Police: Tour boat captain a wanted man

43-year-old accused of indecent assault of a cruise ship passenger

A Cayman Islands tour boat company manager charged in the 2012 indecent assault of a cruise ship passenger is now a wanted person.

According to the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, Shawn Mourao is in breach of bail conditions. Officers could not state Mourao’s whereabouts last week.

“His trial date is still Oct. 28,” an RCIPS spokesperson confirmed Friday. “If he doesn’t show up, a warrant will be issued.”

Criminal charges were filed late last year in connection with what police said was the attempted sexual assault of a cruise ship passenger in George Town last summer. RCIPS investigators said three counts of indecent assault were filed against a 43-year-old man, identified in U.S. court records as Shawn Mourao, a South African citizen who is a resident of the Cayman Islands.

Mourao was named in the U.S. because of a federal court lawsuit filed by a New Jersey woman who claims she was sexually assaulted in a downtown George Town building on July 27, 2012. The criminal charges and the lawsuit seeking a monetary award for damages relate to the same incident.

The woman, whose name the Caymanian Compass is not releasing, alleges in the lawsuit that she was attacked by the captain of a tour boat while in George Town. In mid-August 2012, a 43-year-old man was arrested in connection with the incident on suspicion of attempted rape. The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service confirmed the report of the attack and the arrest in mid-September after receiving questions about it from the local press.

Elijah Stiers, the Florida-based attorney representing the woman in the sexual assault case, said this month that he was unaware of Mourao’s whereabouts, but that the tour boat captain had not filed a response to the federal court lawsuit by the deadline set in mid-September. Mr. Stiers said attempts to contact the Miami-based offices of the tour company Mourao works for, Cayman Style Ocean Adventures Inc., have been unsuccessful.

If no response is received, Mr. Stiers said, his office will seek summary judgment against the company in the U.S. . The lawsuit seeks at least US$2 million in damages from Cayman Style Ocean Adventures and Mourao.

The lawsuit states that the woman was a cruise ship passenger who had booked a seven-day “Exotic Western Caribbean Cruise” that included stops in Mexico, Belize, Roatan and Grand Cayman. As part of the trip, she paid $79.99 for a “beach party and snorkeling shore excursion” in Grand Cayman. Cayman Style Ocean Adventures, or CSOA, was the contractor that provided the tour for the cruise line.

The woman went on the excursion around 1 p.m. on July 27, 2012, and returned at 4:30 p.m. to George Town harbor.

According to the lawsuit, after disembarking, the woman asked the tour boat captain where she might find a restroom and the captain led her to a shopping center near the waterfront. The lawsuit alleges that she was taken to a small room in the property where the offense occurred. The woman made repeated pleas for the man to stop and eventually escaped, running off half-naked to find the friend she had come with on the cruise, the lawsuit alleges.

The attack was reported to authorities on board the cruise ship where the woman was evaluated and a rape kit was administered, the lawsuit states.

According to attorneys for the woman, southern Florida is the proper venue for the lawsuit “insofar as the defendant corporation, CSOA, was a Florida corporation at the time of this incident, or may be found within this district”.

The RCIPS declined to confirm any of the details contained in the lawsuit, citing the pending criminal trial.