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    United States Attorney's Office
    Central District of California

    Thom Mrozek
    Public Affairs Officer

    (213) 894-6947
    thom.mrozek@usdoj.gov



    Return to the 2009 Press Release Index
    Release No. 09-026

    March 10, 2009

    PORTUGUESE MAN WORKING ON CRUISE SHIP CHARGED
    WITH SEXUALLY ASSAULTING FEMALE PASSENGER

    A Portuguese crew member on a Princess Cruise Lines ship was charged today with sexually assaulting a female passenger in a dining room while the ship was at sea off the coast of Mexico.

    Jorge Manuel Teixeira, 38, was charged this afternoon in a criminal complaint filed in United States District Court in Los Angeles. The complaint charges Teixeira with aggravated sexual abuse, a federal offense that carries a potential life prison sentence.

    Teixeira, who was taken into custody yesterday by special agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, is expected to make his initial court appearance this afternoon in United States District Court in Los Angeles.

    According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, the alleged attack occurred late on the evening of March 5 on the Coral Princess, a Princess Cruise Lines ship that was on a 14-day cruise between Fort Lauderdale and Los Angeles. The victim reported to officials aboard the Coral Princess, and later to the FBI, that she had agreed to meet Teixeira in a dining room where he worked as the head waiter. The victim shared some wine with Teixeira at a table in a corner of the dining room, according to statements that both people made to authorities. Once the wine was finished, Teixeira allegedly assaulted the victim, according to the affidavit.

    Following the incident, the woman filed a written incident report in which she described being assaulted by “George from Portugal.” Security officials collected evidence from the woman and from Teixeira, secured the site where the incident took place, and restricted Teixeira to his room until the ship arrived at the Port of Los Angeles yesterday morning. Once the ship docked, special agents with the FBI boarded the vessel, interviewed the victim and Teixeira, and collected evidence.

    “While this attack took place far from the borders of the United States, federal authorities have jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute crimes that take place on the high seas,” said United States Attorney Thomas P. O’Brien. “The attack alleged in this case warrants a thorough and swift prosecution to vindicate the rights of the victim and to inform the world that crimes like this will not be tolerated.”

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    Release No. 9-026
    Return to the 2009 Press Release Index