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Horrific injuries of female guest raped, beaten and almost thrown overboard by attendant on Holland America cruise

By LOUISE BOYLE FOR DAILYMAIL.COM

A female guest who was raped, brutally beaten and strangled unconscious on a Holland America ship by a crew member is suing the cruise company.

A civil lawsuit was filed on Friday in a Seattle district court on behalf of Jane Doe who was almost thrown overboard by her rapist during the fight for her life on Valentine's Day last year on MS Nieuw Amsterdam.

Room service attendant Ketut Pujayasa used his company-issued, master key to enter the cabin of Jane Doe, then 31, where he was able to lurk on her balcony for several hours until she returned.

WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT 

Holland America was 'grossly negligent', Jane Doe's attorney John H. (Jack) Hickey told Daily Mail Online on Wednesday, in allowing Pujayasa access to a master key which was 'applicable to all cabins'.

Mr Hickey, a maritime law specialist with more than 30 years experience, added: 'To top it off, the cruise line's system is that when the other passengers dial 911 they get the front desk, not security, and the front desk responds to the scene some 45 minutes to an hour later and does not even have access to the cabin?

'If this is not the definition of outrageous, I don't know what is.' 

On February 14, 2014, the married woman, who was on the cruise with a group of friends but had a room to herself, returned around midnight and got ready for bed.

As she climbed into the bed and turned off the lights, in the shadows, she became aware of a figure lurking on the stateroom balcony. 

Pujayasa, a 29-year-old employee originally from Indonesia, pounced on the woman.

During the sustained attack, which lasted close to an hour, Pujayasa punched her, smashed heavy blunt objects into her head including a laptop, and threw her across the room.

The rapist attempted to strangle his victim with his hands and then used a telephone cord and a curling iron cord.

The victim lost consciousness during the attack where she was raped and sexually assaulted.

Pujayasa pulled the woman to her room's balcony and tried to throw her overboard into the dark waters. 

She screamed repeatedly but no one responded. 

The victim was able to hold on to the door handle to prevent being dragged on to the balcony.

Mr Hickey said it was only by having a certain degree of physical strength as part of her career as an aerialist, that his client was able to hold on.

The victim eventually escaped herself. She managed to wrestle free of Pujayasa, opened the door to her cabin on her own, and ran into the hall where other passengers had congregated.

She was partially naked and was 'painted with blood', according to reports, and 'managed to escape down the hall with the cord of a curling iron that he was using to strangle her still wrapped around her neck'.

An FBI report on the attack stated: '[The woman], fearing death was imminent, asked the passenger to relay to her family how much she loved them.' 

The victim suffered a deep laceration to her left cheek, skull fracture and a wound to the back of the head which required staples. 

According to the lawsuit: 'He [Pujayasa] beat her head and face so hard that she experienced shifting of her teeth. All of the trauma to her head produced a traumatic brain injury.' 

She suffered bites to the hands which left marks; a spinal fracture, swelling, bruising and lacerations to the face, scalp, head, neck, back, front of torso, arms, and legs and abrasions on both arms.

Cord marks were left on her neck from being repeatedly strangled. She has suffered a long-term brain injury due to being beaten about the head and having her oxygen supply cut off with repeated strangulation. 

Jane Doe, who is married without children, also suffers flashbacks and PTSD from the horrific ordeal.

Although fellow passengers made urgent 911 calls to security that night, no Holland America staff responded immediately to the reports of an attack.

One guest told a staff member that 'they head a woman saying ''he's trying to kill me'''.

According to the lawsuit, an insufficient number of security personnel were on duty and the emergency calls made by concerned fellow passengers did not reach a security office directly but the front desk. 

The front desk employee 'triaged' the call, Mr Hickey told Daily Mail Online, but only deemed it 'medium priority'. Documents revealed that a day earlier, a blocked toilet had been 'high priority'. 

Only one 'roving security guard' was on duty that night, on a ship holding around 3,000 people, Mr Hickey said.  

When cruise personnel finally arrived in the hallway, it was front desk member of staff and not security. 

The staff member had no master key to access the cabin and merely knocked gently on the door and asked: 'Madam? Madam?', a witness reported. 

There was no attempt to break down the door to reach the endangered passenger.  

The lawsuit alleged that Holland America 'allowed the perpetrator, a junior room service attendant, who beat and attempted to murder the passenger, to have more access to room keys and thus to cabins than the person responding to an emergency on board'. 

The cruise ship docked in Honduras and the victim was airlifted to a Florida hospital.  

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