Man accused of sexual abuse on cruise ship to remain in federal custody

Judge says Brian Holland is flight risk, danger to himself

By Chris Parenteau - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Jacksonville man accused of sexual abuse onboard a cruise ship will remain in federal custody, a judge ruled Tuesday afternoon.

Brian Holland, 23, was wearing an orange jail suit as he sat before the judge at the federal courthouse in downtown Jacksonville.

One day after the Carnival Elation returned to Jacksonville from a five-day cruise to the Bahamas, the FBI announced Friday that Holland 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 groped her under the water before getting out of the Jacuzzi. 

The federal judge said he feels Holland is a flight risk and a danger to himself, which led him to his decision to keep Holland in custody. 

The judge also said it is clear that Holland has mental health issues. The judge said Holland attempted to take his own life Friday, and said federal marshals found him bleeding from the arm and the face after cutting himself. 

Steve Bridges

Brian Holland in federal court

Holland’s attorney told the judge that she felt Holland would be better off living in Putnam County with his grandmother.

Holland's grandmother told the judge that she could make sure there is no alcohol or drugs inside of the house. She also said she felt getting Holland back into church would do more to help him then him remaining in jail.

The defense also told the judge he is in isolation in jail, after being threatened by other inmates who said they saw him on the news and were going to beat him to death.

Holland faces a maximum of life in prison if he is convicted.

He will be back in federal court on March 16.

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