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Bar server pleads guilty to sexually assaulting passenger on Margaritaville cruise ship
Bar server pleads guilty to sexually assaulting passenger on Margaritaville cruise ship
Bar server pleads guilty to sexually assaulting passenger on Margaritaville cruise ship

Published on: 11/04/2023


RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. (WPEC) — A bar server has pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a passenger on the Margaritaville cruise ship that left from the Port of Palm Beach in Florida.

***Warning: Details in this story may be disturbing to some viewers. Discretion is advised.***

According to court documents, the assault occurred in the early morning of May 6 on the Margaritaville at Sea Paradise cruise ship. Hoobesh Kumar Dookhy was a bar server aboard the cruise ship and encountered the victim while he was serving her drinks, court documents say.

Prosecutors say the victim ended up drinking enough to get herself drunk, noting Dookhy served her several alcoholic drinks during that time. This allowed Dookhy to take the victim's cabin room key that included details like her name and room number.

The victim and her cabinmate returned to their room to sleep at around 1:24 a.m., court records stated. Just before 2 a.m., Dookhy entered the victim's cabin using her room key.

At 2:11 a.m., investigators say Dookhy used his phone to take a picture of himself and the victim while she slept. At 3 a.m., the victim's cabinmate woke to find Dookhy in their room.

Although he was caught, court records stated Dookhy didn't leave. Instead, he sat on the side of the cabin room bed and made sexual contact with the victim, intentionally touching her exposed chest. Prosecutors say Dookhy did this to, "abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade, or arouse or gratify his sexual desires."

The victim's cabinmate took a picture of Dookhy sexually abusing the victim as a form of evidence.

Originally facing a sexual abuse charge with the possibility of life in federal prison, Dookhy pleaded guilty to abusive sexual contact on October 31. Instead of going to trial by jury, Dookhy struck a deal with prosecutors to drop the more serious charge against him.

He faces up to two years in prison for his crimes.

The victim has filed a separate lawsuit in federal court against Classica Cruise Line, the parent company, which seeks to hold them liable for the emotional trauma and psychological damage the victim said she endured.

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