Rape and Sexual Assault of Minors: A Major Concern for Parents

This week, a 2015 case involving the sexual assault of a minor was brought to light, wherein the attack was captured on ship’s surveillance camera. The attack, which took place on the Independence of the Seas, near the end of the cruise’s journey, occurred one evening when the victim and his brother–both minors–received permission from their mother to stay out a little later than usual.

Conducted by two adult passengers, Arturo Martinez and Jason Lawson, the attack is captured in its entirety on video surveillance. In the video, the men corner the teenager in the ship’s library. Other teens, including the victim’s older brother, appear distraught and run from the library.

After the assault, the brothers reported the crime to cruise security. When the ship arrived in Port Everglades, Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies were called in to investigate. Both men were sentenced. Martinez will serve a three year sentence, Lawson will serve two. Now, the family is suing Royal Caribbean.

Rape and Sexual Assault Should Be Prevented

Royal Caribbean responded to the situation by saying, “We maintain a zero-tolerance policy toward any criminal activity on our ships. We immediately notified authorities about this 2015 incident and we worked closely to assist law enforcement during their investigation.” That said, the cruise line has made it clear that they do not believe the most recent lawsuit is valid, explaining, “A cruise line is not required to supervise its passengers at all times to ensure no harm befalls them.”

Unfortunately, the rape and sexual assault of minors aboard cruise ships is far more common than anyone would like. Despite the industry advertising the fun and carefree nature of their ships, the truth is that attacks on minors continue to be a concern.

Although cruise lines have improved their rates of reporting violent crimes such as this, there is still a long way to go until accurate information is more widely available to concerned parents and cruise goers.

We Can Help You Achieve Just Resolution

In an ideal world, we would not have to worry about our children becoming the victims of cruise ship rape and sexual assault, however, we do not live in an ideal world. And if your child has fallen victim to a life-changing crime such as this, you should know that you can hold the cruise line and the perpetrator of the crime accountable.

At Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A., we have extensive experience with helping our clients navigate their rape or sexual assault cases. Although these kinds of cases can be legally complex, our team is more than prepared to stay by your side, every step of the way.

We understand the emotional distress you may be feeling, and we know the steps to take, so that you get the resolution you deserve. While a court ruling can never reverse the harm that was done to you or your child, it can help you to find closure, so that you can begin to heal and move forward.

Have questions about how a cruise ship rape lawyer can help? We are ready to hear from you. Do not hesitate to contact us today to get started.