The family claims that Norwegian Cruise Line was negligent in the hiring of Rajkumar Panneer Selvam, the employee who is entrusted with the care of their cabin.
(Norwegian Cruise Line)
A family from Iowa has filed a civil lawsuit against Norwegian Cruise Lines, with the assertion that a 30-year-old room steward sexually their 12-year-old daughter while she slept.
The family, who started the Norwegian Escape on a cruise from Miami in Feb. 2017, is to claim that the Norwegian was negligent in the hiring of Rajkumar Panneer Selvam, the employee who is entrusted with the care of their cabin during the cruise, and whom they accused of sexual abuse of their daughter on Feb. 16 of that year, reports The Miami Herald.
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According to the lawsuit, which was filed in Miami last week, the girl was sleeping alone in their cabin when Selvam came into the room and put his hand under her shorts, along her buttocks and vaginal area.” Selvam continued to touch her, even after she rolled away, the family claims, but stopped as soon as the girl woke up, and asked her if she wanted her room cleaned.
The girl quickly informed her parents of the incident, and them to the attention of the cruise staff. Selvam was then detained until the ship docked, at which point the captain informed the FBI of the alleged incident.
The accused employee, who was working aboard the Norwegian Escape, has already been found not guilty by a jury in Miami. The family is now seeking damages of Norwegian Cruise Line in a civil case.
(Norwegian Cruise Line)
Selvam, but has since tried and found not guilty by a jury in Miami, despite an affidavit of support submitted by an FBI agent who stated that Selvam acknowledged that he touched the girl’s “buttocks and pubic region with his hand, skin to skin, while the minor victim was sleeping on the bed.”
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In response, the family is now suing Norwegian Cruise Line, they claim that they are not properly vet Selvam before he was adopted. Indeed, the Herald reports cruise lines “usually” in the employment of foreign workers which the administration may not be as easily available.
“The child is confused, the parents are really desperate and they are involved,” John Hickey, a Miami-based maritime lawyer of the family, said the Herald.
The family is seeking damages of more than $ 75,000 to deal with emotional damage and medical costs.
The Herald adds that reports of sexual violence among cruise passengers is not uncommon, but rarely do they involve the employees.
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A representative of the Norwegian Cruise Line declined to comment on legal matters.