when the President of the Philippines visited Acapulco Mexico, Mr. Dingly invited President Fidel V. Ramos to be his guest (photographs are posted in Mr. Dingly famous Filipino Restaurant in Acapulco, Mexico located near the Acapulco cruise ships terminal)!

  • John


    Oh, no, no more. Companies like Royal Caribbean Cruises saving money on paying manning agencies around the world by implemented computer system, where potential candidates can apply for a job and will be recruited directly from the company. Who will check their background? No one, since they cannot do the background check on someone from abroad. This is the case in most of the countries in the world. Definitely you will have much more human junk onwards.