Three French men who boarded the MSC Seaside last week allegedly gang-raped a 19-year-old Italian student who was on the cruise as part of a school trip, according to several newspapers which reported the crime.

Last Friday, the men boarded the MSC cruise ship vessel in Marseilles, one of the six ports of calls on the MSC cruise ship’s itinerary, several days after the young woman began her cruise in Civitavecchia, near Rome.

She spent several days on the ship with her classmates before her three attackers boarded the ship. “Hours after they boarded the vessel, the three perpetrators are said to have lured the young passenger into their cabin before forcing themselves upon her in the locked room.”

The rape reportedly occurred while the MSC ship was sailing back to Italy (Genoa). The Genoa border police conducted the investigation, interviewed the victim and obtained security camera footage from the ship. The police arrested the three men.

This rape on a MSC ship allegedly occurred two months after a 27 year-old crew member on the MSC Fantasia was accused of raping a 33 year-old passenger from the U.K.

We recently reported on the sexual assault statistics maintained by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) regarding crimes on cruise ships sailing from and returning to U.S. ports. Read: DOT First Quarter Cruise-Crime Statistics: Carnival Cruise Line Ships Remain the Most Violent Ships at Sea.

There were 32 sexual assaults / rapes reported to the DOT on cruise ships calling on U.S. ports for the first three months of this year. There was a total of 131 sexual assaults on cruise ships in 2023 from U.S. ports.

The DOT data does not include sexual assaults on cruise ships sailing itineraries in and around Europe, Africa, Asia or Australia.

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May 24, 2024 Update:

The Italian newspaper Il Messaggero reported that another Italian high school girl reported that the “gang” of young men tried to rape her earlier that evening but she managed to escape.

Image credit: MSC Seaside (sailing from Miami) Yanjipy – CC BY-SA 4.0 commons / wikimedia.