Sexual assault victims never really win, especially when they are cruise ship sexual assault victims. When the victim is a child, the word “win” seems so inappropriate, because sexual assault and justice is not a game. Yet, when a victim walks away from a cruise ship sexual assault case, her assailant in prison and her attorney is able to get her a settlement to assist with counseling, it is in deed a win.
A child named Taylor W. was sexually assaulted in April 2009 by a Carnival Cruise Lines’ Carnival Freedom waiter, Hery Krispinyanto, 30, after she went out on deck to write in her journal. Within a few months of that assault, she would begin to sink into depression and consider suicide, a result of sexual assault that is all too typical.
This bright little girl didn’t suffer in silence, letting her attacker go on to assault other children aboard Carnival cruise ships. She bravely pulled herself together and sought help from her parents and the FBI. She is a unique child, deserving of a ‘win’.
When she and her family sought out legal expertise, they caught a break, finding one of the most talented maritime attorneys in the industry. With 35 years of experience in maritime law, a firm full of experts behind him, Charles Lipcon of Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina and Winkleman took on Carnival Cruise Lines for the victim and her family and within what seems like near record-breaking time, a mere year and half after the assault, the firm got the family a cash settlement. The case is closed and the victim can begin to repair her life, with her head held high.
What I have seen in the past five years of documenting cruise industry history, are cases that typically take four years or more to resolve. That’s a very long time for a child, who can go from childhood to adulthood while her case winds it way through the system. It’s utterly amazing that Lipcon resolved this case so quickly.
This is one of the few cruise line cases where the victim doesn’t come away feeling like the system failed her. Typically, these assailants go unpunished with the cruise line fighting to limit their liability by further assaulting the victim, through burying them under mountains of paper work, sending the assailant back to his home country, trying to break the victim’s will. But then, Charles Lipcon isn’t a typical maritime attorney.
The last case involving a child victim of rape aboard a cruise ship that made waves was that of a 13-year-old girl assaulted by a passenger. It would take four years for the FBI to get a confession out of her assailant. The assault took place on January 1, 2007; over four years later on February 11, 2011 the assailant would plead guilty. It’s an example of how these cases seem to go on forever, because four years is “forever” to a child enduring the slow process to justice.
The case of Taylor’s bravery is so encouraging, CBS Nightline did an episode on the case, with Taylor, her parents and Mr. Lipcon appearing to discuss this tragic case. Also included in the video are Cruise Bruise partners the International Cruise Victims Association and partner Mark Gaouette, author of Cruising For Trouble. Mr. Lipcon is also the author of a cruise industry expert advice book, Unsafe On The High Seas.
I’m personally so impressed by the case, the video can be found on the case page, is featured on the main video page, as well as having it’s own page in the video section, where hundreds of cruise industry videos can be found and is featured on the Cruise Bruise Youtube.com channel.
Forever more this case will be the measuring stick by which all other cruise ship sexual assault cases will be measured and it and Taylor deserve all the attention I can give the case.
Today, I couldn’t possibly be more proud to partner with Charles Lipcon of Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina and Winkleman. He’s a sexual assault victim’s advocate that really knows how to get results, and get results he does.
Originally Posted at: www.cruisebruise.com