In the latest in a series of sexual assaults aboard cruise ships, a Carnival Cruise Lines employee has been arrested for allegedly sexually abusing a teenage boy, NBC News has reported in the US.
Yovany Suazo-Batiz, 46, described as a steward on Carnival Valor, was arrested at Port Canaveral.
He stands charged with sexual battery of a person under 16 years of age and “lewd and lascivious molestation”. He was remanded in custody on USD 95,000 bail.
According to NBC reports, the victim told his father he was in the sauna and was followed into the shower area where the alleged abuse took place. The victim’s father and other passengers detained Suazo-Batiz after the hearing the victim’s statement.
Carnival Valor reported the incident before arriving in port, where the ship was met by a detachment from the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.
Carnival Cruise Lines said Suazo-Batiz, who is from Honduras, was cooperating with police and the FBI.
Under Florida Statute 800.04(5), the crime of Lewd or Lascivious Molestation occurs when a person:
- Intentionally touches the breasts, genitals, or buttocks of a child younger than 16 in a lewd or lascivious manner;
- Encourages, forces, or entices a child younger than 16 to touch another person in a lewd or lascivious manner.
The words “lewd” and “lascivious” in the statute are are defined as a wicked, lustful, unchaste, licentious, or sensual intent on the part of the person doing the act.
Just a few days ago, a cruise ship cabin attendant was jailed for using a key given to him for restocking cabin minibars to sneak into the cabin of a sleeping female passenger and grope her. That crime reportedly happened on Royal Caribbean International’s big new flagship Quantum of the Seas, which was launched just last October.
The attendant, Karan Seechurn, 26, was sentenced last week by a federal court in Newark, New Jersey to 13 months in prison, with credit for time already served.
Last month, a former Disney Cruise Line cabin steward pleaded guilty to fondling and molesting a 13-year-old girl, after luring her into an unoccupied cabin while she was on a cruise holiday with her family. He was jailed for six years in Florida with a recommendation he be deported back to Indonesia on release.
Written by Peter Needham