May 16, 2012

What happens if you're out on a cruise ship, and someone accuses you of rape?

You might spend the cruise in the brig:
The men, both Orthodox Jews from Israel,... say that after climbing into their beds the first night, they were awakened at 5 a.m. by crew members who made them get dressed “in prison garments issued by Royal Caribbean.”

Without explanation, the staffers paraded [Eviator] Mor and [David] Amsalem “through public areas of the ship to a lock-up facility,” court papers state.

Several hours later, they were told they had been accused of raping an “unidentified woman” who later recanted her allegation and who was examined by a doctor who determined she hadn’t been sexually assaulted.

“Notwithstanding the woman’s recantation and the doctor’s conclusion . . . Royal Caribbean’s arresting agents refused to release plaintiffs or to modify the conditions of their imprisonment,” according to the lawsuit.
Yes, it's a lawsuit. They're only asking for $100 million.

This is one reason I would avoid cruise ships. It's a little city out there. What is the government in that little city? You take it for granted, but you know there will be crime. Rape and accusations of rape must happen all the time. The cruise ship company obviously has its lawyers and its policies and must want to handle these things well enough that news like this never comes out, but obviously, there will be some screwups. I assume Royal Caribbean offered these men a generous settlement, but they want more. The publicity is awful. And yet, people will still pay money to ride those floating cities.

65 comments:

damikesc said...

False accusations should be punished by the exact same sentence as a rape conviction. Period. Its ridiculous that men get railroaded in such a manner. Its not like false rape accusations never happen.

Mitchell said...

The cause of action is known as "False Imbriggenment."

Jerry Thomasin said...

Interesting point about how awful the whole experience can be, why are they still so popular? (Cruises).

Matthew Sablan said...

In the case of this, I don't see why they didn't just put some men outside the door to their room until they at least confirmed a sexual assault had happened. They could have said that they were investigation allegations against the men if they asked; it may have still been bad publicity ("We were stuck in our room while they investigated if we raped someone!") But... that's not nearly as bad as this.

Craig said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3dpG0Ty0wQ&feature=related

The Drill SGT said...

All jockeying for position.

It won't go to trial and it won't burden the courts much. Think of it as an employment initiative for lawyers. The Cruise line is in the wrong and sooner or later they'll settle for more than is being offered now.

Shanna said...

I hope they got their money back.

I don't like the idea of cruise ships because it seems too confined, but this is a good thing to add to the list. Although I'm not sure the government in Mexico, the Carribean, or any of the other sunny places you might go in lieu of a cruise is going to necessarily be better.

X said...

and the false accuser gets to stay out of the brig and gets to keep her name out of the paper and doesn't have to get her forehead tattooed.

Unknown said...

Yeah, I think confinement to their stateroom with the admonishment 'don't leave town' would have sufficed.

Unknown said...

Yeah, I think confinement to their stateroom with the admonishment 'don't leave town' would have sufficed.

Expat(ish) said...

I can think of at least two guys I know who were recently on a cruise who would have given the cruise ship cops quite a surprise if they'd come into the cabin at 5am.

Come to think of it, one woman I know too.

What a crappy job - cruise ship cop.

_XC

Mitchell said...

David Foster Wallace goes on a cruise so you don't have to.

Pogo said...

"What happens if you're out on a cruise ship, and someone accuses you of rape?"

I think what happens is just like what happens in the USA when some woman accuses you of rape.

You're guilty until proven innocent. And if the woman recants, jack shit happens to her.

The main difference is that US citizens can't sue the US cruise line fo "False Imbriggenment."

Canuck said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Canuck said...

oops - this isn't the baseball thread. Will move the post.

Aridog said...

Surprise surprise tourists who travel these top heavy monstrosities ... your civil rights are checked at the gang plank when you board. Law of the Sea and all that. With any luck you won't be in Turkish or Somalian, or other lovely locale, waters then you are falsely accused or you just might have an unscheduled stop & stay in the local jail to boot.

Main reason to not travel on these things, from a marine engineering stand point, is that they are not designed for much stormy weather. Didn't a Carnival subsidiary roll one over recently due to sailing it in to some rocks? After intentionally sailing off course for poops & giggles?

You think the "Captains" of these floating top heavy hotels are the cream of the crop, that the best of Navy ship masters quit the navy to join Carnival?

Bwahahahaha.

rhhardin said...

It must have gotten into an American court somehow, at 100 million.

Tank said...

Ann's logic:

What happens when you walk across the street and someone runs you over.

***

This is one reason I would avoid walking across the street.

***

And yet, people will still walk across the street.

MadisonMan said...

Why aren't they suing the woman too?

Matthew Sablan said...

"Why aren't they suing the woman too?"

Same reason Willie Sutton robbed banks.

Bob Ellison said...

The Professor's logic is sound, Tank. You place a lot of trust in both the ship's crew and in your fellow passengers once you get on board.

It seems that the types of crews and passengers that populate the big huge ones are not worthy of that kind of trust. But I know several people who have gone on high-end cruises on much smaller ships and enjoyed them very much. That's probably largely because the boats' crews are more professional, the passengers are more sober, and the food is better.

The Crack Emcee said...

"prison garments issued by Royal Caribbean.”

Give them the money,...

MadisonMan said...

I wonder if she's been banned from future cruises.

prairie wind said...

A specialty cruise--I saw one advertised by Reason magazine, for example--might be a safer bet. The same crappy laws and dangers but a bunch of passengers who will care more about what happens to you.

The Drill SGT said...

rhhardin said...
It must have gotten into an American court somehow, at 100 million.


US Cits
US Port of Departure
US Port of Debarkation
Bahamian Flag
US Company, HQ in Florida

I'd go for a Florida jury with a few Hebrews on it...

bagoh20 said...

Yea, not orderly and law abiding like those Madison police who let protesters run the capital for a while. I think Madison is afloat in a sea of it's own.

bagoh20 said...

Think about how many people are on cruise ships every year. A little perspective, maybe? I've only been on one, but it was flawless, and hassle free.

Craig said...

Maritime school in Manila trains thousands upon thousands of able bodied bar tenders.

Ann Althouse said...

"David Foster Wallace goes on a cruise so you don't have to."

I love that essay, but it would be a lot more persuasive if he hadn't committed suicide.

So a luxury cruise ship is actually horrible, he says, but he jumped off the cruise ship of life.

Ann Althouse said...

@Tank

It's not the crime per se, it's the submission to an unknown shadow government in a polity from which I have no escape.

Sorun said...

There are positives also, like it's fun and beautiful to be at sea.

Jim Gust said...

I've been on three cruises and never been disappointed. I was in a large family group, so my interaction with other passengers was limited. What was the relationship of the accuser to her victims before the allegation?

Was this, perhaps, a cruise aimed at young singles?

Ann Althouse said...

"Think about how many people are on cruise ships every year. A little perspective, maybe? I've only been on one, but it was flawless, and hassle free."

But how are they suppressing the hassles, and what would the experience become if you were perceived as the hassle that needed to be hidden from all the other passengers whose perception of hassle-freedom was so important to the ongoing enterprise of cruise shipping.

traditionalguy said...

A well run cruise has 10 plusses and no negatives.

Do not let fear make your plans for you.

Pogo said...

"I love that essay, but it would be a lot more persuasive if he hadn't committed suicide."

That does make it harder to buy his reasoning.

Comedian Jim Gaffigan recently did a very similar riff on how we get spoiled when travelling.
Mr. Universe.
Hilarious.

ndspinelli said...

No desire to cruise. Along w/ this crime shit, there's the noravirus that seems to be rampant on those floating cesspools.

MadisonMan said...

Never been on a cruise, but I was at a conference in New Orleans last winter, and it was fascinating to watch the cruise ships get loaded with foodstuffs, etc. Waaay too much Bud Light was put on board, IMO.

Tank said...

The odds of being run over crossing the street are probably hundreds of times greater than suffering any substantial problem on a cruise ship.

There are probably dozens of countries where you are in more danger from exposure to the authorities there than on a cruise ship. At least on the ship they are motivated to minimize bad publicity and legal actions.

Tank said...

We went on one cruise. Had a great time, but would not go again.

Our complaint: you don't get to spend enough time at each stop to get a real feel for the place. That's more important to us than the cruise ship experience itself.

holdfast said...

I'd still rather be locked up by Royal Caribbean than by the government of most Caribbean islands. Once the tow men have their fat settlements in bank, they ought to sue the snot out of the false accuser, just to teach her and others a lesson. That sort of thing should not be, and should not be seen to be, consequence free.

mariner said...

Waaay too much Bud Light was put on board, IMO.

Then there wasn't enough room for beer.

Scott M said...

Our complaint: you don't get to spend enough time at each stop to get a real feel for the place.

This. There was a stop in Venezuela (Caracas) that required people wanting to see the city to take a $40 taxi 30 minutes away from the boat. And then there wasn't much at all in the way of "tourism". It was like being dropped into a total immersion Spanish class.

On that same trip, though, we spent an entire day at Grenada and another at St Thomas. Both were awesome and I would much rather pondhop down and spend a week on an island than cruise again.

Michael said...

There are quite a lot of crimes and disappearances on cruise ships. No "man overboard" at three in the morning. No audible splash. Bye bye inconvenient person.

These big monsters are popular for the booze and food. Passengers aren't much interested in the countries where the ships dock (being generally afraid of foreigners) so the host countries have created little fake neighborhoods right there by the gangplanks. Some lines go even further and buy little islands where they can create entire fake villages that pose no local problems or authenticity for those who dare to disembark.

If David Foster Wallace's life was such a cruise I can see why he disembarked. Also, he probably had to read what he typed.

Duncan said...

It proves that people are willing to pay money to live in proprietary communities with food, labor, lodging, and entertainment priced at world prices with minimal government regulation.

They are imperfect but are demonstrably more perfect than the highly regulated and taxed domestic venues that they compete with.

Scott M said...

They are imperfect but are demonstrably more perfect than the highly regulated and taxed domestic venues that they compete with.

Oh, I dunno. Aruba is pretty damned cool unless you're a drunk blond chick.

BarrySanders20 said...

Not just a floating city.

A floating third-world city.

edutcher said...

Hey, we've done that cruise; in fact, The Blonde and I took her favorite nephews on it about 8 years.

The guests are treated wonderfully on a cruise. We only sail Royal Caribbean and have never had a problem with them.

Ann Althouse said...

The publicity is awful. And yet, people will still pay money to ride those floating cities.

Oh, come on, Ann. You're being paranoid - this case is an aberration. But, OK, once the ship leaves American waters, it's the laws of the high seas and you don't have your Constitutional rights - but you can see those taken from you in an American court.

PS Is that why you never leave the States - or rarely fly?

Afraid of losing your Constitutional rights?

Palladian said...

Sounds like the Love Boat isn't what it used to be.

Petunia said...

It all depends on perspective.

Yes, one day on an island doesn't give you enough time to really get to know the place. OTOH, a cruise gives you a chance to see parts of it and get an idea of whether you'd enjoy spending longer there in the future, rather than relying on a website to check the place out.

There are some wonderful islands in the Caribbean that I'd love to spend a few weeks on. Others, not so much. But at least I know which ones from first-hand experience.

There are cruise lines, and ships within each line, and itineraries, for just about everyone's taste. I wouldn't go on one of RCI's behemoths, or on a Carnival party itinerary over spring break (although the running of the drunks trying to make it back to the ship at Cozumel is supposed to be entertaining), but I love Cunard and Holland America and wouldn't hesitate to sail with them again.

For me there is absolutely nothing so relaxing as sitting on a wooden deck chair on the promenade deck and watching the ocean.

I've never come to the attention of the security types, and I don't know the particulars of this case...only the two accused's side of the story...but OTOH as we've seen here in Madison (and other cities too), sometimes the PD's in major American cities aren't so trustworthy either....

Joaquin said...

I wonder how many of you that POO POO cruising have ever gone on one?
Cruising is wonderful, but it greatly depends on the cruise line. Last year we spent 12 days from Miami to LA through the Panama Canal and it was AWESOME!!!

edutcher said...

What Joaquin said.

Granted, I wouldn't go on Carnival if they paid me, but Royal Caribbean is very nice.

Martinkh said...

Why isn't it the law that you are given the same punishment that those you falsely accuse would receive?

Oh yeah, it would dis-proportionately effect women.

Hoosier Daddy said...

The war on women has evolved to where a guy can be imprisoned on the mere accusation of rape and even after she recants, zero punishment for her.

I guess that's why I just ignore idiots who use that war on women phrase.

EMD said...

Some lines go even further and buy little islands where they can create entire fake villages that pose no local problems or authenticity for those who dare to disembark.

Disney's Castaway Cay is like this, but it's still pretty nice.

All of the complaints are indeed true, but I still find some aspects of cruising enjoyable.

The biggest draw is that you don't have to worry about transportation (the boat takes you to different places ... you just go to sleep!) about food (eat here, there, anywhere) or entertainment (there's choices on the boat and off). They basically handle all of the coordination and logistics.

Rick Caird said...

I suppose the worst part of cruising for Ann is the men mostly wear those damnable shorts.

On the other hand, my wife and I have taken about 20 cruises including 5 TransAtlantic's and have enjoyed every one.

Dopey said...

Their suit is going to be heard under admiralty law, not American common law. Admiralty law is completely divorced from anything the average American (or any other country, for that matter) lawyer is familiar with. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that the ship's captain was acting perfectly within his powers to place these two in the ship's brig. I'mm pretty sure (based on a law school course I took on a whim almost 40 years ago) that damages are limitd to the value of the ship, so lots of luck recoverng any where near $100 million.

Crunchy Frog said...

Seriously? I'd peg the value of the ship itself at way north of $100M.

Scott M said...

Seriously? I'd peg the value of the ship itself at way north of $100M.

The landing gear alone are worth more than $100M.

Shanna said...

Our complaint: you don't get to spend enough time at each stop to get a real feel for the place

This is why i haven't gone on a cruise. Also, I don't like the idea of having a vacation with an obsessive schedule. (dinner at 6, landfall at 8, back to the ship by 5, etc).

The thing I like best to do on vacation is wander around and I think wandering around a ship would get old after a week.

Shanna said...

These big monsters are popular for the booze and food

That's the other thing. The vast majority of 'how was your cruise' reports seem to focus on eating a bunch of food. That's not why i go on vacation.

Aridog said...

People ... so Ann said she's not put off by cruise ships per se. Good for her for being brave. Good for the rest of you who like cruise ships.

Now look at photos of the Costa Concordia. Notice she's rolling over, half way in fact, saved from total capsize by being near shore line rocks. Notice also that fully half of her lifeboats are unusable, unemployable. Had she been in open water at the end she's be upside down and a whole lot more dead folks. She only made it to the island rocks by some adroit maneuvering by someone using the bow thrusters to execute a U-turn of sorts.

The fact is simple enough, if one of these giant floating hotels/casinos strikes something and/or takes on water, they ROLL OVER. Period.

I have some fair maritime experience on vessels designed to take rough water, even survive a strike. No amount of money could get me aboard one of these multi-storied top/lop sided "cruisers." They may not encounter trouble often, but when they do ... there's 3000+ lives at risk with little hope.

Christy said...

I had to be guilted into my first cruise by my mother who wanted company. I fell in love. Booked another cruise for a few weeks later on the same ship and the staff recognized me! Well, probably not, but it speaks well of the company that they flag previous cruisers for that little flattery.

Security cameras abound on cruise ships, btw.

Nothing better than spending the afternoon during the Inland Passage in an all glass forward lounge with wine, a good book, and one eye out for whales. But your mileage may vary.

Worst thing I could say about my cruises is that the cable didn't carry SEC football and does carry the international CNN feed.

Michael K said...

A few years ago, I took my group of medical students to the coroner's office in LA to witness an autopsy. I do this every year as autopsies in hospitals are now rare where they used to be common.

The corpse to be autopsied was that of a British woman who had died on a cruise ship between Hawaii and Los Angeles. After she died, they put her body in a freezer until the ship made port.

It had been thawed out and we watched the autopsy. It was a real revelation for the students for the woman had died of a perforated appendix. It had been misdiagnosed by the ship's doctor and mistreated. You don't get to see that diagnosis at autopsy very often, especially with no surgery having been done.

Don't get sick on cruise ships.


Another battle with the stupid captcha

Amartel said...

Cruises are great! You see the high points without the hassle. (Unless you're accused of rape, of course.)

This lawsuit is bullshit. $100 million in your dreams, gentlemen. Why aren't they suing the woman who they say falsely accused them? They obviously had sex with her, it may have been consensual or it may not have been. There's no way to tell. That's not the cruise lines' fault; it's the fault of grown ass people who can't control themselves. Did she give consent? Were they too drunk to ask? Who knows? About any of these people, the men or the woman. What the men have shown, however, is that what is most important to them is teeing up the deep pocket for a nice raping.

The only way the cruise line can win is if there's a waiver which applies to this situation. Under these circumstances, if they don't lock up the accused then the accuser will claim drama trauma from having them loose in her vicinity. However, if they do lock up the accused then the accused will claim $100 million for false imprisonment.

Mr. T. said...

It might have had something with the other passangers. Maybe Nancy Grace, Wendy Murphy, or Gloria Aldred were on board and were getting cabin fever. Or perhaps some Duke faculty? Maybe even Mike Nifong-he doesn't have much to do these days except cruise around!