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I’ve been handling maritime cases, a substantial number of which involve incidents aboard passenger cruise ships, for approximately thirty years. Over time, I myself became shocked at the number of criminal activities that occur onboard a cruise ship, including sexual assaults and rapes.

More alarming, over the years, I’ve seen way too many incidents involving minor children aboard a cruise ship being sexually assaulted or molested. The incidents have involved both where the perpetrator was a passenger on the ship, as well a situation where the predator was a crewmember.

Most recently, a former child supervisor that worked for Cunard Cruise Lines admitted to police that he sexually abused children onboard the cruise ships he worked on.

Paul Trotter was arrested some months ago for allegedly sexually assaulting a minor child onboard a Cunard passenger cruise ship. Of course, this is particularly alarming cruise ship news because this gentleman was assigned the job of a child supervisor aboard the Cunard cruise ship. The question becomes how many other minor children did this sick individual that was working onboard the cruise ship molest?

It has been reported that this sexual predator has admitted to sexual abuse of no less 13 children over a four year period of time. The newspaper in London reported: “A former Cunard Cruise ship worker has admitted carrying out sex attacks on 13 boys while working as a supervisor for a children’s activity area.”

Cunard remains part of the Carnival Corporation cruise line empire. Remember that Carnival also is the owner of Costa Cruise Lines, the operators of the Costa Concordia which nearly sank after striking rocks close to shore off the coast of a small island in Italy.

This latest cruise ship news regarding sexual assaults onboard a cruise ship must be brought to the attention of the public so that parents are aware of the potential dangers when taking a family cruise. Most parents I have spoken to over the years are shocked to hear that any type of activity like this can happen onboard a cruise ship. When they go onboard a cruise ship with their family they let their guard down, and let their children freely roam around the cruise ship because they do not believe there are any potential dangers lurking onboard the cruise ship.

Since the cruise ship is a confined environment, one would expect that an adequate police force, with an adequate presence, will deter and prevent criminal activity from occurring. However, as we have reported, and as has been discussed a lot in the news, the number of criminal acts that have occurred onboard cruise ships is greater than one ever expected or knew. New laws have passed to increase the reporting requirements on the part of the cruise ship companies with respect to crimes that happen onboard a cruise ship. The goal is to make the cruise lines report these incidents so that there are adequate statistics for the public to view. Only through adequate information will passengers know the true dangers that lurk onboard a cruise ship.

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