How Often Does Sexual Assault Occur on Cruise Ships?

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Sexual assault on cruise ships, including sexual assaults on minors, has been an ongoing problem on cruise ships for many years, and has called the public’s attention to the fact that crimes, including sexual assaults, occur on board cruise ships at a much greater frequency than was known or expected.

Cruise ship sexual assault lawyer Brett Rivkind discusses a past sexual assault case and how passengers can keep themselves and their children safe.

A Sexual Assault by a Cruise Ship Staff Member

In 2012, a 29-year-old crewmember, actually an assistant cruise director for Norwegian Cruise Lines working aboard the cruise ship Norwegian Star was arrested for having sexual relations with a 16-year-old passenger that was traveling with her parents.

Not only was Senad Djedovic, an assistant cruise director, arrested for having sexual relations with a 16-year-old, the F.B.I. located videos of child pornography on his computer’s hard drive. Also alarmingly, they located very graphic e-mails, including sexually-explicit photos, that he exchanged with the 16-year-old passenger. “I miss you big time….you little young girl” is one of the reported messages.

Djedovic had been an employee with Norwegian Cruise Lines for approximately six years, and the incident in question happened aboard the NCL cruise ship the Norwegian Star. He has been arrested for having sexual relations with a minor and possessing inappropriate pictures of the 16-year-old victim as well as pictures of other minors on his computer. He is also facing federal child pornography charges.

Djedovic admitted he knew the age of his victim before he engaged in sexual relations in the stairwell on board the cruise ship during the last night of the cruise.

The 16-year-old passenger is from Minnesota, and she was sailing on a seven day cruise aboard the Norwegian Star. His computer was seized, and the child pornography that was located on his hard drive included a folder entitled “Scandals”. In this folder there were videos of sexual acts with 12 to 15-year-old girls which he had downloaded from the internet.

A plea agreement was filed in United States District Court. Djedovic met this 16-year-old girl from Minnesota on a seven-day cruise that went from Tampa to the Caribbean. It was discovered that the two had a sexual encounter on a staircase and Djedovic was aware of the young girl’s age. After the cruise ended they continued with a relationship via emails which included “naughty photos.” Djedovic’s crime was discovered after he showed some of his crew members the pictures he received from the 16-year-old passenger.

If you were sexually assaulted on a ship in Miami or other location, contact our lawyers.

Protecting Passengers from Cruise Ship Sexual Assault

Horror stories like this, and other sexual assaults that our firm has handled over the 30 years, including sexual assaults and rapes aboard cruise ships, again raises the question as to the extent of the background checks that are done on the crewmembers working aboard the many cruise ships. We know with the mega cruise ships there are 2,000 plus crewmembers on board during any given cruise. They come from all parts of the world.

The Costa Concordia disaster focused on the nature and extent of the training the crewmembers received to handle emergency evacuations. Incidents such as sexual assaults committed by crewmembers also raises the question that must be looked into by our Congress, which is how extensive are the background checks of these employees before they are permitted to work on board a cruise ship. We learned not too long ago that a children’s activities supervisor aboard a Cunard cruise ship was arrested for child sexual abuse. This is extremely alarming, and has to worry any parent who goes on a cruise with their children.

Hopefully, this individual will be put behind bars and receive the treatment by the appropriate mental health care providers that he obviously desperately needs. As a father of three girls, Brett Rivkind is horrified when he hears about incidents like this. Cruise ship accident lawyer Brett Rivkind’s 30 years of handling maritime cases inform him that most parents let their guards down once they’re on board a cruise ship and let their children roam freely. This is a mistake. It is easy to get a false sense of security on board a cruise ship. Do not let this happen to you. Crimes do happen on cruise ships, including sexual assaults. If you are traveling on a cruise ship with children, they need to be closely watched and supervised.

Call Cruise Ship Sexual Assault Lawyer Brett Rivkind Today

Our Norwegian cruise line accident lawyers continue to be safety advocates for those harmed at sea and continues to warn parents taking young children on cruise ships not to let their guard down and to closely supervise their children during the cruise. Our Miami cruise ship sexual assault victim attorney handles personal injury and wrongful death actions involving boating and cruise ship incidents, including sexual assaults and rapes.

If you or a loved one was sexually assaulted by a cruise ship employee or passenger while aboard a cruise line, contact our lawyers for sexual assault by cruise ship staff today for a free consultation at (305) 374-0565.


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  • $6.3 MillionBack Injury
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