Cruise ship worker cleared of sexual assault charge

A 41-year-old Filipino national charged with sexual assault has been acquitted in Magistrates’ Court.

He had been accused of the offence by a 26-year-old Filipino woman who worked with him on a cruise ship. In January he was brought to Bermuda from Miami to face the charge, which he has denied.

The case was tried in a local court because the vessel is Bermuda-registered.

The complainant had become pregnant from a December 28 sexual encounter which she maintained had been forced on her, but which the defendant said had been consensual. At her March 11 court appearance, she said the pregnancy had since been terminated.

This morning in weighing the evidence, Senior Magistrate Archibald Warner noted: “It was not until January 18, after discussing her pregnancy with him, that the defendant made a complaint of sexual assault.”

Mr Warner said: “In all the circumstances, I am not satisfied that the complainant did not consent, and that the defendant did not have an honest and reasonable belief that it was consensual.”

The man, who has been represented by lawyer Kenrick James, was then free to leave the court.

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