Embarking on a cruise should be a carefree and enjoyable experience. After all, it isn’t every day that you get the chance to disconnect from your daily life, sit back, and relax. So, it only makes sense that you’ll want your cruise ship experience to go off without a hitch.
That said, just because you hope for smooth sailing does not mean that it always happens. And, as a result, it’s important for you to ensure that you’ve done all you can to prevent accident and injury before you depart. Because, no matter how prepared you are, incidents can and will happen when you least expect them. And from our point of view, it’s better to be over prepared than underprepared.
Among the most common types of cruise ship crimes are rape and sexual assault. Unfortunately, many people do not immediately think of ways to protect themselves and reduce the risk of being harmed in this away aboard a cruise. A recent story out of South Florida, sheds light on the fact that sexual assault can take many forms.
This week, two men were charged in a case involving a teenage boy who propositioned a teenage girl aboard the Independence of the Seas. According to reports, 30-year-old Arturo Martinez overheard a 13-year-old boy offer his niece “a keychain for her virginity” while hanging out aboard the cruise.
Around 2am on Sunday, Martinez confronted the boy in the ship’s library. The boy says Martinez yelled at him, pinned him against the wall, then forced him face down onto a couch. The assault escalated when Martinez pulled down his pants and ordered the boy to do the same. Both were still wearing underwear.
When the ship docked that morning, Martinez was arrested. He now faces charges including child abuse without great bodily harm, assault, battery, and false imprisonment of a child.
Jason Lawson, the girl’s father and Martinez’s brother-in-law, was sentenced to two years in prison, for doing nothing to stop the attack.
“Unfortunately, we see that cruise ship onboard security is generally lacking in both sufficient numbers, training, and presence,” says Jason Margulies, maritime attorney specializing in shipboard assaults.
Assaulting Another Person Is Never Okay
In the wake of this event, we are reminded of the fact that assault can take many forms. Cruise ships, with their many unattended rooms and corridors, offer prime locations for attacks to take place. As passengers, it’s not only important to make sure you are vigilant about with whom you spend your time, but also that you take note of where you’re spending it.
And, if you do find that you fall victim to an attack, never be afraid to speak up. While it can be intimidating to face the authorities and report what took place, it is always better in the long run. After all, it is never okay for someone else to violate your person in any way, under any circumstances.
We know that facing your legal situation can feel overwhelming. But, a cruise ship rape lawyer can make all of the difference. So, if you have questions and are ready to take the next step, do not hesitate to contact us.