A judge in United States District Court in Miami has approved a default judgment in a case accusing a former Cayman tour operator of indecent assault on an American woman visiting from a cruise ship.
According to the civil lawsuit, tour operator Shawn Mourao, under the pretense of leading the woman to a bathroom, took her into a small room on the George Town waterfront, locked the door and attacked her. The woman, who cannot be identified under Cayman law, had come off a Carnival cruise ship and went on an afternoon snorkeling trip with Mourao and Cayman Style Ocean Adventures Inc.
The woman reported the assault to police, who arrested Mourao and charged him with three counts of indecent assault. He failed to show up for a court appearance in 2013 and is now the subject of an Interpol warrant. He is suspected to be in his native South Africa.
The order from the U.S. judge states that since neither Mourao nor Cayman Style Ocean Adventures, both defendants in the lawsuit, appeared in court or defended themselves against the accusations, they are taken as fact. The judge has scheduled a hearing next month to determine damages.
Court documents indicated that the U.S. company Mourao ran has been dissolved.
According to court filings, the woman’s attorney believes the “offices/directors operate a number of similar businesses using different names from the same office address” that they could potentially collect money from.
Filings in the lawsuit state the woman was on a seven-day cruise on the Carnival Legend, which arrived in George Town harbor on July 27, 2012. She and a friend went on a snorkeling and beach party trip with Mourao, whose company had a contract with Carnival to take passengers on short trips.
The lawsuit seeks $2 million in damages from Mourao and Cayman Style Ocean Adventures.