By RICHARD LUTHER, Associated Press MARILAC, Fla.
(AP) The cruise industry is under fire after a woman who was sexually assaulted and forced to perform oral sex on a ship was left to die by a captain who was not charged with a crime.
The Carnival Triumph sank off Florida’s Keys in January 2017 after an investigation into allegations that she was raped by the captain.
Carnival and the company’s parent company, Carnival Cruises, both apologized for the incident, but the woman was still on board the ship when she died in an accident on March 13.
Carnival has faced questions about how its ship was allowed to sink.
It says its policies are stringent and have never required crew members to perform sexual acts.
A Carnival spokesperson said Thursday that the company has hired an outside investigation firm to look into the incident.
The company also said it has hired a full-time attorney and that the matter is being handled internally.
Celestia Martinez was a 26-year-old who was hired by Carnival as a cruise line’s personal assistant on a cruise.
She says she was an emotional wreck after being assaulted.
She was found dead on the deck of the ship with her hands bound behind her back, with her head and face covered with a sheet.
She had bruises on her back and chest, according to a report from the Florida Highway Patrol.
Calls to the Carnival Cruise Lines office in Marietta, Georgia, went unanswered Thursday.
Calls to the company in Florida were not returned.
Carnival’s statement said it had hired an independent company to conduct an independent investigation and has “completed that investigation and will provide an update shortly.”
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the woman,” Carnival said in the statement.