A newspaper in New Jersey reports that crew member Karan Seechurn was sentenced today to 13 months in jail for "abusive sexual contact."
Although federal prosecutors declined to identify the cruise line or cruise ship, the crime occurred on Royal Caribbean’s new cruise ship the Quantum of the Seas sailing from Bayonne, New Jersey last December.
Seechurn was responsible for restocking minibars in guest cabins on the Royal Caribbean cruise ship. While he was off-duty, Seechum used a master key card and sneaked into a woman’s cabin at night when she was sleeping. He molested the woman in her bed. When the woman awoke and pushed Seechurn off her, he threatened to burn the cruise ship down if she told anyone.
Seechurn is from Mauritius. We have previously reported on the crime here when he was arrested and here when he pled guilty. We are aware of many sexual crimes on cruise ships where male cabin attendants or room service employees use master card keys to enter cabins and attack women.
Seechurn faced up to three years in prison but received just 13 months. Because he has already served 7 months and 2 weeks, he will be given credit for time served and will serve a maximum of another 5 months and 2 weeks. If released early, which is probable, he will serve less than a year in jail and will be home by Christmas. A light sentence no doubt.
The newspaper also says that Seechurn will have a year of supervised release. This will be impossible because Seechum will be immediately deported when he is released from jail. It is impossible to supervise him once he returns to Mauritius.
Over 15 years ago, Royal Caribbean commissioned experts to study the problem of sexual assault in the Royal Caribbean-Celebrity fleet. The experts concluded that sexual misconduct occurs frequently and that most crew members think that the worst thing that will happen to them if they engage in a crime is that they will simply be fired and flown home.
It is important that sexual offenders on foreign-flagged cruise ships serve stiff jail penalties in order to spread the word on the ships that there are real consequences if you sexually abuse women or children at sea.
Unfortunately, a 13 month slap on the wrist does not act as a deterrent to such a crime.
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Photo Credit: Karan Seechurn Facebook page