An unnamed woman who was raped on a luxury yacht docked in Fort Lauderdale was awarded nearly $70.6 million in damages after she sued the yacht’s owner.
The rape took place on board the Endless Summer, a 130-foot vessel, registered in the Marshall Islands, that was docked in Fort Lauderdale, on Feb. 25, 2015.
The woman worked as a stewardess for the company that owned the yacht, Island Girl Ltd.
Rafael Dowgwillowicz-Nowicki was charged with sexual battery. The woman reported he entered her cabin drunk and forced her to have sex with him, threatening to kill her. He pleaded guilty in December 2016 and served a two-year sentence. By then he had already served most of his sentence. He was later deported.
The lawsuit alleged that Island Girl Ltd failed to provide proper security for the victim. The victim, the captain, and Dowgwillowicz-Nowicki were required to stay on board the Endless Summer overnight. According to the lawsuit, the victim was not issued a walkie-talkie to alert anyone on board that something was wrong.
“She was screaming for her life at the top of her lungs,” said her lawyer, “She was raped for over an hour before she escaped and got the captain’s attention.”
The jury awarded the woman $70,000 in lost wages, $4.2 million in lost future earnings and $66 million for pain and suffering. She was also awarded $290,050 in past and future medical expenses.