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A family in Vermont says their toddler was assaulted while on a Disney cruise.  The company says the allegations are “completely unfounded”.

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“We will vigorously defend this case in court.”

Jet skiers pass Disney Cruise Line’s “Fantasy” ships on the left and “Dream” on the horizon as they stand still off Cocoa Beach, Fla. On March 24, 2021. Joe Burbank / Orlando Sentinel via AP

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) – A family has filed a lawsuit against Disney Cruise Lines, claiming their 3-year-old daughter was sexually assaulted by an older child inside a daycare aboard a ship in due to a lack of staff and poor training of employees.

Lawsuit filed in Orlando federal court last month says employees working at the Disney Fantasy daycare did not notify them of the assault while traveling in January 2020 and were not adequately trained or licensed to work with children.

Disney Cruise Line spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez told the Orlando Sentinel the family’s allegations were “completely unfounded.”

“The plaintiffs’ first allegations were reported to the FBI, and the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office investigated them and found them to be unfounded,” Martinez said in a statement. “The complainants have now come back with a different story, which is equally unfounded, that another young girl acted inappropriately with their child. We will vigorously defend this case in court.

The lawsuit, which asks for $ 20 million, argues that employees should have separated children by age group to reduce the risk of sexual abuse and that employees should have placed the child in the nursery for the younger ones. The child accused of improperly touching the girl has not been identified with the family, said Michael Winkleman, the lawyer representing the Vermont family.

“It’s easy to say this is a parent’s worst nightmare,” Winkleman told the Orlando Sentinel. “They took a Disney cruise, they put their child in Disney daycare. This is about the last thing they could imagine to happen.



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