31-year-old Juan Manuel Palma Ortega has been charged with molesting a girl aboard a Disney cruise ship during a weekend cruise out of Port Miami.
As reported by WSVN, an 11-year old girl identified the Honduran man after alerting her parents that she had been fondled by the accused three times aboard the Disney Magic‘s cruise. Ortega allegedly confessed to the wrongdoing, and is being detained on an immigration hold without bond. Ortega faces three counts of lewd and lascivious molestation of a minor. It is unclear from the report whether Ortega was a passenger or a member of the crew. Disney has yet to respond to request for statement.
Needless to say, such alleged conduct is reprehensible and should be severely punished. Cruise lines generally disclaim any liability for the conduct of another passenger, but are strictly liable under the law if their own employee sexually assaults a passenger. The lesson every parent should learn from this and many other similar stories is to always keep an eye on your children during a cruise, know where they are at all times, and make sure they do not wander about the ship alone.
Photo Credit: Disney Magic by Robert Simmons licensed under CC 2.0 via Wikimedia.