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Cruise worker accused of raping passenger

19 February 2014, 14:43

Florida - A cruise ship worker from Indonesia is accused of raping a passenger aboard a Holland America Line vessel and then trying to throw her overboard, authorities said on Tuesday.

The FBI reports that 28-year-old Ketut Pujayasa was arrested Sunday when the MS Nieuw Amsterdam returned to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale. The incident occurred early on Friday morning in international waters off the coast of Roatan, Honduras.

According to a criminal complaint, the victim - a 31-year-old US woman - told investigators she was attacked and raped in her stateroom. The attacker tried to throw her from the balcony, but she escaped and received help from another passenger.

Pujayasa initially left the room but then turned himself in. The report says the Indonesian man told investigators he attacked the victim because she had disrespected him earlier.

Pujayasa is charged with attempt to commit murder and aggravated sexual abuse.

Holland America Line said in a news release on Tuesday that it is working with the authorities to understand how the incident occurred and what additional actions the company can take to help ensure that nothing like this ever happens again.

"At Holland America Line, the safety of our guests is our highest priority, and we are shocked and deeply saddened by this incident," Holland America Line president and CEO Stein Kruse said in the release.

"To our knowledge, no incident like this has occurred in our company's 140-year history."

The MS Nieuw Amsterdam had been on a seven-day western Caribbean charter cruise that departed 9 Febrary, sailing roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale.

- AP

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