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HomeNewsArchivesCARNIVAL ADMITS MORE ALLEGATIONS OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT

CARNIVAL ADMITS MORE ALLEGATIONS OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT

Carnival Cruises Lines has now revealed 108 allegations of sexual misconduct against crew members in the five-year period ending Aug. 13, 1998. That is 46 more incidents than the 62 it admitted earlier this summer.
The cases were disclosed by Carnival under an order issued by a Miami judge presiding over a case in which a former crew member sued the cruise line claiming she was raped and sodomized by a ship's engineer in August 1998.
All the cases involve accusations made against crew members by other crew members or passengers.
"We had a very short time period to research the allegation and noted in our hastily prepared filing that we were continuing to research the matter and expected to amend it," Carnival attorney Curtis Mase said Wednesday in a statement released by the cruise line.
The allegations, which range from sexual harassment to rape, occurred over a five-year period, during which Carnival carried 6.5 million passengers. Mase claimed that FBI statistics indicate a person is over 100 times safer on a Carnival ship than in a similar-sized U.S. city.
"These figures alone should tell you that Carnival ships provide one of the safest vacation environments anywhere in the world," he said. "Nevertheless, the company continues to take measures to improve upon its already strong safety record."
Carnival said that for many years it has been training crew members on "proper and improper" relationships, sexual harassment, and how to treat passengers and other fellow ship workers courteously and professionally.
"We take all reasonable precautions and measures to provide the safest possible environment for our guests," stated the cruise line's president, Bob Dickinson.
The company also says it has recently instituted a "zero-tolerance" policy on crime, which has also been adopted by the International Council of Cruise Lines as a standard for investigating onboard crimes. The policy requires that crimes involving U.S. citizens are reported to the FBI and that any other incidents that occur on vessels calling on U.S. ports are reported to the proper law enforcement authorities.
Mase said the additional allegations were made by passengers via phone calls or letters after their cruises ended. The investigations of those allegations were difficult because many of the passengers who made them were not able to provide extensive details, Mase said.
"However, the breadth of the interrogatory required Carnival to reveal any allegations, including unfounded allegations. We are providing this additional information to be absolutely sure that we are fully compliant with the order," he said.
Acting Commissioner of Tourism Monique Sibilly-Hodge did not respond Thursday to a request for comment on how the allegations might impact tourism in the Virgin Islands.
A spokesman for the West Indian Co. Ltd. said WICO President and CEO Edward Thomas preferred not to comment on Carnival's revelations. According to WICO, however, Carnival brings more passengers to St. Thomas than any other cruise line; between October 1997 and September 1998, Carnival ships made 193 calls, bringing over 440,000 passengers.
Carnival has not publicly provided details of the incidents, such as the severity, the findings of investigations or whether any allegations resulted in arrests.
To prevent unwarranted panic, however, Mase promised that Carnival would provide more information about the incidents to the court than the order requires.
"There has been a great deal of misinformation floating around on this subject. We believe that by providing detailed information concerning these allegations, all of Carnival's guests, travel agents and the traveling public at large will be assured that they are safer vacationing aboard a Carnival ship than they are in their own community," he said.

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