Disney Cruise Line facing $20M lawsuit over alleged sexual assault of 3-year-old girl

BURLINGTON, Vt. — A Vermont couple, who allege that their 3-year-old daughter was sexually assaulted by an older child, has sued Disney Cruise Line for $20 million.

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According to court documents filed Wednesday, the parents, identified only as Jane and John Doe, allege that the incident occurred while on a seven-day cruise aboard the Disney Fantasy in January 2020, WCAX reported.

The 3-year-old was attending Disney’s Oceaneer Club day care facility when her parents allege that a “significantly older child,” who was a passenger on the cruise, assaulted her, the TV station reported.

According to WFLA, the complaint states that the victim, identified only as R.V., “was excessively groped and sexually touched in her private parts by the older child and did not have the physical capability to break through the physical restraint” to stop the sexual assault.

The lawsuit itemizes a total of five counts of negligence against the cruise line, WCAX reported.

The complaint also alleges that the cruise personnel “failed to recognize the sexual assault, and therefore, allowed the ongoing abuse suffered” to continue at the hands of the other passenger, WFLA reported.

A Disney spokesperson issued the following statement, obtained by the TV station:

“This lawsuit is wholly without merit. The plaintiffs’ first allegations were reported to the FBI, and the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office investigated them and determined them to be unfounded. The plaintiffs have now come back with a different story, which is equally unfounded, that another young female child acted inappropriately with their child. We will vigorously defend this case in court.”

The spokesperson then addressed each count, in turn, of negligence alleged in the lawsuit. Click here to read the full Disney response.