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Woman Says She Was Raped on Carnival Cruise

(CN) - An employee of Carnival Corporation followed a female passenger to her room and raped her in front of her minor children, a federal lawsuit claims.

Dana Hastings says she and her family were passengers on a Carnival cruise ship in February 2014, when the incident occurred off the coast of Florida.

According to a complaint filed in Miami Federal Court, "On or about February 20, 2014, the Plaintiff was sexually assaulted and/or raped by an employee/crewmember of Defendant, believed to be the pit boss of the casino aboard Defendant's vessel.

"The crewmember followed the Plaintiff to her passenger cabin, and he raped and/or sexually assaulted the Plaintiff inside her cabin while the Plaintiff's two minor children, Ramsey Hastings and Trey Hastings, were also inside the cabin," the complaint continues.

"The Plaintiff's two minor children heard and/or witnessed their mother ... being raped and/or sexually assault."

Hastings says she reported the incident soon after it happened, but "Defendant's security officer(s) attempted to dissuade the Plaintiff from pressing charges and forced the Plaintiff to write a statement stating that she would not press charges against the alleged assailant."

Hastings claims that rapes and other sexual assaults occur on Carnival's vessels at an alarming rate, "Yet Defendant failed to take adequate steps or provide adequate security and/or training and/or supervision to prevent such rapes and/or sexual assaults, and failed to warn its passengers of the growing epidemic of rape and sexual assault at sea."

She says the reason for this is purely financial -- the cruise line doesn't want to scare potential passengers away.

Hastings seeks unspecified damages on claims of vicarious liability for the rape/sexual assault, negligence, and multiple counts of negligent infliction of emotional distress.

She is represented by Jason Margulies of Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A. in Miami.

Executives for Carnival were attending an event in New York Thursday afternoon and could not immediately be reached for comment.

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