Sex Assault Victims on Cruise Ships Are Often Under 18

The FBI says investigating crimes on ships "pose specific challenges for investigators"

Sexual assault poses a hidden danger on cruise ships, with minors often the victims, according to NBC News, which spoke with 10 victims of sexual assaults or members of their families.

Some of those assaults were barely investigated, they said, and most were never prosecuted. More than two-thirds of the 92 alleged on-board crimes reported by cruise lines last year were sexual assaults, and a recent congressional report found one in three victims were minors.

"I think the biggest disappointment were the actual FBI," said Anne Smith, whose 16-year-old daughter said she was molested by a Carnival cruise gym trainer "They took a brief statement from both of us, and pretty much made it clear that there wasn't gonna be much after that."

The FBI said it could not discuss the specifics of Abby's case, and noted that investigating crimes on ships "pose specific challenges for investigators."

In an email, Carnival Cruise Line offered "heartfelt apologies" to the Smiths and said it would pay for the teen's counseling. It also said that it followed "all established and required procedures" when she reported the assault.

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