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US Cruise Ship Routes Experience Increase in Sexual Crimes

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Recent data released by the Transportation Department has revealed a disturbing increase in sex crimes on cruise ships traveling to and from the United States. 

Between January and September 2023, the FBI received 39 reports of sexual assault and 58 reports of rape from passengers, representing an unsettling trend in the industry.

While these incidents make up less than 1 percent of the tens of millions of passengers who embark on cruises each year, sexual assaults remain the most frequently reported crimes on US cruise ships. Shockingly, more than two out of three sexual assaults go unreported, according to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network.

Comparing recent numbers to previous years, the situation is particularly concerning. In 2022, there were 87 reported incidents of sexual assault on US cruise ships, marking a significant increase from the 79 incidents recorded in the first three quarters of 2019, the year before the industry faced pandemic-induced closures.

The Transportation Department’s quarterly cruise line incident reports, published last week, outlined disturbing statistics for the period from January to September 2023. 

Sexual Crimes Breakdown on US Cruises

Recent data released by the Transportation Department has revealed a disturbing increase in sex crimes on cruise ships traveling to and from the United States.
Recent data released by the Transportation Department has revealed a disturbing increase in sex crimes on cruise ships traveling to and from the United States.

While statistics for October through December are pending, the reports from the previous period included 16 assaults involving serious bodily injury and 14 thefts of over $10,000.

Sexual assault cases on US cruises have led to legal action in the past, with a recent incident involving a bartender on a Margaritaville at Sea cruise facing charges of entering a passenger’s room and engaging in non-consensual sex. 

Awaiting sentencing, the bartender agreed to plead guilty to a lesser charge of abusive sexual contact. A civil suit brought by another woman accused the man of rape, leading to a pregnancy she was forced to terminate.

Among the reported incidents from January to September 2023, 76 of the alleged sex crimes were committed by passengers, 17 by crew members, and four by unknown or other parties. 

Carnival Cruise Line, transporting the most guests, reported 36 incidents, while Royal Caribbean reported 20, and Disney Cruise Line reported 15.

South Florida trial lawyer Daniel Courtney, specializing in cases against cruise companies, highlighted the need for the industry to take more proactive measures to prevent sexual assaults on cruises, emphasizing the urgency of addressing this critical issue.

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