Tonight CNN’s Headline News ("HLN") featured an interview with the Senior Vice President of the International Cruise Victims ("ICV") regarding the latest cruise rape story involving a thirty-one year old man who participated in and encouraged the gang rape of a fifteen year old victim aboard a Carnival cruise ship.
ICV VP Laurie Dishman appeared tonight on the CNN channel discussing her personal experience as a rape victim on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship when a part time security guard sexually assaulted her while she was cruising with Michelle, her best friend since she was five years old.
The crime was particularly brutal and the response by the rapist’s employer, Royal Caribbean Cruises, was especially irresponsible. You can read Laurie’s story at the website of the ICV here.
Laurie hired me to represent her. Laurie is the most motivated and strongest woman, scratch that – person, I have ever met. She told me that her goal was to convene a hearing on her case to bring awareness to the problem of cruise ship sexual assaults. She wanted a law to be passed to protect other cruise passengers.
She also instructed me to take Royal Caribbean to the task. Not to be modest, but Laurie and I kicked the living crap out of the cruise line. She obtained the highest recovery against a cruise line to date for a sexual assault. Incidentally, there were several Congressional hearings held which discussed Laurie’s case and she met with President Obama to discuss the problem rapes on cruise ships. A new cruise safety law, the Cruise Vessel Security & Safety Act, was passed largely due to her efforts and her friends in the ICV. After all, she traveled over 30 times at her own expense to lobby Congress to pass the much needed law to protect cruise passengers.
Laurie and I (and my wife and kids) became best friends in the process of our several years of litigating against Royal Caribbean and attending hearings in Washington D.C. about crimes on cruise ships.
Laurie has taken her cause to the public as the Vice President of the ICV to educate the public about cruise ship crimes.
Tonight it was energizing to see Laurie on CNN explaining the danger of cruise ship rape to the public in the latest incident of an adult buying huge amounts of alcohol for underage boys who participated in the gang rape of the 10th grade child on the Carnival cruise ship. Laurie pointed out that on the day the story broke about the booze fueled gang rape, Carnival announced it all-you-can-drink booze package.
For $50 a day, you can drink till you puke, or until your posse rapes someone (my editorial, not Laurie’s)
You will continue to see Laurie at a national level speaking out for crime victims.
Thanks Laurie for advocating for the cruising public!