Update: Carnival Cruise Ship Passenger Sentenced on Rape Charges

April 8, 2013

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Update, 4:28 p.m. EDT: Casey Dickerson has been found guilty and sentenced to 20 years in jail for the gang rape of a 15-year-old girl onboard Carnival Sensation last August, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

(August 22, 6:01 p.m. EDT) -- A 31-year-old male passenger on Carnival Sensation was arrested Monday on a federal sex charge one day after allegedly participating in a gang rape of a 15-year-old female passenger. Four others, boys under the age of 18, are accused of participating, though none have been arrested.

The details, according to a criminal complaint filed by the FBI and the United States Attorney's Office, are as follows: Casey Dickerson invited the victim, her 15-year-old female friend and four teenage boys back to his cabin, where he supplied them with liquor. Dickerson and the boys allegedly took turns assaulting the victim, while her friend was locked in the bathroom.

After the two girls were released, the victim proceeded to the onboard medical center, where she received medical treatment and a rape kit was administered.

According to the complaint, Dickerson denied the charges, saying that "he was drunk and that he did not know when anything got 'sexual.'" Dickerson, who is married, did admit to the FBI that he had sex with women other than his wife on the cruise.

Also noted was the fact that Dickerson and his wife were given access to a second cabin because they had complained about a noise issue with their first room. They retained key cards to both rooms.

The Orlando Sentinel, which broke the story, reports that a judge has found Dickerson to be a danger to the community and ordered that he be jailed until trial.

Carnival released a statement Wednesday saying that it is fully cooperating with law enforcement officials and that upon learning of the incident Carnival officials "immediately contacted all appropriate authorities, including the FBI." Dickerson was taken into custody Sunday morning when the ship arrived at its homeport of Port Canaveral. Carnival Sensation operates year-round three- and four-day cruises from the Florida port.

--by Dori Saltzman, News Editor