A former Disney Cruise Line cabin steward, who pleaded guilty to molesting a young girl on a cruise holiday with her family, has been jailed for six years in Florida with a recommendation he be deported back to Indonesia on release.
The judge told Ahmad Sofyan he was likely to be deported, having been convicted of a felony sex crime, Florida’s Palm Beach Post reported.
Sofyan, who had no prior criminal record, faced up to 20 years in prison. Prosecutors asked for 10 years. The judge sentenced him to five years and 10 months without chance of probation, to make subsequent deportation easier.
“Have I made it clear? I do not want him in the United States of America one moment past the time that DoC [Department of Corrections] can give him,” Judge George Maxwell told the court.
With the help of an Indonesian interpreter, Sofyan, who has spent more than a year in jail, pleaded guilty to inappropriately touching the 13-year-old girl after luring her into an unoccupied cabin aboard Disney Dream, where he fondled and kissed her. See: Cabin attendant accused of molesting girl on cruise.
Sofyan apologised in court.
“I’m very sorry for ruining their vacation [and] for what I have done to them,” he said.
Members of the victim’s family said Sofyan befriended them and groomed the victim with extra chocolates and hugs.
“I never envisioned having to explain to my 13-year-old what a 36-year-old man would want with her,” a statement by the victim’s mother, read in court, stated.
“She could never even fully comprehend what was going on.
“Our family is still picking up the pieces, making phone calls and praying for resolution.”
The reputation of Indonesian cabin stewards has taken a dive in America, following a previous high-profile rape case involving a cabin steward aboard Holland America Line’s MS Nieuw Amsterdam.
In that case, the steward, Ketut Pujayasa, 29, from Bali, sprang without warning into a female passenger’s darkened cabin from its balcony one night last year and launched into a vicious and frenzied sexual assault. Pujayasa bludgeoned the victim with a laptop computer and a curling iron and then tried to hurl the victim overboard off the coast of Honduras.
The victim, who fought back valiantly but was badly hurt in the process, was in a Florida court earlier this year to see her attacker jailed for 30 years.
Written by Peter Needham