Two Mothers Raped By Staff At Bahama Resort
I have never personally been on a cruise. I’ve traveled extensively, but I never had the desire to go on one. It wasn’t because of fear, my personal preference was just to always travel by plane or car. For two moms from Kentucky, I doubt they will ever take another cruise either, but fear will definitely be one of the reasons.
The women, Amber Shearer and Dongayla Dobson, have been friends since the fourth grade. They recently took a cruise together, without their kids who’s ages range from 4 to 17, looking forward to some care free and relaxing time together.
Unfortunately, according to the harrowing story they told, that isn’t what they got. Their Carnival Cruise ship had docked at a port in Freeport. On February 1st they were relaxing on the beach when a resort employee offered them a two for one drink special. They took him up on the offer and ordered one pineapple and one coconut drink. When the cocktails arrived, they took a photo of themselves with the drinks, but once they began to drink them, they found them to be much stronger than they anticipated.
Shearer told NewsNation, “Less than a few sips into the second drink, we knew something was wrong. Something was terribly wrong.”
The women said that they had only one drink at the resort that day but were highly intoxicated very quickly after their first sips of the drink. Frankie King, Dobson’s mother said she knew something was wrong after she watched a video that the two had posted. In an interview with Fox News Digital King said:
“They were on a live video that they just posted or something. They were like falling all over the place. They don’t drink a lot, but I’ve seen both of those girls drunk. I knew there was something else going on. Like something’s not quite right, but I couldn’t put my finger on it.”
The two were looking for shells on the beach, when a male resort employee told them about an area on the beach where they would find a lot of shells. That’s all they remember. The next thing Shearer recalls is waking up while being assaulted by a uniformed resort worker. Through tears, Shearer stated, “I came to in the process of my rape.”
A housekeeper at the Pirate’s Cove Resort found the women unconscious in one of the bathrooms. A nurse practitioner helped them and documented their injuries. Once they were back upon the Carnival Cruise ship, they had rape tests and breathalyzer administered. The breathalyzer proved that they had very little alcohol in their system, but toxicology tests showed that they had benzodiazepines, among other drugs, in their bodies.
On February 4th, Royal Bahamas Police arrested two men. A 40-year-old of South Bahamia and a 54-year-old of Eight Mile Rock in connection to the alleged sex crimes, the department said in a press release. Police identified the two male suspects in the alleged sexual attack through surveillance footage. Both were employees at the resort. One of the suspects had reportedly only worked there for about a week. The police stated that the investigation is ongoing.
The number of reported rapes and sexual assaults on cruises hit a new high in 2023, according to stats compiled by the FBI. There were 131 reported incidents in 2023 compared to 87 in 2022 and 101 in 2019, before the covid “plandemic” crippled the industry for about two years.
Experts warn that the actual number of incidents is likely much higher. Nationally, two out of three sexual assaults go unreported, according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, and the 2010 Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act doesn’t protect non-U.S. citizens.
WLEX-TV reported, “The pair is now receiving medical care at home, which includes thousands of dollars of preventative care, including HIV prevention medication which costs nearly $4,000.”
The women are outraged that Carnival Cruise Line did not make them aware that the U.S. State Department had recently increased its travel advisory level for the Bahamas and advised travelers to “exercise increased caution in The Bahamas due to crime.”
In a Facebook post, Shearer voiced her anger and concern. “We want justice for what happened to us. We want to raise awareness for others.”
Pirate’s Cove Resort, said in a statement that the women’s allegations of drug-laced cocktails and sexual assaults “conflict” with its 16 “time-stamped surveillance videos.” Those “lengthy videos of all concerned” were handed over to local police, and the FBI confirmed it’s also part of the investigation.
The resort’s statement went on to clarify that it took “swift” action by firing two resort employees for violating resort policy.
“We have a zero-tolerance policy for fraternizing with guests or behaving in a manner that is unsafe,” the resort’s statement says.
“We regret that our guests experienced this incident, and we remain steadfast in our commitment to aid police in the collection of evidence in response to these allegations, including providing police access to video where the assault of the two guests allegedly occurred.”
Shearer Stated that:
“You need to be aware because our cruise line did not make us aware of a travel advisory. We had no idea what was going on in the Bahamas.” The women added that they didn’t know about the travel advisory until “four hours after we were raped.”
Dobson added, “Be safe. Two is not a group. Do not buy any drinks that come unless they come in a sealed container, in a bottle.”
Traveling outside of the United States is always a risk. Laws are different and enforcement of the law varies widely. Never assume that things will be handled in the same manner they would be in the states, or more correctly, the way they used to be. If you are traveling anywhere do your due diligence ahead of time and always remain cognizant of your surroundings as well as those around you.