Holland America crewmember Gede Sukrantara pled guilty to a January 18, 2017 sexual assault of a 15-year-old passenger during a cruise. The victim and her grandmother were on a Caribbean cruise vacation aboard the Holland America VEENDAM cruise ship when Sukrantara followed the minor into a public restroom wherein he forced her to preform sexual acts. Sukrantara was serving as a waiter aboard the cruise ship at the time of the incident. Sukrantara was arrested when the cruise ship returned to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Judge Elizabeth Scherer of the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit in and for Broward-County, Florida sentenced Sukrantara to seven years imprisonment followed by seven years probation wherein he must register as a sex offender.
The minor, represented by Brais Brais Rusak has brought a civil lawsuit against Holland America in Federal Court. Under maritime law, cruise lines are strictly liable for the intentional torts of their crewmembers. The complaint alleges claims under maritime common law as well as civil remedies under the federal Sexual Exploitation of Children Act which applies to sexual assaults and rapes to minors occurring aboard cruise ships on the high seas.