WSVN Channel 7 reports that a 31 year old man was arrested for allegedly molesting an 11-year-old girl aboard a Disney cruise ship which sailed last week from the port of Miami.
The news channel says that the man is from Honduras and he allegedly fondled the little girl on board the Disney Magic, which sailed from Port Miami on December 18, 2015. The stations says that "while on the ship, the girl told her parents that a man, later identified as 31-year-old Juan Manuel Palma Ortega, fondled her three times."
The Magic returned to the port of Miami yesterday.
The station further reports that "Miami-Dade police detained Palma Ortega back at Port Miami, where he allegedly confessed to the crime. He was charged with three counts of lewd and lascivious molestation of a minor and is being held without bond."
His mug shot is to the left.
The news article does not state whether he is a crew member or not. His Facebook page states that from Tegucigalpa, Honduras where many crew members are from. However, there is no information confirming this yet.
This latest alleged crime should serve to remind the public that sexual assault of minors do occur on cruise ships, even on those cruise ships which cater to families.
Last year, a Disney employee, age 36, of Jakarta Indonesia (photo below right), employed as a cabin attendant on the Disney Dream, molested a girl during a family cruise. He befriended the family during the cruise and assaulted the 13 year old girl on the last morning of the cruise. We are representing the family of the child. The Port Canaveral Police department arrested the Disney cruise employee. He was sentenced earlier this year to 70 months in jail. You can read about that case here.
Disney refused to timely report a similar incident when a 33 year old Disney waiter molested an 11 year old girl on the Disney Dream. Although the incident occurred while the cruise ship was in port in Port Canaveral, Disney sailed the cruise ship to the Bahamas in what appeared to be an attempt to aid the crew member in escaping justice. The Bahamas, as expected, refused to arrest the molester and Disney then flew the crew member back to his home country, India. WKMG covered the disturbing story. You can see photos of the incident here and read our account of the crime here.
Florida is the only state which gives jurisdiction to state police agencies to arrest foreign crew members or passengers who commit sexual crimes in international waters and provides jurisdiction to state prosecutors to criminally charge these perverts. Typically other states must rely on the FBI and federal prosecutors who do a terrible job investigating crimes at sea,
Photo Credit: Top: Miami-Dade County Police via WSVN; Bottom FOX 35.