Woman alleges cruise ship sex assault by angry crew member

February 19, 2014 8:54:11 AM PST
A cruise ship crew member is accused of breaking into an American passenger's room, sexually assaulting her, and trying to throw her overboad.

Holland American Line Vacations are a dream for some, but one woman claims her Caribbean cruise turned into a nightmare. A 31-year-old American woman says she was brutally attacked by Ketut Pujayasa on a seven-day roundtrip Caribbean cruise out of Florida.

Pujayasa worked as a "cabin attendant," according to a criminal complaint he told authorities Feburary 14, he delivered breakfast to the alleged victim's room. When he knocked, he said, he heard a voice shout "wait a minute, son of a (expletive)" -- later that day, Pujayasa allegedly searched the ship "in order to punch her in the face for insulting him that morning" but was unable to find her.

Pujayasa told authorities that evening he used his master key card to enter her stateroom, hiding on the balcony as the victim entered. He's then accused of violently beating and sexually assaulting the unsuspecting woman, at one point, attempting to throw her off the balcony as the ship neared the coast of Roatan, Honduras.

"There are no cameras in most cases on most cruise ships that record what happens on the balcony. If he was successful in getting her off the ship. It could just end up as another mystery on the high seas," said Jim Walker, maritime lawyer.

The victim managed to escape and was taken via air ambulance to the hospital. Pujayasa faces federal charges of attempted murder and aggravated sexual abuse --- since the alleged attack happened over international waters.

"It's happened before. People have disappeared from these ships. The prosecution rates are exceedingly low and this is the perfect place to commit a crime... assault someone and throw them overboard. Most people get away with it," said Walker.

CNN was unable to reach Pujayasa's attorney for comment. Holland America fired him and sent a letter to those on board shortly after the incident saying, "We are treating this situation with the utmost seriousness. We are doing everything possible to assist the guest involved as well as the relevant authorities. The crew member has been confined to ensure he will have no guest contact for the remainder of the cruise."

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