Bahamas resort refutes American cruise ship passengers’ sex attack warning

A Bahamian resort has said two American women’s allegations of drug-laced cocktails and sexual assaults “conflict” with its 16 “time-stamped surveillance videos.”

Amber Shearer and Dongayla Dobson, lifelong friends from Kentucky, were enjoying a kid-free vacation when they stopped on Grand Bahama Island during a Carnival cruise. 

They said they felt woozy after a couple of sips of their drinks, lost consciousness and were sexually assaulted by resort employees, according to news outlets and their own posts on social media. They tested positive for high levels of drugs.

The resort, Pirate’s Cove in Freeport, Bahamas, said in a statement the “lengthy videos of all concerned” were handed over to local police. The FBI is also part of the investigation. 

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The resort did not immediately return Fox News Digital’s request for more information or answer follow-up questions about what resort officials saw on their cameras that “conflict” with the women’s allegations. 

“We regret that our guests experienced this incident, and we remain steadfast in our commitment to aid police in the collection of evidence in response to these allegations, including providing police access to video where the assault of the two guests allegedly occurred,” the resort said in its statement. 

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The Freeport resort said it called law enforcement and medical personnel and took “swift” action by firing the two resort employees for violating resort policy.

“We have a zero-tolerance policy for fraternizing with guests or behaving in a manner that is unsafe,” the resort’s statement says. 

“While there is an active police investigation into these serious allegations, we have terminated the employment of the two accused, as the behavior seen on tape by management indicates that, at a minimum, they violated our zero-tolerance policy.”

“Local authorities and paramedics were called to the scene and Pirates Cove management assisted in identifying and locating the two alleged suspects,” the Freeport resort’s statement goes on to say. “In addition, after the police concluded their initial investigation, we assisted in transporting the women back to their cruise ship after guests refused transportation to the hospital.”

The women have not responded to Fox News Digital’s request for comment, and the FBI did not immediately respond with a comment about their involvement. 

The Royal Bahama Police Force said in a Feb. 4 statement that they arrested two men – ages 54 and 40 – in connection with the alleged sexual assault. Their names were not released. 

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In a follow-up statement, the Royal Bahama Police Force told the Nassau Guardian that the women declined medical assistance and signed a waiver before leaving for their cruise ship “in a private vehicle.”

“Recognizing the gravity of the incident, our officers boarded the cruise ship, providing a sexual assault kit and hospital form to the ship’s medical doctor and obtained signed statements from the victims,” the statement says. 

“Preliminary reports suggest the incident occurred shortly after noon at a central Grand Bahama beach. Upon learning of the incident, our officers immediately commenced investigations, leading to the arrest of two adult males, aged 54 and 40.”

Carnival Cruise Line said the two guests aboard the Carnival Elation reported the sexual assault that occurred on “an independent shore excursion,” according to the New York Post

“Our onboard Care Team provided support for the two guests as they sailed back to Jacksonville,” the cruise company said.

As the resort fights the women’s allegations with its own statement, the United States Department of State and the Bahamian government exchanged cutting barbs over the department’s level-two travel advisory warning because of rising levels of crime.

“The majority of crime occurs on New Providence (Nassau) and Grand Bahama (Freeport) islands,” according to the State Department’s late January warning, which mentioned spikes in violent crimes like armed robberies and sexual assaults because of gang activity. 

Bahamian Prime Minister Philip Davis came out swinging by saying many tourism locations share the same level two designation. 

“The incidents described in the January 2024 US Embassy crime alert do not reflect general safety in The Bahamas, a count of sixteen tourist destinations, and many more islands,” Davis said on Jan. 29, five days after the U.S. warning. 

He said the Bahamian government “is alert, attentive and proactive to ensure that The Bahamas remains a safe and welcoming destination.”

Nearly the entire Bahamian economy is at stake when it comes to tourism, which accounts for approximately 70% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product and employs just over half of the workforce, according to an October 2022 report by the International Trade Administration

The Bahamas was on track to welcome over 7 million American tourists by the end of 2023, according to the state department’s most recent Investment Climate Statement, which was released in 2023.