The Avalon Waterways company was sued by the mother of 17-year-old girl. The teenager was allegedly raped on the Avalon Myanmar ship by a bartender. Last year, he targeted the girl during Christmas-time excursion in southeast Asia.
The lawsuit against Avalon Waterways accuses the cruise company of not properly protecting the Californian girl.
Avalon is a registered brand name for Group Voyagers Inc. The name registration has expired, records show.
Group Voyagers is known as the Globus family of brands, which is the world's largest tour operator, with about 500,000 passengers yearly. Originally a NYC company, it has been in Colorado since 1997.
The lawsuit claims the unidentified girl aged 16 at the time) was traveling with her mother and suffered undisclosed permanent physical and emotional injuries as a result of the attack.
The cruise ran along the upper part of Irrawaddy River in Myanmar from Dec 20 to Dec 30, 2015, the lawsuit says.
One of the crew, a bartender (identified as Louie) continuously followed the girl on the boat and joined her and her mother during land excursions.
The sexual assault allegedly happened on the cruise's last day, in a restroom, the lawsuit says.
The cruise contract dictates any dispute be resolved first through mediation, which the lawsuit says the family unsuccessfully tried to initiate from August through October 2016. The federal case was filed in US District Court in Denver on Dec 3.
The problem of sexual assaults on cruise ships is a long-running theme in the vacation industry, with much of the concern over lax prosecution since many of the assaults happen on international waters. FBI and USCG statistics show that between 2010 and 2014, more than 150 cases of alleged rapes or sexual assaults on cruise ships stopping in US ports were reported.
Although US laws require that passengers have access to sexual assault exam kits on board, as well as any medical attention, it doesn't apply to non-US registered vessels cruising other countries.