A crewmember on a cruise ship accused of sexually assaulting a guest in her room has pleaded not guilty to federal charges.
Ketut Pujayasa, 28, entered the plea at a hearing in Fort Lauderdale Tuesday, the Sun-Sentinel reported.
Pujayasa, a crewmember on the Holland America Line's MS Nieuw Amsterdam, faces federal charges of attempt to commit murder and aggravated sexual abuse after the alleged assault on the cruise ship, which took place on Valentine’s Day while the vessel was in international waters, the FBI said.
The victim, a 31-year-old American woman, was assaulted by Pujayasa in her stateroom as the ship was on a seven-day western Caribbean charter cruise, Holland America Line said in a statement.
Pujayasa, who is an Indonesian citizen, claimed the woman had disrespected him, the FBI said.
Pujayasa admitted to FBI agents that while he was off-duty he entered the woman’s room with his company-issued master key, and hid on the balcony waiting for her to return, the complaint said.
He told agents that when the woman got into bed he immediately choked and punched her numerous times. She resisted and attempted to defend herself, but during the attack Pujayasa proceeded to strike her with a laptop and curling iron, and he tried to strangle the victim with a curling iron cord, the complaint said.
The woman was able to fight off Pujayasa by stabbing him with a corkscrew, according to the complaint. She escaped and found another passenger in the hallway who offered her first aid.
Pujayasa, who has been fired from his job, remains behind bars in Broward County.