The Nassau Guardian published an article yesterday about a former Royal Caribbean crew member, Ruel Lockwood, previously employed as a stateroom attendant, who was accused of raping a young woman on Royal Caribbean’s Sovereign of the Seas cruise ship during a cruise to Nassau in 2006.
The crew member entered the college student’s cabin with a key card, which he used to enter cabins to clean them.
The jury in the Nassau, Bahamas acquitted the crew member of the rape in the criminal case, although Royal Caribbean paid $1,500,000.00 to settle the civil case which we filed here in Miami.
After crew member Lockwood was acquitted, he remained in jail for 4 days in Nassau. For that, he sued the Bahamas for "unlawful detention."
The Bahamian judge entered the order of acquittal on November 19, 2007, but immigration officials kept him in jail until November 23, 2007. The immigration officials contended that the cruise line did not complete the travel arrangements for Lockwood until November 23rd. However, Lockwood contended that Royal Caribbean had a ticket for him to fly home to Nicaragua earlier but the immigration officials refused to release his passport and kept him in jail unnecessarily.
In 2011, Lockwood filed a civil case against the Bahamas for the extra days he stayed in jail. Yesterday the Bahamian trial court found that Lockwood should have been released by November 21st and awarded him compensation and legal costs to be determined at a later date.
We wrote about this weird situation back in 2011. Lockwood spent approximately a year in a Bahamian jail for the alleged rape. But after the immigration officials and/or Royal Caribbean screwed up, Lockwood will receive compensation for 2 days. I wonder what a Bahamian judge will think that’s worth?