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Troopers investigate alleged sexual assault on cruise ship

Casey Grove

Alaska State Troopers looked into a report that two crewmen on a Princess cruise ship sexually assaulted another crew member Monday between Seattle and Juneau, but the victim recanted her earlier statement.

The reported assault occurred between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. Monday aboard the MV Star Princess as the ship was in Chatham Strait, troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen said. Troopers identified two suspects, Ipsen said. Alcohol had been involved, she said.

After making the report, starting the troopers' investigation, the woman "indicated she no longer wanted to pursue the matter with law enforcement," according to a written statement from Princess Public Relations Media Information Specialist Susanne Ferrull.

"Princess takes any allegations of sexual assault seriously and cases are thoroughly investigated and reported to applicable law enforcement," the statement says.

In this case, that included local law enforcement, the FBI and authorities in Bermuda, the Star Princess' flag state, the cruise company said.

Ipsen, the troopers spokeswoman, confirmed that the investigation was on hold.

"In this particular case, the only evidence we have is the victim's statement. Without that we are unable to move forward with this case," Ipsen said. "However, if new information emerges, that could change."

The ship was scheduled to visit other Alaska ports and head back to Seattle, Ipsen said. Princess said it was a seven-day cruise.

The two suspects, whom troopers did not name, remained aboard and were working "as far as we know," Ipsen said.

Reach Casey Grove at casey.grove@adn.com or 257-4589.


By CASEY GROVE
casey.grove@adn.com