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Investigation of Alleged Sexual Assault Aboard Cruise Ship Suspended

By Chris Klint, Senior Digital Producer, cklint@ktuu.com
Published On: Oct 09 2013 11:41:33 AM AKDT
Updated On: Oct 09 2013 11:42:07 AM AKDT
Investigation of Alleged Sexual Assault Aboard Cruise Ship Suspended
ANCHORAGE, Alaska -

Alaska State Troopers have suspended their investigation of an alleged sexual assault reported among the crew of a Princess Cruises ship during a Southeast Alaska cruise this week.

According to AST spokesperson Beth Ipsen, a female crew member of the M/V Star Princess said she was assaulted by two other crew members, while the ship was in Chatham Strait en route to Juneau.

A Wednesday AST dispatch says the alleged assault took place between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. Monday, with Juneau troopers informed of the incident -- which reportedly involved alcohol just before 4 p.m. that afternoon.

In response to a Channel 2 request, Princess Cruises released a statement Wednesday afternoon acknowledging troopers' report, but casting doubt on the future of the case.

"The incident was immediately reported to local law enforcement authorities, the FBI and authorities with the ship’s flag state of Bermuda," Princess officials wrote. "After reviewing the facts and speaking with the crew member – who indicated she no longer wanted to pursue the matter with law enforcement – officials determined no further action would be taken at this time."

AST spokesperson Beth Ipsen said Thursday that investigators have halted their work on the case, pending any further information coming in on it.

"In this particular case, the only evidence we have is the victim's statement," Ipsen said.

According to Ipsen, the Star Princess is making additional port calls as it heads back to Seattle, the point of origin for its current cruise.

Contact Chris Klint