The Virgin Island Consortium reported today that a crew member was arraigned in Federal District Court for the Virgin Islands in St. Thomas on charges of aggravated sexual abuse of a passenger on a cruise ship.
The newspaper announced the charges against a Filipino crew member by the name of Louie Isom Mangampat. According to the indictment, Mangampat sexually assaulted a woman while on board a cruise ship bound for the U.S. Virgin Islands.
In federal court, there is no criminal offense of “rape” but only charges of sexual abuse or aggravated sexual abuse according to the federal statutes.
According to the United States Department of Justice (as mentioned by Newsweek), “aggravated sexual abuse” refers to offences where someone (1) uses “force against another person” and thereby causes that person “to engage in a sexual act,” or (2) causes another person to engage in a sexual act “by means of threats express or implied,” or places that person in fear that any person will be “subjected to death, serious bodily injury, or kidnapping.”
The case is being investigated by the FBI and the Virgin Islands Police Department.
The newspaper did not identify the name of the crew member’s employer, the name of the cruise ship involved, or any details of the alleged criminal offense.
The U.S. Virgin Islands is one of those islands in the Caribbean where the officials and newspapers do not reveal the names of cruise lines in fear of alienating their tourism partners.
The U.S. Deartment of Transportation database indicates that there were 26 sexual assaults committed against passengers and crew members in the last quarter (April throught June 2019) – including 11 on Carnival, 9 on Royal Caribbean, 4 on MSC, 1 on Disney and 1 on HAL cruise ships.
Tomorrow, we will check the docket and arrest / probable cause affidavits in federal court in the Virgin Islands to determine the name of the cruise ship / cruise line and alleged details of the sexual crime.
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November 8, 2019 Update:
The crew member is accused of assaulted a female crew member aboard the Celebrity Equinox, according to the Virgin Islands Daily News.
The court files reveals the details of the assault: Celebrity Crew Member’s “Brazen Rape of Colleague.”
Photo credit: Mitya Trotsky – top; Justin Link – CC BY-SA 4.0, commons / wikimedia – bottom.