According to the Royal Gazette newspaper in Bermuda, a 27 year old passenger is accused of sexually assaulting a person on an unidentified cruise ship last Friday, August 10, 2018.

According to the article titled Cruise Passenger Accused of Sex Assault, a 27-year-old man from New Jersey, “who cannot be named for legal reasons,” pleaded not guilty of assaulting another guest on a cruise ship, in Magistrates’ Court in Bermuda yesterday. The assault is alleged to have happened on a cruise ship at the dockyard in Sandys, in the western part of Bermuda.

The criminal magistrate in Bermuda released the cruise passenger on a $10,000 bail on the conditions that he hand over his passport and avoid contact with his victim.

Bermuda has archaic procedures which purportedly prohibit newspapers from mentioning the name of alleged rapists or sexual offenders in the press. The newspapers also choose not to disclose the name of either the cruise line or the cruise ship involved in an alleged crime like this. There obviously is no such prohibition under U.S. law in naming rape suspects, and it serves no public purpose to hide the names of corporations, vessels or maritime employers when crimes occur during cruises.

Not coincidentally, Bermuda is one of the countries where cruise lines register their ships in order to avoid U.S. taxes and labor and safety laws.  Princess Cruises, for example, is incorporated in Bermuda.

Passengers who commit rapes during cruises to Bermuda often have to been extradicted back to the U.S. in order to face criminal charges. In September of last year, a 30 year old man from Mississippi allegedly raped a 15 year old boy. The crime was revealed only after the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts filed criminal charges and extradicted the man back to the U.S. and issued press releases in the process.

As I mentioned in the article titled More Reefer Madness from Bermuda’s Kangaroo Courts, Bermuda has a strange sense of priorities. Its press delights in publishing the names and photographs of vacationers, caught through the use of what would be illegal search procedures in the U.S., with a joint or two in the cabin safe to be smoked for recreational use on the high seas (an issue the cruise line security should deal with).  But Bermuda seems indifferent to prosecuting rapists and criminals involved in violent crimes on Bermuda flagged ships. Criminal charges against crew members who are alleged to have committed sexual crimes are often dropped.

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  • Jim Walker

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