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Brett Rivkind
Brett Rivkind
Attorney • (305) 374-0565

Sexual Predator Chooses Ship to Target Children

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The Beaver County Times, from Beaver, Pennsylvania, reported that an Independence Township man has pled guilty in a federal court to taking a cruise onboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship with the intent to engage in illicit sexual acts during the cruise. A surveillance camera caught the perpetrator in a Jacuzzi onboard the ship with a six-year-old boy. First, the man got into the hot tub with the six-year-old boy and started to touch the little boy’s genitals. He then put the six-year-old boy on his lap for several minutes. Unbelievably, this same predator was seen on video in another Jacuzzi attempting to attack another young boy. However, this time the young boy got scared and ran away after being touched by this sick man.

This sexual predator has been arrested for other similar acts. He was convicted in 2006 for walking naked into a shower at a junior high school. In 2010 he was arrested after being caught masturbating close to two boys that were watching a movie in a movie theater. The name of the man who pled guilty is Sherwood Stevenson. He is 72 years old. He faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, or a $250,000.00 fine, or possibly both. The date for sentencing is November 22, 2011.

This story reminds us that parents must be very careful with their children onboard a cruise ship. Our firm has seen way too many cases involving sexual assaults on minor children. Minor children are not the only ones at risk of sexual assault. Everyone must not let their guard down just because they are on a cruise ship. However, parents need to be especially aware of the fact that their little kids can be at risk for sexual molestation or sexual assaults onboard a cruise ship. Many people just feel that such an occurrence is not even a possibility onboard a cruise ship.

When we talk to parents following an attack on a minor child, the parents state that they had no idea that anything like this could happen on a cruise ship. Sadly, it can, and does happen! Sexual assaults, crimes and disappearances do happen on cruise ships.

I have reported about disappearances and crimes on cruise ships. We have reported that the public must be aware they do occur. We have discussed the difficulty in prosecuting the perpetrator of a crime that happens on a cruise ship. I have discussed the George Smith case, which involved a potential murder on a cruise ship that has gone unsolved and discussed the difficulty in getting a successful prosecution against the perpetrator of the crime that happens on a cruise ship. This particular sexual predator who confessed to this premeditated crime illustrates how important surveillance videos are on a cruise ship.

Our firm continues to assist individuals who have been harmed at sea.