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Royal Caribbean employee charged with sexually abusing teenage girl aboard cruise

A 25-year-old Royal Caribbean employee has been indicted on charges of sex abuse of a minor after authorities say he had sex with a teenage girl aboard a cruise ship out of Baltimore, records show.

According to a complaint filed in U.S. District Court, Fabian Palmer befriended the 14-year-old girl and her family during a cruise that departed from Maryland on Dec. 17.

On Dec. 23, the victim told authorities, she was alone on the deck of the ship and encountered Palmer, who took her into a men's locker room and began having sex with her. He stopped when another employee knocked on the door, she said. 

Video cameras captured "the likeness of Palmer," the victim, and the second employee outside the locker room around the same time that the victim said the abuse occurred, records show. Palmer was interviewed by Royal Caribbean employees and admitted having sex with the girl, but said he believed she was 16, records show. He was indicted on one count of sex abuse of a minor on Jan. 11.

Royal Caribbean didn't immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.

Last year, several Royal Caribbean employees were indicted on charges that they smuggled cocaine and heroin on board a Baltimore-bound cruise ship. According to records, three employees picked up $4,000 worth of drugs from a Jamaican man in the Dominican Republic and were caught making a drop off to two people in the parking lot of the Port Covington Wal-Mart.

Three of the people charged in that case pleaded guilty, while two went to trial and were convicted. Two of those who pleaded guilty have been sentenced and received time served and probation, while the two who went to trial are appealing their sentences - they face a mandatory minimum of 10 years, records show.

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