BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - A Carnival Cruise Lines crew member was arrested at Port Canaveral Saturday evening for allegedly sexually assaulting a teenage passenger aboard a cruise ship, according to the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.
Yovany Suazo-Batiz, a 46-year-old Honduran national, faced a judge Sunday morning, who raised his bond from $95,000 to $135,000. The state tried to argue that the suspect was a flight risk.
The judge ordered Suazo-Batiz to not have any contact with the victim or the victim's family. He was also told to turn over his passport.
Suazo-Batiz was working on the Carnival Valor as a stateroom steward Friday when he tried to start a conversation with a teenage boy in a sauna, said Maj. Tod Goodyear, a sheriff’s office spokesman.
“The victim then moved to a shower area to avoid the suspect when the alleged sexual conduct occurred,” Goodyear said. “Immediately following the incident the victim identified the crewmember to his father who detained him with the assistance of other passengers until ship security arrived.”
Investigators waited dockside Saturday morning as the ship returned to its home port following a seven-day trip to the eastern Caribbean.
“All crewmembers undergo background checks and are provided the appropriate seaman's visa,” said Aly Bello-Cabreriza, a Carnival spokeswoman.
Suazo-Batiz was charged with sexual battery of a person under 16 years of age and lewd and lascivious molestation. He remains in the Brevard County Jail.