Man Pleads Guilty To Sexual Assault On Ship

May 1, 2019

A 32-year-old Mississippi man pleaded guilty in a Boston federal court to sexually assaulting a minor during a cruise from Boston to Bermuda, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

An official statement from the Attorney’s Office District of Massachusetts — which acknowledged the “valuable assistance” provided by the Bermuda Police Service — said, “A Mississippi man pleaded guilty on Friday, April 26, 2019, in federal court in Boston to sexually assaulting a minor during a cruise from Boston to Bermuda.

“Adam Christopher Boyd, 32, of Bay Springs, Miss., pleaded guilty to one count of sexual abuse of a minor. U.S. Senior District Court Judge Mark L. Wolf scheduled sentencing for Aug. 1, 2019.

“Boyd appeared in federal court in August 2017 and was subsequently released on conditions. However, after violating his conditions of release in November 2018, he was ordered detained and has been in custody since.

“In August 2017, Boyd was a passenger on a seven-day cruise from Boston to Bermuda. While the ship was docked in Bermuda, Boyd allegedly raped a minor passenger while the two were onboard the ship.

“The child subsequently reported the rape to ship security, who notified Bermudian authorities. In the course of the Bermuda Police Service’s initial investigation, they arrested Boyd and notified authorities in the United States.

“United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Office, made the announcement.

“Valuable assistance was also provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Bermuda Police Service, Massachusetts Port Authority and FBI Legat Bridgetown, Barbados, Sub Office Nassau. Assistant U.S. Attorney Anne Paruti, Lelling’s Project Safe Childhood Coordinator and a member of the Major Crimes Unit, is prosecuting the case.”

According to MassLive, “The victim told investigators that he met Boyd in the early morning hours of August 18, 2017 while walking the deck of the ship after drinking with people he had met on the cruise, FBI Special Agent Brendan Fogerty wrote in an affidavit. Both the victim and another witness told Fogerty that Boyd was aware the victim was only 15 years old.

“After talking with Boyd and a group of other cruise-goers, the teenager asked for help getting back to his room. Boyd volunteered to escort him, and proceeded to kiss, grope and rape him in isolated areas of the ship, the victim told investigators.

“Minor A reported that he asked Boyd what he was doing, but otherwise was too drunk and froze, not knowing what to say or do,” Fogerty wrote in his affidavit.

The victim quickly told friends he had been raped, and later that day told a family member who reported the assault to ship security. The teenager was interviewed by Bermuda police and had a rape kit taken at a nearby hospital.”

The  U.S. Department of Justice noted that “sexual abuse of a minor carries a sentence of no greater than 15 years in prison, a minimum of five years and up to a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000.”

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