WEST PALM BEACH, FL – A bartender aboard the Margaritaville at Sea Paradise cruise ship is facing a civil lawsuit following a criminal conviction for sexually assaulting a passenger. The plaintiff, known as “Jane Doe” or “SE” in court documents, alleges that Hoobesh Kumar Dookhy, 24, also assaulted her, resulting in an unwanted pregnancy.
Dookhy had previously pleaded guilty to abusive sexual contact, a reduction from initial charges, in a case brought forward by a passenger identified as “HB.” Both incidents reportedly took place in May 2023 aboard the Classica Cruise Operator Ltd’s ship.
The new lawsuit, filed by Jane Doe’s attorney Spencer Aronfeld, is the second against Classica’s Margaritaville at Sea cruise line concerning the same incident. According to the complaint, Dookhy used a stolen key card to gain access to the women’s cabin and assaulted them.
On the night of the incident, HB, who was reportedly heavily intoxicated, returned to her cabin around 1 a.m. The lawsuit alleges that Dookhy had kept the key card used to charge drinks to her room. An hour later, Dookhy allegedly entered their room and assaulted both women.
The lawsuit further states that Dookhy took photographs of the women, who were sleeping naked, while assaulting them. Jane Doe claims she filmed Dookhy assaulting her friend for evidence after asking him to leave.
Following the assault, Jane Doe discovered she was pregnant. Despite being married, she and her husband had not been sexually active due to medical reasons around the time of the assault, leading her to believe Dookhy was the father. The woman chose to terminate the pregnancy, which led to medical complications.
The woman is seeking $75,000 in damages from Margaritaville. This comes after U.S. District Judge Robin Rosenberg denied a previous request from HB to seek punitive damages from the cruise liner.
Dookhy, who admitted to drinking on the night of the incident, initially claimed the sexual encounter with HB was consensual. However, he later accepted a plea deal to avoid life imprisonment. His sentencing is scheduled for January 11, and he could face up to two years in prison.
Dookhy is currently incarcerated at FDC Miami. Neither Dookhy’s attorney, Peter Birch, nor the cruise company could be reached for comment.