A Disney Cruise Line cabin attendant stands accused of luring a 13-year-old passenger into an empty cabin on the last day of a cruise and molesting her.
The man, an Indonesian aged 36, is said to have worked on the Disney Dream at the time of the alleged incident. The allegations relate to a time when the ship was docked in Port Canaveral. The ship typically operates three and four-day cruises to the Bahamas.
The steward is accused of false imprisonment and “lewd and lascivious molestation” of the young girl, according to Cruise Law News, the blog written by respected Florida-based maritime lawyer Jim Walker.
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 an act.
A court hearing in Florida into the matter has been rescheduled until mid-July over issues concerning the provision of an Indonesian interpreter, Orlando-based digital news channel WFTV reported.
Questions arose before the hearing could begin, concerning the accused’s ability to understand English.
When the defence attorney claimed his client had difficulty understanding English, the judge decided to try to find an Indonesian interpreter to ensure the defendant could fully understand the serious criminal charges pending against him.
“When an interpreter could not be promptly summonsed to the courthouse, the hearing was rescheduled until mid July,” Cruise Law News reported.
The charges are felonies with the most serious charge carrying a maximum penalty of up to 15 years in prison.
Written by Peter Needham