Crew Member Says She Was Raped on Cruise

     (CN) – A former crew member aboard Royal Caribbean’s M/S Mariner of the Seas claims in court that she was sexually assaulted by a co-worker after she found him having sex with her roommate in her cabin.
     In a lawsuit filed in the Miami-Dade County, the plaintiff, identified as Jane Doe, says that on Nov. 10, 2013, after attending a Royal Caribbean’s employee birthday party she entered her room to find her roommate having sex with defendant Meugin Fredericks.
     Doe says she left the room, and when she returned, both her roommate and Fredericks were asleep. She then got into her bed and fell asleep.
     “The next thing that plaintiff remembers is being awoken by the defendant’s hand wrapped around her throat and his other hand ripping off her bra. The defendant then proceeded to sexually assault the plaintiff and perform forced digital penetration,” the complaint says.
     After the sexual assault, Doe claims that she notified the ship’s chief of security, and then went to the ship’s medical center to have a rape kit performed.
     She says that the doctor on duty, Jonathan Pinzon, told her that she did not need a rape kit because there had not been penis/vagina penetration.
     Doe alleges that Pinzon also told her that she did not need psychological or counseling help because she “looked fine.”
     However, Doe says that she insisted and asked him to have female nurses perform the vaginal exam on her, but he disregarded her request and performed the exam himself.
     “After performing the vaginal exam, Dr. Pinzon told the plaintiff that she now owed him lunch,” the complaint says.
     According to the complaint, the next day Doe reported to the medical center that she was suffering from post-traumatic stress symptoms, but instead of providing her with adequate treatment, the staff on duty had her confined in her cabin for 48 hours.
     Doe claims that Royal Caribbean failed to provide her with “adequate and appropriate therapy, counseling, medicine or treatment with therapists, counselors, psychologists and psychiatrists,” and that she had to seek and pay for her treatment.
     She alleges that after the sexual assault various crew members “bullied, harassed and physically threatened” her.
     “Plaintiff reported this treatment to the Human Resources manager aboard the vessel to which the manager responded that there was nothing that could be done,” the complaint says.
     Doe then decided to leave her job at Royal Caribbean’s cruise ship.
     The complaint claims that when sexual crimes and incidents of violence occur in cruise ships the female crew members complaints are ignored, and they usually are terminated from their employment.
     Doe seeks compensatory damages on claims of negligence, strict liability, and sexual assault.
     She is represented by Michael Winkleman from Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman PA from Miami, Fla.
     Cynthia Martinez, Director of Global Corporate Communications for Royal Caribbean said that the cruise line had just become aware of the lawsuit, and declined further comment.

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