Surveillance video on Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas shows an attack on a 13 year old boy by two adult passengers.
The men, identified by local Miami news station NBC 4 as Martinez and Lawson, corner the teenager in the ship’s library, before pinning him against the bookcase. The boy had apparently made an inappropriate comment earlier during the cruise to to Lawson’s daughter (Martinez’s niece).
In retaliation, the men confronted the minor, with Martinez taking off his shirt and sexually assaulting the minor, according to the article titled Teen’s Assault on Cruise Ship Caught on Surveillance Camera.
The minor’s mother reportedly said about the attack on her son: “He physically punched him, choked him, smothered his face in the pillow, pulled his clothes off, was on top of my son.”
The Sun Sentinel covered the disturbing story shortly after it occurred back in January of 2016.
The family of the boy is represented by another maritime lawyer here in Miami.
Royal Caribbean said “the ship’s crew has no duty to monitor the cameras . . . ”
A criminal judge sentenced Martinez to three years in prison for lewd and lascivious behavior with a child under 16, and sentenced Lawson to two years in prison sentence for child abuse.
The article mentions that in 2016-2017, 69 percent of crimes committed on board cruise ships were sexual assaults. The chairman of the International Cruise Victims Association (ICV), Ken Carver, told NBC 4 that “a third of all the rapes on cruise ships are on minors, if you can believe that.” You can read the 2013 Congressional cruise crime report with this alarming statistic here.
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Photo credit: Broward Country Sheriff’s Office via Sun Sentinel; video credit: NBC 4.