MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami-Dade based Royal Caribbean Cruise has been hit with a federal lawsuit by a woman who claims she was assaulted by a crew member during New Year’s cruise.
An attack which was partially captured by the ship’s surveillance cameras, the woman’s attorney told CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald.
It happened aboard the Navigator of the Seas. The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court, states that on the morning of January 1st, the passenger had gone to an upper-level deck to use a whirlpool. Once there the woman asked a crew member for a towel, according to the suit, and he led her into a bathroom where the alleged attack happened.
Miami attorney Michael Feiler said that the surveillance video captured the woman following the crewman into the bathroom then trying to escape, only to be dragged back into the room.
The woman was finally able to escape and reported the attack to the ship’s security.
Feiler believes the security officers took the crewman into custody and kicked him off of the ship at the next overseas port.
“This is a problem in the cruise industry and if the company cared, it wouldn’t just turn this guy loose in the nearest port,” Feiler told the paper. “You need to cooperate with the victim and assist in bringing him to the proper authorities.”
A cruise line spokes said their security people “responded and preserved information and potential evidence that could be helpful to law enforcement.”
They add that the incident was immediately reported to the FBI and law enforcement in St. Kitts.
Royal Caribbean said they have a strict policy on crew interacting with guests. The crewman involved in the alleged incident was terminated because he violated that policy.
Cbs4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed to this report.