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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Jacksonville Man Sentenced To Ten Years For Aggravated Sexual Abuse By Force On Cruise Ship

Jacksonville, FL – U.S. District Judge Brian J. Davis today sentenced Brian James Holland (23, Jacksonville) to 10 years in federal prison for aggravated sexual abuse by force. A federal jury found Holland guilty on July 18, 2018.

According to evidence presented at trial, on February 27, 2018, a passenger with an intellectual disability, onboard the Carnival Cruise Line vessel Elation reported an incident of sexual abuse by force. The victim testified that she had been in the cruise ship’s hot tub when Holland attempted to put his arm around her and she attempted to move further away from him. Holland then tried to put his hand on her shoulder and pull her back towards him. Two passengers that were in the hot tub at the time of the incident corroborated the victim’s claim.  

The victim further testified that Holland also had touched her genitals both over and under her bathing suit, digitally penetrating her by force. The victim then left the hot tub and reported the incident to her family, who reported it to ship security. An examination of the victim was by the ship’s medical personnel revealed abrasions on the victim’s genitals consistent with digital penetration by force.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Carnival Cruise Line’s Security Department also provided assistance during the case. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Ashley Washington and Jay Taylor.

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Updated October 23, 2018