A cruise on the Disney Line’s Dream turned into a nightmare for a 13-year-old female passenger who was molested during her family’s vacation on-board the ship. Crew member Ahmed Sofyan, a resident of Jakarta, Indonesia, was arrested in Florida by the Port of Canaveral Police after being accused of molesting the child during their four-day cruise to the Bahamas. According to reports, he was arrested on two counts of lewd or lascivious molestation and one count of false imprisonment. Sofyan is currently incarcerated at the Brevard County Jail Complex. How long the crew member worked for Disney and the nature of his duties aboard the Dream are unknown at this time.
Following his arrest, Disney’s issued the following statement:
“We have no tolerance whatsoever for the behavior alleged in this incident . . . . We are sorry that anything of this nature could have occurred on one of our ships. We place enormous value on the trust our guests have in us, and nothing is more important to us than the safety and security of each and every one of our guests.”
The case should serve as a warning to all parents that they must be vigilant aboard cruise ships just as though they were vacationing with their family at a hotel in a large city. Cruise ships often appear to be safe playgrounds, and parents–also in need of a vacation–want to believe that their children, teenage and younger, are safe to wander the ship.
As a personal injury lawyer who sues Disney, I recommend never leaving children alone and without parental supervision while on-board a cruise ship. Our thoughts and prayers are with this child and her parents at this time.
MISSING FROM A CRUISE SHIP AND LOST AT SEA
Last month Disney Cruise Lines was sued by the parents of 24-year-old Rebecca Coriam, a British crew member who worked on-board in the ship’s kids’ club. She went missing at sea while aboard the Disney Wonder off the coast of Mexico in 2011. Ms. Coriam’s parents filed their case in Orlando against Disney, claiming the cruise line failed in its duty of care by waiting nearly five hours to contact the US Coast Guard and Mexican Navy and seven hours to contact the Bahamian police when Ms. Coriam failed to report to duty. Disney claims the lawsuit is without merit.
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