It’s already been a month since the indictment of a 31-year-old man who was accused of raping a young girl onboard a cruise ship in August, but her other assailants are still free. The victim was only 15-years-old, trying to have fun on a family vacation, but her excitement was cut short as the indicted man and several teenage boys were accused of gang raping her. The elder cruise rape assailant, Casey Dickerson, was arrested and charged with two counts of forcing sex on a minor. He was arrested on August 20 and has been held in Orange County since.
The cruise ship rape incident took place onboard the Carnival Cruise Line ship, Carnival Sensation. Dickerson and his wife had been on the ship, which left from Port Canaveral in Orlando, Florida, on August 16. The couple complained to cruise authorities that there was too much noise in their stateroom and were given an alternate cabin. However, they were able to keep both cabins.
According to the cruise rape victim, whose name has been withheld because she is a minor, she and a friend had gone to Dickerson’s cabin, along with four other boys. The girl claims that Dickerson and the boys held her down and took turns having sex with her against her will. When questioned, Dickerson claims he was intoxicated and didn’t have any recollection of the incident. He vehemently denied having sexual contact with the girl. The boys, however, have come forward and admitted to having forcible sex with her but have yet to be formally charged. Permission from the Attorney General must first be obtained before charges against juveniles can be filed in federal court.
The FBI was investigating the cruise ship crime, but all those involved in the rape incident have yet to be brought to justice. This isn’t the first – nor will it likely be the last – cruise ship rape incident that is not dealt with swiftly. In his book, “Unsafe on the High Seas,” maritime lawyer Charles Lipcon explains that sexual crimes, including rape, unwanted touching and other sexual harassment incidents, are the number one crimes that recur onboard cruise ships. But unfortunately, not much has been done to change this sad statistic. Although cruise ship operators are inherently responsible for the safety of their passengers and crew, sexual crimes, like the rape of this young girl, continue to happen. Offenders can be other passengers, as with this particular incident, but can also be crewmembers. Regardless of who the assailant is, any sexual crime that takes place onboard a vessel is unacceptable and against the law.
While nothing can possibly correct the trauma and anguish a rape or sexual assault victim suffers, it is important for victims and their loved ones to know that they have a right to seek legal help for what transpired. If you or someone you know has been hurt by a sexual offender on the high seas, turn to one of our attorneys for assistance immediately in filing a case and protecting your rights.
Having a cruise ship rape lawyer on your side will not only increase the chances that the perpetrators be held liable for their crimes, but that cruise ship operators who failed to maintain your safety also be held accountable for their disregard of passenger well-being. Our attorneys have been representing victims of cruise ship crimes and accidents since 1971. With passion and integrity, we will work diligently to help you obtain the damages you deserve for your pain and suffering as well. Call Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A. today to schedule a consultation and get started on your case.