Investigation: Cruise officials didn't promptly report molestation

May 22, 2013 at 3:44 PM
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PORT CANAVERAL, Fla., May 22 (UPI) -- Cruise officials didn't promptly report a young passenger's molestation, so a suspect evaded prosecution by Florida authorities, officials said.

The molestation of an 11-year-old girl occurred two hours before the Disney Cruise Line's Disney Dream left the docks in Port Canaveral, Fla., in August 2012, WKMG-TV reported Tuesday.

The incident wasn't reported to Florida authorities until the next day when the ship was at sea, an investigation by the television station said.

DCL officials initially claimed the crime was reported while the ship was in port but changed their account after Port Canaveral police and WKMG reporters told them that wasn't true.

Company officials then said employees weren't aware of the crime until the next day.

Surveillance video and an internal DCL security incident report indicate that appeared to be untrue as well.

Shortly after the man allegedly inappropriately touched the girl as they rode the elevator together, she reported the incident to ship security. After reviewing shipboard video, a security officer identified the suspect as a dining room server from India about 15 minutes before the Disney Dream left port.

The server denied touching the girl but admitted to the crime under questioning by Bahamian police two days later when the ship docked in the Bahamas.

The server was taken off the ship and deported to India.

Florida authorities said they never had a chance to question him.

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