The German newspaper, Bild, recently published a blockbuster article tilted Child Molester on Dream Boat which reports that MSC Cruises rehired a crew member who had been accused of sexually molesting a ten year old child. MSC is accused of flying the crew member back to India rather than turning him over to law enforcement.
The newspaper states that the sexual molestation occurred in 2015 on the MSC Orchestra. The 45 year old cabin attendant is alleged to have sexually abused a 10 year old boy traveling with his German parents on the MSC cruise ship during a Baltic cruise. The minor’s parents were reportedly at a performance in the ship’s theater when the Indian crew member entered the cabin “supposedly to change towels.”
Another German newspaper, the Berliner Kurier, reported that the steward tried to entertain the boy by folding towel animals before pulling the child’s pants down. The cabin attendant told the child not to tell his parents anything. However, after his parents return to the stateroom the boy told them what happen and they immediately reported the assault to the ship’s captain.
But after the cruise ended in Tallinn, the cabin attendant was not arrested but instead, on the same day, was flown at MSC’s expense back to India.
The newspapers state that, a few months later, MSC rehired the steward, but he was subsequently arrested on a European criminal warrant in May 2017 when the MSC cruise ship called on Dubrovnik, Croatia.
The judge sentenced the MSC crew member to 22 months imprison, and added that “I find it strange that the cruise company rehires someone who is accused of sexual abuse to a child . . . ”
The popular Crew Center website asked these basic questions:
- Why did the captain not hand over the crew member immediately to the police authorities in Estonia, instead of sending him to India?
- Does the company check the records before rehiring a crew member?
Berliner Kurier reported that its editorial staff asked MSC to explain why the captain did not hand over the crew member immediately to the Estonian police instead of flying its employee out of the jurisdiction. MSC refused to comment.
We have also asked for a statement from MSC which has not responded to date.
This case follows a pattern which we have discussed many times, where parents leave their children in what they believe is the security of their cabin to attend a dinner or show, and a cabin attendant enters the cabin during their absence. Sexual assaults by cabin attendants in staterooms are the most frequent type of shipboard sexual crimes on cruises, in our opinion. And it’s not uncommon for cruise lines to immediately fly their employees accused of such crimes back to their home country like this, as this infamous case clearly reveals.
The crew member reportedly worked for MSC as a cabin attendant for 13 years. The question arises how many other times this pedophile abused children in this manner.
This summer, NBC News aired a special program regarding Hidden Dangers for Children on Cruise Ships. Earlier this month, we reported on the arrest of a U.S. passenger, age 30, who is accused of raping a 15 year old boy on a NCL cruise ship.
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Photo credit:Top – MSC Orchestra in Tallinn – Bin im Garten, CC BY-SA 3.0, commons / wikimedia; bottom – Bild.