A Georgia woman has filed suit against Norwegian Cruise Lines in the U.S. Southern District of Florida alleging she was raped by a bartender of the cruise line while she was a passenger aboard the M/V Norwegian Sky. According to the Complaint, the bartender singled out the woman and plied her with alcohol and/or spiked her beverage.
The woman claims the bartender took her to into an isolated crew-only storage room on deck 12 and shut the door, moments later the bartender entered the storage room and refused to let the woman out despite her repeated pleas. The last event the woman recalled before coming to on deck 11, was the man pushing her head down toward his penis and telling her to be a “good girl.”
Upon coming to the woman claims she was sore in her private parts. She immediately reported the events to a security officer who rather than taking her directly to the infirmary took her to her room and had her drink water and eat while interviewing her. The complaint alleges that crew officials intentionally disregarded rape kit protocols, interfered with the collection of evidence and/or spoliated evidence from the sexual assault and potentially any substance in the alcoholic beverages she consumed.
Unfortunately, assault and rape reports by crew members aboard cruise ships against passengers and fellow crew members are all too common. With policies that encourage over-serving of alcohol to passengers while failing to properly supervise and monitor crew members, sexual assaults remain rampant on cruise ships despite measures by Congress to address this growing issue. Some measures include the 2010 passage of the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act, which requires cruise lines to report crimes involving U.S. citizens to the FBI and to disclose their crime statistics. The cruise lines reports may be accessed by visiting Department of Transportation website.