A grand jury recently indicted a 27 year-old resident of Pennsylvania for strangling and beating a woman, who appears to be his girlfriend, during a cruise aboard a cruise ship operated by Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) to the Caribbean a year and a half ago. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) charged Quintin Owens with three felonies earlier this week: (1) “assault of an intimate or dating partner by strangling,” (2) assault by striking, beating, or wounding,” and (3) interstate domestic violence. The charges were filed in Federal Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania on May 21, 2024. The first two felony crimes are specified in 18 United States Code (U.S.C.) 113 (a) and the domestic violence charge is based on the alleged violation of 18 U.S.C. 2261 (a). The DOJ issued a press release summarizing the allegations.

The violent assault and battery is alleged to have occurred on the Norwegian Getaway which sailed from Port Canaveral on October 8, 2022 on a one week cruise to the United States Virgin Islands (USVI), Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. The indictment alleges that on October 11, 2022, Owens allegedly assaulted and battered his “intimate and dating partner” by “strangling her in a choke hold” on the high seas near St. Thomas, USVI. Owens pled not guilty to the charges and posted a $20,000 bond.

Owens and the victim both reside in the Western District of Pennsylvania in a town north of Pittsburg.

Owens faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 or both.

There is no information disclosed regarding the exact circumstances surrounding the violent attack which is alleged to have occured on the NCL cruise ship or whether the victim received medical treatment on the ship. It is also not clear why it took over 17 months for the indictment.

There have been a number of “domestic disturbances” during cruises over the years. In October 2018, a cruise passenger assaulted his girlfriend on an unidentified cruise ship. He choked her until she passed out during a cruise to the Bahamas. He was indicted under the same federal criminal statute involved in this case, 18 U.S.C. 113 (a).

A cruise passenger on the Carnival Fantasy was indicted earlier in 2018 after she reportedly pulled a steak knife and cut her boyfriend during an altercation. 

In August 2018, a 53 year-old man was arrested for murdering his girlfriend on the Carnival Elation.

A couple of months ago, a Carnival passenger was viciously beaten and cut in the face with a bar glass and required nineteen stiches. The crime took place on the Carnival Magic where a cruise guest, who became irate when asked to be quit in a theater on the ship, “smashed his cocktail glass into a man’s face and beat him during a theater show.”

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Image credit: Norwegian Getaway – kees torn – CC BY-SA 2.0 commons / wikimedia.