Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Man on Probation Refused Cruise

According to a small snippet near the end of an article in the Baltimore Sun, in November of 2004, a man was placed on three years probation and labeled a sex offender at the age of 23 for having consensual sex with a then 15 year old. With his three year probation nearly up, he petitioned the court for permission to leave the state to go on a Carnival cruise. The judge allowed the request as long as the man registered as a sex offender with the cruise line, and did not spend overnight stays in any port of call. When trying to find out how to register with Carnival, the man found out that they do not have such a system, and the cruise line invoked its right to refuse passage based on his probation terms. The terms state that he is not allowed to be in close proximity of minors of which there will be plenty of on a cruise.

After reading this, I started to think that there were really three guilty parties here but then narrowed it down to two, the man himself, and the judge. Every case is individual and not knowing anything about this one, I think the man should have known the terms of his own probation. Same goes for the judge. If the judge wants to make such a call, they should have taken responsibility for it rather than passing it onto the cruise line. While some may think that Carnival is in the wrong as well by denying passage to the man, you have to remember that they have 2000+ other passengers that will be on the same ship that they are also responsible for and that this was the easiest way to do so. Besides, it sounds like they are the only ones that actually read the terms of the probation.


Debo Hobo said...

Great post I agree the two parties in the wrong were the man and the judge.

I wonder if he had opted to go on an adults only or singles cruise would he be allowed to take a cruise then?

Anonymous said...

First of all, this problem can be looked at from several different angles: Current felon on probation, registered sex offender with a crime of non-violent (consensual) rape, etc. I will concentrate just on the RSO status.

This decision also may lead into how Carnival approaches its policy for ALL registered sex offenders (RSO's), whether or not they are on probation or parole. For instance, if an RSO who has been clear of the correctional system in any capacity, and have just a requirement to register as an RSO, wants to take a cruise, would Carnival be within its rights to deny his cruise?

I think the situation can actually be looked at from two different directions. First of all, let's assume that the RSO discloses that he (or she, I will use masculine references from now on) is an RSO before buying the passage. By being consistent with the original ruling, Carnival would probably have to deny passage. But if the RSO does NOT disclose his status, then the RSO would probably not be denied the passage.

Of course, this precludes any criminal activity by the RSO during the course of the voyage, particularly any crime involving either children and/or sex.

Therefore, should any travel conveyance be required to check the Sex Offender Registry for the particular individual and base their decisions to deny passage based on the SOR? Interesting question.

D.C. said...

The only reason the cruise line was aware of the situation was because he followed the judges orders because of the probation. As for future instances, I doubt it would be handled any differently by the cruise line but I dont see them doing full background checks on every passenger (well without the cost of doing sobeing put back on the passengers anyway).