A 28-year-old Balinese crewmember working onboard the Holland American MS Nieuw Amsterdam is facing a possible life sentence in a prison after confessing to assault, rape and the attempted murder of a female passenger.
Ketut Pujayasa, from the villages of Suwug in Buleleng, North Bali, told investigators that he delivered a breakfast tray to the cabin of a 31-year-old female passenger. After knocking three times, the woman, an American, allegedly shouted, "Wait a minute, son of a bitch!" - before opening the door and accepting her breakfast.
Pujayasa said the woman’s abusive comments were an insult to both himself and his family. Infuriated, he waited for the woman on the deck on the afternoon of the same day with the intention of “punching her in the face.” When the deck was too crowded with other passengers to perform the planned assault, the man returned to the woman’s cabin later that night.
Using a master key to gain access, police say he choked, punched and struck the woman using whatever was handy, including a laptop and a curling iron. The Balinese crewman is alleged to have also raped the Ameican. The woman fought back with a corkscrew. The fight then moved to the cabin’s balcony where, according to the criminal complaint, the Balinese waiter tried to throw the woman overboard.
Other passenger, concerned by the ruckus within, pounded on the door of the cabin, causing Pujayasa to reportedly make his escape in the nude, scaling from balcony to balcony along the side of the ship’s exterior.
The woman’s injuries were sufficiently severe that she was evacuated to Florida by air ambulance the following morning from a port in Honduras. Her condition after the attack remains unclear.
The complaint says that Pujayasa returned to his crew cabin after the attack and told his roommate to call the ship’s security because he had just killed a passenger.
The woman was a passenger on a nudist cruise offered by Holland American.
Placed under guard he was turned over to the F.B.I. and will be arraigned before a Federal Court in South Florida.
Ketut Pujayasa, originally from Bali, joined Holland America in 2012 and had worked without incident up until the time of the attack.
He is a 2011 graduate of the Balindo Paradiso Cruise Training Program conducted in Bali. His current contract was due to expire on March 15, 2014.
Commenting on the attack, the president and CEO of Holland America said: "At Holland America Line, the safety of our guests is our highest priority, and we are shocked and deeply saddened by this incident. To our knowledge, no incident like this has occurred in our company's 140-year history."
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