Teen molested on cruise ship

2008-04-03 16:04

Charlotte Amalie, Virgin Islands - Two men have been charged with allegedly molesting a teenage girl and forcing her and a second teen to have sex in front of them on board a cruise ship.

The two men, one American and one Salvadoran, were being held without bail in this US Caribbean territory, where they were arrested on March 20 as the Norwegian Dawn arrived from the British Virgin Islands, according to the US Virgin Islands prosecutor's office.

The defendants allegedly lured the couple, ages 16 and 17, into a cabin while the ship was en route the previous night, got them drunk on tequila and forced them to have sex while they took pictures, according to an FBI affidavit.

The two suspects also are accused of molesting the girl.

The teenagers - whose nationality was not released - told their parents, who alerted the ship's security.

A US judge on Wednesday found probable cause to prosecute Alexander Nabih Kanawati, a 22-year-old Florida native, and Javier Miguel Westerhausen, a 26-year-old Salvadoran, on charges including assault with intent to commit rape and simple assault.

A third man was released but ordered to remain in St Thomas.

"We are still investigating his involvement," said Nelson Jones of the prosecutor's office.

Norwegian Cruise Lines issued a statement saying that it was co-operating with the investigation.