FBI Charges Man for Sexual Assault on Cruise Ship

April 4, 2013
(1:02 p.m. EST) - The FBI has arrested and charged a 49-year-old man with sexual contact with a minor while aboard Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced. A hearing is set for today, April 4, in Galveston, Texas.

Todd Eric Nordahl, of Tucson, Arizona, is charged with engaging in sexual contact with a 15-year-old boy he knew to be a minor on March 27, 2013, while the ship was in international waters. A Royal Caribbean security officer contacted the FBI to report the allegations made by the boy.

According to allegations, Nordahl provided the boy with an alcoholic drink and then made sexual advances that resulted in sexual contact. He was arrested March 31, after Mariner of the Seas returned to port in Galveston.

Cynthia Martinez, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd's director of global corporate communications, confirmed that FBI agents boarded Mariner of the Seas on March 31 and conducted a "full investigation."

Prior to the ship's arrival back in Galveston, the accused was placed in an inside cabin with a security guard posted at the door, Martinez told Cruise Critic.

"Royal Caribbean maintains a zero tolerance policy regarding any criminal activity onboard our ships. Any allegation of a crime is treated seriously and reported to law enforcement."

Martinez also said Royal Caribbean's guest care team has offered the underage boy a variety of assistance, including medical care and counseling.

Per the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2010, cruise lines are required by law to report crimes committed against a U.S. citizen to the FBI, even if the crime was committed in international waters.

--by Dori Saltzman, News Editor