URGENT UPDATE: Dept. of Homeland Security Involved in Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Sea Investigation

URGENT UPDATE: Dept. of Homeland Security Involved in Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Sea Investigation The Dept. of Homeland Security is now contacting the families of the child victims and making them aware that their children were filmed and photographed on the Royal Caribbean (RCCL) Symphony of the Seas cruise ship. Hickey Law Firm is speaking with multiple parents of children who were on board the ship.

If you were a passenger on the RCCL and Arvin Joseph Mirasol was your steward, call us today. Cruise lines are responsible for the behavior and actions of their employees. You could be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses, including mental distress. Under Maritime law, mental distress is a compensable loss. Hickey Law Firm can help.

Federal Court Order with Findings of Fact from Testimony in Hearing

Federal Magistrate Judge Alicia O. Valle on March 7, 2024 entered an order regarding pretrial detention in United States v. Arvin Joseph Mirasol, the room steward accused of videotaping and photographing young girls in a state of undress in their cabin bathrooms using remote cameras placed in the bathrooms by the steward. The salient part of the order is as follows:

In accordance with the provisions of 18 U.S.C. § 3142(i)(1), this Court makes the following findings of fact and statement of reasons for the detention:

  1. Defendant is charged by Complaint with production of child pornography, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2251(a), and possession of child pornography, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252(a)(4)(B). If convicted of production of child pornography, Defendant faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years and a possible maximum statutory sentence of 30 years in prison. If convicted of possession of child pornography, Defendant faces a possible maximum statutory sentence of 20 years in prison.
  2. Because the offense involves production of child pornography, a rebuttable presumption exists that no condition or combination of conditions would reasonably assure Defendant’s appearance or the safety of the community. See18 U.S.C. § 3142(e)(3)(E). Defendant offered no evidence to rebut this presumption.
  3. The evidence against Defendant is substantial. At the detention hearing, the Government proffered evidence and a law enforcement agent testified that:
    1. On February 26, 2024, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line notified law enforcement that a stateroom attendant aboard the Symphony of the Seas had placed a camera in guests’ bathrooms to record their activities while the ship was sailing in international waters. The crewmember was identified as Arvin Joseph Mirasol, a citizen of the Philippines.
    2. On March 3, 2024, the Symphony of the Seas arrived at Port Everglades. Law enforcement officers boarded the vessel and were directed to Defendant. Defendant relinquished his electronic devices to law enforcement, including an Android cellphone (IMEI 015734006047846), Sandisk Micro S.D. Memory Card, Transcend 8 GB Memory Card, camera, Sandisk USB Stick, and Apple watch (SN G99T34E2KDH2).
    3. Law enforcement conducted a border search and preliminarily reviewed Defendant’s electronic devices. During examination of Defendant’s Sandisk USB Stick, law enforcement discovered numerous videos of naked women and minors. Specifically, there were two videos of a girl (approximately 10 years old) undressing, showering, and drying herself in the bathroom. At various points in the video, the child’s vagina is clearly visible.
    4. During the forensic preview of Defendant’s cellphone, law enforcement also reviewed Defendant’s search history, which revealed searches for “hidden cameras,” “teen on bed,” “sweet cunts of teenagers,” and “piss in public restrooms.”
    5. After being advised of and waiving his Mirandarights, Defendant admitted to having taped a video camera in various guests’ bathrooms. Defendant worked as a stateroom attendant on Symphony of the Seas since December 2023. As a stateroom attendant, Defendant cleaned and serviced guests’ cabins. Defendant explained that he would hide a camera in the bathroom and, upon retrieving the camera and viewing the videos, “pleasure himself and masturbate.” Defendant stated, “I want to control it, but I can’t.”
    6. Defendant told law enforcement that he selected into which bathroom to install a camera based on whether he “liked” the person in the stateroom. Defendant further explained he selected females approximately 16 years old and older. Defendant stated that he knew recording underage girls was illegal. Additionally, Defendant admitted that while guests were taking a shower, he would secretly enter their staterooms and hide under the bed, using his cellphone to record them while they were naked.
  4. Defendant’s history and personal characteristics also support pretrial detention. The Court incorporates and makes part of this Order the facts contained in the PSR. Defendant has no status in the United States and substantial ties to the Philippines. Defendant was born in the Philippines, and his family resides there. Moreover, given the lengthy term of imprisonment Defendant faces if convicted, Defendant may flee to his home country to avoid prosecution. Thus, Defendant presents a serious risk of flight.
  5. Based on the above findings of fact, the nature of the charged offenses, and the overall weight of the evidence, the Court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that no conditions or combination of conditions will reasonably assure Defendant’s appearance in this case if Defendant is released prior to trial. Moreover, given Defendant’s admission to hiding under guests’ beds, the Court also finds clear and convincing evidence that Defendant poses a danger to the community.

Accordingly, the Court hereby directs that:

  1. Defendant be detained without bond;
  2. Defendant be committed to the custody of the Attorney General for confinement in a corrections facility separate, to the extent practical, from persons awaiting or serving sentences or being held in custody pending appeal;
  3. Defendant be afforded reasonable opportunity for private consultation with his counsel; and
  4. On Order of a Court of the United States or on request of an attorney for the Government, the person in charge of the corrections facility in which Defendant is

confined, deliver Defendant to a United States Marshal for the purpose of appearance in connection with court proceedings.

Hickey Law Firm specializes in “life changing injuries”®. Call us first. Call us now. 800.215.7117

Hickey Law Firm is uniquely qualified to represent survivors of sexual abuse, rape, and sexual assault on cruise ships. John H. (Jack) Hickey represented the cruise lines for the first 17 years of his career; for the last 25 years, he has used his insider knowledge to fight for cruise ship injury victims. He is a Certified Specialist in Maritime law, which is the type of law that applies to cruise ship cases.

The Best Lawyers in America® recognizes John H. (Jack) Hickey in three areas: Admiralty and Maritime Law, Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs, and Medical Malpractice – Plaintiffs. He is double Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Civil Trial and Admiralty and Maritime Law, and Board Certified in Civil Trial by the National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA).

To schedule a free consultation with a cruise ship sexual abuse lawyer, call Hickey Law Firm today or fill out our contact form. We only get paid AFTER we win your case. We’re based in Miami but serve clients throughout Florida and across the United States. Our attorneys are here to help.