It is being reported out of New York that a British passenger aboard the NCL operated Norwegian Breakaway grouped a 21-year-old New Jersey woman as she danced in the cruise ship’s Bliss Ultra Lounge. The sexual assault occurred at approximately 1:30 a.m. on September 4th. The 28-year-old man, identified as Ashley Berry, approached the victim by behind and groped her. He then fled the lounge. Ship’s security personnel followed Berry. The victim was later able to identify Berry as the man you assaulted her. He was arrested by the New York Police Department and charged with forcible touching and sexual abuse when the cruise ship returned to its Hudson River home port. Berry is being held on $500 bail and is expected to next appear in court on September 8th.
Sexual crimes aboard cruise ship has been so prevalent that Congress enacted the Cruise Vessel Safety and Security Act which requires cruise lines to install various security systems and provide victims of sexual assault contact information for the FBI and local law enforcement as well as free and immediate access to a private telephone line and internet access by which the victim may confidentially access law enforcement officials, an attorney and the support services available through the National Sexual Assault Hotline program.