Ketut Pujayasa, 29 an Indonesian crew member on Holland America’s MS Nieuw Amsterdam passenger cruise ship was sentenced by Judge Martinez to 30 years in a federal prison this week for raping and then trying to kill a passenger.
Mr. Pujayasa admitted to hiding in the passenger’s cabin and then choked, beat and raped the passenger-before attempting to throw her overboard from her cabin’s balcony while the ship was moving out to the open sea.
His victim survived and faced him in Federal Court in Broward County, Florida a few miles from Port Everglades where her ill fated cruise departed from.
Holland America Cruise Ship Passenger Attacked on the Balcony of the MS Nieuw Amsterdam
According to the Sun Sentinel, the attack occurred on the balcony of the MS Nieuw Amsterdam, when Mr. Pujayasa was able to access the victim’s cabin by using a master key. He then waited for her on her balcony. He claimed in court that he wanted to punish her for insulting his mother-when he delivered room service to her early in the day-she apparently yelled out “wait a minute… you son of a bitch.” The victim denies ever making this statement not ever seeing him before the attack.
As a result of the attack, the woman suffered serious injuries including fractures to her spine, skull, and face. Thankfully, the attack was interrupted by fellow passengers–and Mr. Pujayasa escaped from the cabin by jumping from the balcony. He subsequently confessed to his roommate, ship security workers and the FBI agents.
Passenger rape continues to be a problem aboard cruise ship. In 2010 Congress enacted the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act- with the hope that it would force cruise companies to initiate policies to prevent and protect passengers from rape. The bill mandates that all serious crimes involving U.S. citizens be reported to the FBI as well as the publication of crime statistics on a website available to the public.
Unfortunately, the bill’s language only requires that crimes “that are no longer under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation” be publicized. Some studies show that the FBI only investigates about 10% of reported cruise ship crime- resulting in very misleading statistics. To check out the latest crime statistics click here.
It is important to protect yourself and your family on your next cruise. According to FBI Special Agent David Hearn: “Watch what you are doing and keep your wits about you. It seems like an enclosed environment. That gives people a false sense of security. You should have fun, but act responsibly and know what your kids are doing at all times. And if you see suspicious activity or a crime has occurred, contact the ship’s personnel immediately.”
If you have been involved in an accident during your cruise-contact our office today for a free initial consultation regarding your legal rights. We have nearly 25 years of combined legal experience suing Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, Norwegian and Disney Cruise Lines. Call us today 1-866-597-4529 to discuss your potential claim.