Home Nightlife Margaritaville at Sea Bartender Accused of Sexually Assaulting Sleeping Passenger

Margaritaville at Sea Bartender Accused of Sexually Assaulting Sleeping Passenger

Margaritaville at Sea Bartender Accused of Sexually Assaulting Sleeping Passenger


On Could 5, because the Margaritaville at Sea Paradise forged off from South Florida to the Caribbean for a weekend voyage, a passenger and her pal have been in a celebratory spirit, tossing again a number of drinks at a karaoke bar earlier than hopping to a different consuming gap aboard the ship. It was the primary night of the two-night, three-day cruise from the Port of Palm Seashore to the tropical Grand Bahama island, recognized for its turquoise waters and pristine seashores. The pair have been partying till round 1 a.m. once they retired to their stateroom.

Whereas she lay in mattress of their room, one of many girls was allegedly woke up by a person “touching her breasts, kissing her neck, and vaginally penetrating her,” based on an FBI affidavit.

Throughout an interview with the FBI upon arriving again on the Port of Palm Seashore, the passenger (known as H.B. within the case paperwork) stated she acknowledged the perpetrator as a bartender from earlier within the night. Her cabin mate recorded and took pictures of a part of the incident after she additionally awoke to seek out the person lingering of their stateroom, based on the affidavit.

On August 14, H.B. filed a lawsuit in opposition to Deerfield Seashore-based Margaritaville at Sea and Classica Cruise Operator, in search of to carry them chargeable for the extreme emotional trauma and psychological harm she suffered from the incident, based on the criticism.

“At no time did H.B. consent to any sexual exercise,” the lawsuit states.

The bartender, Hoobesh Kumar Dookhy, is criminally charged with abusive sexual contact in Miami federal courtroom. His public defender, Peter Birch, declined to remark when reached through electronic mail.

In line with the affidavit, Dookhy instructed brokers H.B. had invited him to the room and that she was initially sleeping when he entered however awoke earlier than they’d intercourse. He claimed the cabin mate was handed out on the time. He stated he left the room after H.B. instructed him to cease after a couple of minutes of intercourse.

The case provides to a protracted, disturbing historical past of sexual assault claims by passengers who say they have been victimized aboard cruise ships. Greater than 500 sexual assault claims have been documented aboard 13 main cruise traces between 2010 and 2022, based on a Enterprise Insider report.

In a press release to New Instances, the Margaritaville at Sea cruise line says it’s cooperating with the FBI’s investigation. The cruise line used to function as Bahamas Paradise earlier than revamping its operations underneath a partnership with Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville model.

“On Could 6, our employees onboard Margaritaville at Sea Paradise realized of an accusation concerning sexual contact between a male crewmember and a feminine visitor onboard. Our employees onboard instantly provided help to the visitor and notified the FBI, as is commonplace process concerning such allegations throughout the cruise trade,” the cruise line wrote through electronic mail. “The protection and well-being of our visitors and crewmembers is our prime precedence. We take this allegation very severely and have zero tolerance for any type of harassment, abuse, or violence on our ship.”

Dookhy gained entry to the stateroom with H.B.’s room key, which was used to cost drinks on the bar, based on the affidavit. H.B. “recalled that Dookhy served her a number of drinks after her ten-drink allotment was reached on her armband” earlier on the karaoke bar, the FBI says.

The cabin mate instructed the FBI that when she awoke, Dookhy was making an advance on her by touching her face, based on the affidavit. After she questioned him about what he was doing inside their cabin whereas they have been sleeping bare, he allegedly insisted H.B. had given him the room key.

“[The cabin mate] said that she tried to get Dookhy to exit the room, however Dookhy went over to H.B.’s mattress the place H.B. was sleeping and commenced to rub H.B.’s chest,” the affidavit states.

The FBI alleges the roommate “captured pictures of Dookhy as he touched H.B.’s face and breast whereas H.B. was asleep.” The bureau says the incident occurred whereas the ship was touring in worldwide waters en path to Freeport.

The federal statute underneath which Dookhy is charged carries a most sentence of two years in jail and a $250,000 tremendous.

A 2019 New Instances investigation indicated that sexual assault is probably the most continuously reported felony crime on cruises, and that cruise traces have been repeatedly accused of attempting to hush victims and impede investigations. (Margaritaville at Sea and its predecessor Bahamas Paradise weren’t among the many cruise traces talked about within the report.)

In December 2015, throughout a seven-day Royal Caribbean cruise, a teen was allegedly gang-raped by a gaggle of males who plied her with alcohol and took her again to a cabin. In July 2016, a 16-year-old woman was allegedly sexually assaulted by a health teacher on a Carnival ship. And in 2018, a Norwegian Cruise Line worker used a grasp key to enter a stateroom and rape an 11-year-old woman, based on a lawsuit filed by her household.



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