FBI arrests Jacksonville man for sexual abuse on cruise ship

By Frank Powers - Assignment manager

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - One day after the Carnival Elation docked in Jacksonville, the FBI announced that a 23-year-old Jacksonville man was arrested and charged with sexual abuse of an 18-year-old woman physically incapable of declining participation.

According to the six-page criminal complaint, Brian Holland was in a hot tub on Tuesday with a number of people, including a young woman with the mental capacity of a 12-year-old, when he touched the woman over her bathing suit before she pushed his hand away. 

The complaint states that Holland then groped her under the water before getting out of the Jacuzzi. 

The victim left the Jacuzzi and immediately reported what happened to her grandmother, who reported it to ship security. The young woman told investigators that Holland "appeared drunk," according to the complaint.

During a medical examination, the ship's doctor found abrasions on her genitals, the complaint states.

According to the documents, the man made unwanted sexual advances toward the young woman while on board the cruise ship. Multiple witnesses corroborated the victim's account and identified Holland as the offender.

Travel agent Jeannie Smith said that kind of assault on a cruise ship needs to be reported without hesitation.

"Immediately report it to the cruise line," Smith said. "You want to go to someone with authority like on the captains or security officers of the ship."

The ship was at sea at the time and the FBI was notified of the report. FBI agents and Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office were present when the ship returned to port in Jacksonville on Thursday morning. Holland was taken into federal custody and held overnight at the Duval County jail.

He remains in federal custody pending a detention hearing on Tuesday.

News4Jax found Holland had two prior convictions in Duval County:

  • 2013: Pleaded guilty to disorderly intoxication and battery and given 12 months probation.
  • 2105: Pleaded guilty to disorderly intoxication and battery on a law enforcement officer and spent 46 days in jail.

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