A West Virginia woman says a bartender working on a Margaritaville at Sea cruise ship snuck into her cabin in the middle of the night and raped her, leaving her pregnant and forced to get an abortion.
The woman, identified only as Jane Doe in a federal lawsuit filed against the Classica cruise line, is the second to accuse the same bartender of sexual assault—her cabin mate was also allegedly raped on the same night. The bartender, Hoobesh Dookhy, pleaded guilty in November to one count of abusive sexual contact in connection with Jane Doe’s cabinmate. (The more severe charge of sexual abuse was dropped as part of a plea deal under which Dookhy pleaded guilty only to groping the cabin mate’s bare breast as she slept.)
Both women have claimed Dookhy used his position as bartender to swipe their room key and gain access to their room while they were sleeping.
When Doe and the first woman, H.B., enjoyed drinks at the ship’s bar that night, they “charged the beverages to their cabin number, thereby providing crewmembers staffing the bar access to their shared cabin number and room key,” the lawsuit states.
Both women later went to sleep, after which Dookhy “entered their shared cabin and raped Jane Doe,” the lawsuit alleges, adding that “as a result, Jane Doe became pregnant and was forced to terminate the pregnancy from which she then suffered serious complications.”
Doe said she woke up in the middle of the alleged assault and demanded the bartender leave, but that is when he allegedly moved on to her cabin mate and attacked her too. Investigators said they later discovered the women’s room key in Dookhy’s work vest, along with a photo on his cellphone of him next to H.B. as she lay naked and sleeping, court records show.
Doe is seeking a jury trial and $75,000 in damages from the cruise line for “sustained disability and the inability to lead a normal life.” Margaritaville at Sea Paradise declined to comment.
Spencer Aronfeld, Doe’s attorney, said that while she was initially considered a witness in the alleged sexual assault of her cabinmate, she decided to come forward and file her own lawsuit after Dookhy’s conviction, the Palm Beach Post reports. He said she plans to testify that she had not been sexually active with her husband before or after the alleged rape.
Dookhy is due for a sentencing hearing on Jan. 11. He faces up to two years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.