Royal Caribbean Cruise Guest Charged with Video Voyeurism

May 19, 2023 Criminal Defense, News & Announcements, Sex Crimes

When people go out on international waters on a cruise ship or other vessel, there is a common misconception that there are no laws to follow. However, committing a criminal offense on international waters can still result in serious criminal consequences. In one recent case, a man is now facing federal charges of video voyeurism for hiding a camera in a cruise ship bathroom.  

This page will provide case details, along with both the State and Federal penalties for a video voyeurism charge.

What was the Case?

Jeremy Froias, a guest on the Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas, has been arrested after being accused of installing a camera in one of the cruise ship’s public restrooms. The seven-day cruise departed out of Miami, Florida in late April.

According to the report, Froias allegedly installed a Wi-Fi camera hidden in a public bathroom on the top deck while the ship was crossing international waters. Several days into the cruise, a passenger noticed the hidden camera and reported it to the ship crew.

The cruise ship’s security personnel found and removed the hidden camera from the bathroom. The criminal complaint stated that the camera had a Micro SD card inside with several hours’ worth of film. The initial video depicts the defendant installing the camera into place.

After reviewing the camera further, investigators found more than 150 individuals who were filmed on Froias’ device. Included in the 150 victims were around 40 minors, all of who had gone into the bathroom to either use the toilet or change clothing.

When confronted by the ship’s security, Froias admitted to installing the camera. He claimed he knew it had been seized since it was no longer where he left it. 

Froias is now facing a federal charge of video voyeurism and attempted possession of child exploitation material.

The following is a statement from Royal Caribbean:

“The matter was immediately reported to local and federal law enforcement and the guest involved was removed from the ship by authorities for further investigation. As this is an active case, we are unable to share any more details at this time.”

Florida Penalties for Video Voyeurism

If a person is accused of video voyeurism in Florida, they may face either a misdemeanor or felony offense.

Under Florida Statute Section 810.145, a person can be charged with the offense of video voyeurism if they have, for their own amusement, entertainment, sexual arousal, gratification, or profit, intentionally used or installed an imaging device to secretly view, broadcast, or record another person without their knowledge or consent.

If the defendant charged with video voyeurism is younger than 18-years-old or younger, then they will face a first-degree misdemeanor. The penalties for a first-degree misdemeanor include up to a $1,000 fine and up to one year in jail.

If the defendant charged with video voyeurism is 19-years-old or older, then they will face a third-degree felony. The penalties for a third-degree felony include up to a $5,000 fine and up to five years in prison.

Federal Penalties for Video Voyeurism

If a case of video voyeurism takes place outside of the U.S., the accused person may be facing federal charges. Under the Video Voyeurism Prevention Act of 2004, 18 U.S. Code § 1801 states that any person in the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, who has the intent to capture an image of a private area of an individual without their knowledge or consent, and knowingly does so shall be charged with the federal offense of video voyeurism.

The images can be captured by any phone, camera, or other form of recording device. “Capture” is defined as any videotaping, photographing, filming, recording, or broadcasting. The “private area of an individual” includes any person naked, their genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or female breast of that individual.” 

The penalties for a federal video voyeurism charge include up to a year in federal prison, plus substantial fines.

In this instance, “special maritime and territorial jurisdiction” implies that a person can be charged with a federal offense both within the U.S. along with areas outside of it as well. As defined under 18 U.S.C. 7, this term covers the following:

  • Any U.S. territory that is not under state jurisdiction or states that did not have a video voyeurism law;
  • Federal property;
  • American vessels in international waters;
  • Foreign vessels en route to and from the United States;
  • Spacecraft; and/or
  • Any place outside the jurisdiction of the nation.

Finding a Defense Attorney in Tallahassee, Florida

If you or a loved one are facing criminal charges for video voyeurism, it is in your best interest to speak with a skilled defense attorney as soon as possible. The benefits of working with an attorney are nonstop support throughout the legal process, along with having a professional fight for your case on your behalf.

Don Pumphrey and his team of attorneys have spent years representing those in Florida who have been wrongfully accused of criminal offenses. Contact Pumphrey Law Firm today and receive a free consultation regarding your case. Call us today and (850) 681-7777 or leave us an online message.

Written by Karissa Key

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