A Jacksonville man was convicted Wednesday of aggravated sexual abuse by force on an 18-year-old woman aboard the Carnival cruise ship Elation.
The 23-year-old was convicted after 90 minutes of deliberation.
According to the original criminal complaint, the man was in a hot tub with a number of people, including a young woman with the mental capacity of a 12-year-old, when he touched the woman over her bathing suit before she pushed his hand away. The man then groped her under the water before getting out of the Jacuzzi.
The woman left the Jacuzzi and immediately reported what happened to her grandmother, who reported it to ship security.
The ship was at sea at the time, and the FBI was notified of the report. FBI agents and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office were present when the ship returned to port in Jacksonville
The man will remain in custody of the U.S. Marshals until his sentencing October 22. He faces up to life in prison.
When you are on a cruise, you should not have to worry about being sexually assaulted by another passenger or a member of the crew. Sadly, rapes and other types of sexual abuse happen all too often on cruise ships.
The cruise line could be held liable for your suffering, including psychological and emotional injuries. They could also be liable if they handled the aftermath of the assault negligently. This can entail not providing adequate medical care to the victim, not restraining the assailant, etc.
In order to protect your rights after being sexually assaulted on a cruise ship, it is important that you seek legal advice from our Florida Cruise Ship Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton as soon as possible after the incident in which you were injured. We are experienced in dealing with cruise line negligence and can assist with your case right away. You want to act fast as there are statutes of limitations set forth on cruise ship injury claims, which could prevent you from seeking compensation past a certain date.