Yesterday we blogged about a recently filed lawsuit, which alleges that Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines negligently allowed a group of grown men to buy drinks for a 15-year-year-old-girl before taking her to a cabin room and raping her. The suit not only takes the company to task for failing to stop the intoxication and attack, but also for not having warned the victim of the dangers of cruise ship sexual assault. Yesterday, in a Miami New Times report about the case, the paper looked deeper into the company’s ongoing failure to protect passengers from sexual assault.
The New Times reminded readers that it “reported in April that rape is a systemic problem within the cruise industry and that wealthy cruise corporations either do nothing to fix the issue or hide stories of sexual assault on their ships.” Instead of focusing on protecting passengers from predators, the company has instead waged fierce legal battles to prevent these victims from seeking the justice they deserve.
For example, the teenage victim of the group rape had originally filed suit in 2016, but Royal Caribbean fought the suit and eventually had it tossed out, arguing that that crew members who were present when the men were giving the girl drinks could not have predicted what would happen next. But the victim, identified only as K.T. in court documents, appealed that ruling. Earlier this week a judge reinstated the suit, tellingly stating that Royal Caribbean was well aware of the problem of cruise ship sexual assault.
The Times’ report goes on to say “The appellate court confirmed what critics, survivors, and activists have been saying for years: Sexual assault is an epidemic in the cruise industry." The story links to a long form expose about cruise ship sexual assault that the paper published in April.