Cruise ship rape incidents are more common than anyone can possibly imagine. Sexual assault is the number one crime onboard cruise ships, but unfortunately, not all cases are reported. Sometimes investigations take so long that evidence is considered null or the assailant is able to get away. However, one young victim of sexual assault on a Carnival Cruise last August has been able to find at least some justice for the pain she was forced to endure.
A Central Florida man who had been accused of participating in the rape of a 15-year-old girl was convicted by a federal jury Friday afternoon. Casey Dickerson, 31 at the time of his arrest, was accused of having forcible sex with the young victim in a cabin on the Carnival Sensation. Dickerson and his wife were on the vessel, which left from Port Canaveral, on Aug. 16.
Dickerson had access to two cabins because he and his wife had complained about noise during their cruise and Carnival gave them keys to a second stateroom. According to the victim, she and a friend met Dickerson and four teenage boys and went back to one of the cabins with them. The girl was then held down and Dickerson and the boys took turns raping her, while her friend was held by one of the boys in the cabin bathroom.
When questioned about the incident, Dickerson claimed he was drunk and didn’t know that things had escalated to a sexual point. He denied any wrongdoing. However, after two days in trial, jurors returned a guilty verdict on two sex abuse charges Dickerson was facing.
Dickerson was found guilty of raping the teen girl and, according to court records, encouraged the other attackers to do the same. He now faces life in prison, but will be sentenced at a later date.
When he was first arrested, Dickerson claimed he didn’t know the teens involved in the gang rape were underage. However, during the trial, a 15-year-old testified Dickerson asked the boys their ages and bought them four bottles of alcohol. As far as Dickerson not remembering what he had done, another teen admitted in court that he was in the bathroom while the cruise ship rape took place and saw a blood stain on the bedding that Dickerson tried to cover up. The teen alleged Dickerson told him he had sex with the girl.
While Dickerson may have been sentenced, the damage that has been done cannot be reversed. Our attorneys represent the victims in their civil case against Dickerson and Carnival Cruise Lines. Our attorneys have represented many victims of sexual assault on the high seas and many times, cruise lines are found at least partially liable. It is important to report sexual crimes as soon as they happen in order to make sure sufficient evidence is gathered and that the assailant does not have a chance to escape. Our new Cruise Ship Lawyer App is available to download free of charge on both iPhone and Android smart phones and can help victims document their cases right away, take pictures of the crime scene and contact one of our cruise rape lawyers immediately to get the case started right away.
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