June 19, 2013

We regularly see news stories about accidents
aboard cruise ships, such as slip and fall, food
poisoning, or accidental door closing cases. As
serious as these accidents may be, cruise ship
crime is considered a far more alarming trend, since
it can involve assault, sexual assault, battery, and
other misdemeanors and felonies. This month, a
grand jury in California indicted a Florida resident on
charges that he murdered his former wife and then
threw her overboard while the two were passengers
on a cruise ship off the coast of Italy. According to
USA Today, the man committed the crime while
aboard the cruise ship
Island Escape. (Man Charged
with Tossing Wife from Cruise Ship, Gene Sloan,
June 19, 2013). The grand jury indictment is a
preliminary stage in a criminal prosecution,
evidencing that the jurors found that probable cause
exists that a crime has been committed. Following
the indictment, criminal matters are assigned to
criminal court for prosecution.

If a cruise ship crime involves a U.S. national (either
as victim or perpetrator) on ships which have
departed or are arriving at a U.S. port, the FBI will
investigate the matter. They also investigate crimes
aboard cruise ships if the vessel is U.S. owned,
regardless of the nationality of the victim or
perpetrator, or if the crime occurred in U.S.
territorial waters (within 12 miles of the coast). (FBI)


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