FBI Muzzles Cruise Line Rape Cases: Report

Salon says bureau too cozy with cruise line industry
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 25, 2012 4:21 PM CDT
FBI Muzzles Cruise Line Rape Cases: Report
The FBI has hampered reporting of rape cases on cruise liners, Salon reports.   (Shutterstock)

Cruise liners see their share of sexual assault cases, but finding stats about them has gotten a lot harder—and the FBI is likely to blame, Salon reports. A group called International Cruise Victims successfully pushed for US legislation a few years back that made cruise line rape cases public knowledge, but over time fewer were being reported. Soon the group learned that the FBI had inserted a key phrase in the law that changed everything.

That phrase ensured that each reported case would become public only after the FBI had opened and closed it. The problem: The FBI only opens such cases 10% to 20% of the time, and often never closes them. So why did the FBI alter the law? Salon says the bureau is too cozy with the cruise line business, which hired one retired FBI honcho in 2006 and hosts a closed dinner meeting with the FBI and Coast Guard every two months. But "we shouldn’t have to butt heads or fight with our own FBI," says ICV President Jaime Barnett. (Read more cruise ships stories.)

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