A passenger aboard the Margaritaville At Sea’s Paradise cruise ship alleges that a crew member snuck into her passenger cabin and assaulted her while asleep, according to the Palm Beach Post. She is suing the cruise line using the alias “Jane Doe.” Last August, the Miami New Times, among other outlets, reported that the same crew member sexually assaulted Jane Doe’s traveling companion in the same cabin. See, Cruise Bartender Accused of Sexually Assaulting Sleeping Passenger in Stateroom.
The Palm Beach Post explains that last May during a cruise to the Bahamas, Jane Doe awoke to the bartender sexually assaulting her in her cabin. She told FBI agents that she demanded he leave their cabin, but he moved to her traveling companion’s bed and began to assault her. Doe reported it to cruise ship security the following morning. The Post reports that according to court records, investigators found the “women’s room key in the pocket of (the crew member’s) work vest” and a photo he took of her traveling companion, “naked and asleep,” on his cellphone.
The cruise passenger alleges that she became pregnant as a result of the rape. Her lawsuit against the cruise line alleges that bartender Hoobesh Dookhy (now in federal prison) pocketed one of the two women’s cabin keys while serving the women drinks and used it to enter after both women fell asleep.
The bartender in question is serving time in federal prison after he pled guilty to abusive sexual contact for sexually assaulting Jane Doe’s traveling companion.
In his interview with FBI agents, the crew member told the FBI that he had been drinking while working.
(Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line was rebranded as Margaritaville at Sea company).
According to the Palm Beach Post, this victim “joins a long list of passengers and crew members who say they were victimized aboard cruise ships. More than 500 sexual-assault reports were documented between 2010 and 2022 on 13 major cruise lines, according to data published by the U.S. Department of Transportation. (DOT)”
Unfortunately, the DOT has not disclosed a single crime on a cruise ship since 2022. Neither the DOT nor the cruise industry disclosed the numerous rapes which occurred on cruise ships for the past year (2023) as required by the Cruise Vessel Security & Safety Act (CVSSA) of 2010. In 2022 alone, the DOT reported that there were over 100 women raped during cruises.
This raises the question: What’s worse? A cruise guest being sexually assaulted on a cruise ship, or an agency of the U.S. federal government, whose job includes reporting crimes on cruise ships, refusing to disclose the 100 rapes or so during cruises last year?
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January 4 2024 Update:
The Washington Post covered this disturbing story.
The Palm Beach Post published an article regarding the generally lawless nature of taking a cruise with this company:
Image Credit: Lindsey Nicholson/UCG/Universal Images Group / Getty via the Daily Beast; Washington Post – Bartender on Margaritaville cruise pleads guilty to sex crime at sea.