Cruise Passenger Charged with Fondling Boy on Ship

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A 72-year-old Pennsylvania man has been arrested for allegedly taking a Royal Caribbean cruise with the intent of molesting a child.

According to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, the FBI charged Sherwood Stevenson of Clinton, Penn., with traveling with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct.

During a detention hearing this week, an FBI agent said video surveillance from a Liberty of the Seas cruise in December, shows Stevenson getting into a Jacuzzi next to a 6-year-old boy, putting his arm around the boy and attempting to pull him onto his lap, according to the Gazette.

The agent said Stevenson later admitted to fondling the boy under his swim trunks and forcing the boy to touch him, according to the newspaper.

The boy was reportedly in the hot tub for only a brief time before other adults arrived. Royal Caribbean requires children using Jacuzzis to be supervised.

Royal Caribbean today released a statement saying the incident was quickly reported to a crew member and the cruise line took action. "On December 18, a guest onboard Liberty of the Seas brought Mr. Stevenson's alleged inappropriate behavior to the attention of a crew member. Royal Caribbean's onboard security immediately responded and preserved information and potential evidence that could be helpful to law enforcement. The incident was immediately reported to the FBI and the Miami-Dade police department, and Mr. Stevenson was confined to his stateroom."

The statement continues, "On December 20, the ship was met at the Port of Miami by the FBI and Miami-Dade Police Department officers who conducted an investigation onboard. We will continue to support law enforcement agencies during their prosecution of this allegation."

Stephenson was interviewed by FBI agents in Miami, but the case was referred to the Pittsburgh office. There have been other charges against the man, the Gazette reports. The judge at the dentention hearing ordered Stevenson to remain incarcerated pending trial.

Photo, orangetaki, flickr
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