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Cruise Passenger from Kentucky Arrested After Father Allegedly Witnesses Him Kissing 5-Year-Old Daughter on the Mouth

Ernest Richard Bishop, Jr. via Miami-Dade Corrections

Ernest Richard Bishop, Jr. via Miami-Dade Corrections

A 51-year-old Kentucky man was arrested in Florida after he was allegedly caught kissing a 5-year-old girl on the mouth while on a cruise ship.

Ernest Richard Bishop, Jr. was taken into custody on Monday and charged with one count of lewd and lascivious conduct on a child less than 16 years old.

According to a report from Miami ABC affiliate WPLG, Bishop on Saturday evening was a passenger on a Carnival Cruise ship called the “Carnival Sunrise” when the incident occurred. The alleged victim’s father reportedly told police that he witnessed Bishop kiss his 5-year-old daughter on the mouth while the ship was out at sea.

Officers with the Miami-Dade Police Department were called. Bishop was reportedly removed from the ship on Monday and transported to the department’s Sexual Crime Investigations Unit for an interview with detectives. Bishop reportedly refused to speak to the police without an attorney present, Miami NBC affiliate WTVJ reported.

Following his interview with investigators, Bishop was formally placed under arrest and transported to the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center, the report said. The Morning View, Kentucky native was reportedly released after posting $7,500 bond.

Bishop is currently scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 10, WTVJ reported.

Carnival Cruise Lines issued a statement saying Bishop has been banned for life.

“Following a complaint, the Carnival Sunrise security team investigated a matter over the weekend, followed proper protocol, and notified shoreside law enforcement, which has since taken action,” a Carnival Cruise Line spokesperson reportedly told the outlet. “The guest in question has been banned from all future cruising on Carnival.”

Last month, state and federal authorities in Massachusetts opened an investigation into a reported sexual assault on board a cruise ship that was docked in Boston, according to a report from Philadelphia NBC affiliate WCAU. State police and FBI agents at approximately 7:15 p.m. on Tuesday responded to a call regarding a possible sexual assault on board the Norwegian Breakaway, which had recently docked at the Black Falcon Terminal. The suspected assailant and the alleged victim were reportedly both employees on the vessel.

Earlier this year a federal court jury in Miami found that Carnival Cruise Line owed more than $10 million in damages to a 21-year-old woman who claimed that she was raped in a closet by a Carnival employee during a cruise in 2018.

[Image via Miami-Dade Corrections]

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.