A 15-year-old girl from Iowa, who was vacationing with her family on a Royal Caribbean cruise liner for Christmas, accused two of her passengers of raping her on the ship.
Luis Scavone, 20, and another 15-year-old boy are accused of luring a teenager from the ship’s teenage nightclub into a private room where the incident allegedly took place.
Both suspects, Brazilian nationals, were arrested when the ship returned to Port Everglades, Florida on Tuesday.
According to South Florida Sun Sentinel reports, the girl’s family left Fort Lauderdale for a ten-day cruise to St. Thomas, St. Maarten, St. Kitts and Haiti aboard the Aluri in the Royal Caribbean.
The girl told police she met the 15-year-old boy on the last night of a cruise at an on-board teen club called Fuel, and he invited her to a party in his private room where Luiz Scavone was waiting.
According to the arrest documents, both men refused to allow her to leave and raped her.
The girl immediately reported the alleged incident to ship’s employees, who alerted the FBI. Both suspects were arrested after the ship returned to Port Everglades.
Luis Scavone is accused of a crime of committing a lewd and debauched act.
Appearing in court on Wednesday, Luis Scavone’s bonds were set at $ 10,000. He was detained at Broward County Jail on Wednesday pending immigration detention.
According to a statement of probable cause received by Sentinel, the second defendant was charged with a lewd and leaking battery and taken to Broward’s Juvenile Assessment Center.
Cynthia Martinez, Global Corporate Communications Manager for Royal Caribbean, said in a statement: “Royal Caribbean’s guest care team offered the woman a variety of help, including medical care and counseling.”
Cynthia Martinez said Royal Caribbean “will continue to support law enforcement during their investigation.”
International maritime law states that cruise ships must take all possible measures to ensure the safety of their passengers. However, as each country has its own version of the laws on the high seas, they can be difficult to enforce.
There is no federal law on compulsory rape on the high seas.
This is not the first case of alleged sexual abuse of minors recently observed aboard a cruise liner.
The incident comes just weeks after a Carnival Cruise Lines employee was accused of sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl who was on holiday with her family.
And just ten days earlier, 19-year-old Dylan Cole Bloodsworth of Alabama had been sentenced to ten years in prison for raping a 13-year-old girl aboard a cruise ship at the Carnival in Mexico, where she was vacationing with her family.