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HomeCruiseCruise ship bartender who sexually abused passenger gets slap-on-wrist sentence

Cruise ship bartender who sexually abused passenger gets slap-on-wrist sentence

A bartender on a Margaritaville at Sea cruise ship who snuck into a cabin and sexually assaulted a passenger has been sentenced to two years behind bars — and won’t have to register as a sex offender.
Hoobesh Kumar Dookhy, who is in his 20s, had faced the possibility of life in prison on a federal charge of sexual abuse, but pleaded guilty in October to one count of abusive sexual contact, the Palm Beach Post reported.
During a recent court hearing, ​his attorney Peter Birch argued for an even lighter sentence, saying the victim in the May 2023 incident was scantily clad and “had no desire to escape” from him, according to the paper.
3 Hoobesh Kumar Dookhy, a bartender on a Margaritaville at Sea cruise ship, has been sentenced to two years behind bars after taking a plea in the sexual assault of a passenger. Margaritaville at Sea Paradise Cruise
“That’s just vile,” Spencer Aronfeld, an attorney representing the woman’s cabinmate, told the outlet.
“It’s so misogynistic that I’m angered and creeped out at the same time,” he added.
US District Judge Aileen Cannon sentenced Dookhy to two years in the slammer — one year more than Birch and federal sentencing guidelines advised but what prosecutors had asked for.
Assistant US Attorney Brian Ralston rejected Dookhy’s claim that the woman gave Dookhy her stateroom key, arguing instead that he grabbed it while serving her drinks on the Jimmy Buffett-themed cruise.
The victim’s roommate recorded the assault and reported it to security the following morning.
Investigators found the key in the pocket of Dookhy’s work vest, as well as selfies he took beside the woman while she slept.
3 Dookhy, who pleaded guilty to one count of abusive sexual contact, will not be required to register as a sex offender. Margaritaville at Sea Paradise Cruise
He later admitted to having sex with the woman but insisted that their encounter was consensual.
Dookhy avoided a trial by jury and took the plea deal, which dropped the worse of the two charges he faced.
The married roommate from West Virginia filed a lawsuit against the Classica cruise line claiming that she had also been assaulted by Dookhy.
She was initially classified as a witness to the first woman’s assault, but decided to file her lawsuit after Dookhy’s conviction, Aronfeld has told the Palm Beach Post.
3 The victim and her cabinmate have filed separate lawsuits against the ship and its parent corporation, Classica Cruise Line. Margaritaville at Sea Paradise Cruise
The roommate, identified only as Jane Doe, “became pregnant, and was forced to terminate the pregnancy from which she suffered serious complications,” according to the lawsuit obtained by the New York Post.
Doe is seeking a jury trial and $75,000 in damages from Classica.
Dookhy is scheduled to be released before his 28th birthday.
According to the conditions of his release, he will not have to register as a sex offender and will remain on supervised release for five years, according to the outlet.
Classica and Margaritaville at Sea did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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