CNN Names Mariner Accused of Raping Midshipman-X


Hope Hicks described her alleged rape in an interview with CNN and in a lawsuit filed against the ship’s operator Maersk, which identifies her assailant as the First Engineer. Employment records obtained by CNN identify Edgar Sison as the ship’s First Engineer, and Hicks identified her assailant as Sison to reporters. Sison did not respond to numerous requests for comment. His attorney declined to comment.

And yet he still sails today.

The name has been in the public domain since around September and still no action has been taken. We reported the name in October:


What is your expectation? Should an accusation be enough to prevent someone from earning a living? Is there new evidence that has come out since this was a topic here last year? If so, please post.

CNN mentions this concept (presumed guilty until proven innocent) in its story…is this where we want to be?

Is it probable this is due to insufficient evidence to warrant further action, especially how many years after the fact? With the attention this case has received, do you not think the USCG would hammer him if they could?

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For this piece of shit and every other one involved in this and every other shipboard rape? Yes.

If this dude ever showed up on my ship I’d fire him as fast as possible.


You are certainly entitled to your opinion. You just have to hope your low standard of guilt doesn’t come back to bite you in case of a false accusation from a jaded subordinate. See the thread about Jacksonville unlicensed for a sample of the people you would be empowering with this.

For clarity, I am not saying Hicks’ accusation is false as I have no idea. My opinion for Sison’s guilt will be based on the evidence presented. Until then, the accused is innocent until proven otherwise.


When a policeman is accused of a similar crime they are removed from duty, but are still employed and paid until the verdict is reached.

In this case, wouldn’t a similar alternative be for the union to “ground” the accused mariner, and continue to pay them from a union fund, until a verdict, or other conclusion, is reached?


If the company wants to suspend, then they can pay the wages.

There is no magic ‘union fund’ with ‘spare’ funds to pay people that haven’t been convicted of anything.

Paid by who? Their union or the department?

In the case of police, by the taxpayer, as per administrative law. But the employment aspects of administrative law don’t pertain to private companies.

The police work for the public, under administrative law regulated by city councilmen or such. An accused cop is taken off the street as per administrative law, until things are sorted out under criminal/civil law. They still get pay and benefits.

But private companies are not bound by administrative law. I can’t think of any private companies on land–banks, retail, factories-- that would keep an employee employed after a company investigation found them guilty of a workplace sex crime.

If a non-union maritime company’s internal investigation finds a mariner a threat to the rest of the crew they can fire them. No administrative law involved. If the guy who is fired thinks that is unjust he can sue the company in civil court for wrongful discharge. The company knows this. They have to be careful to not be sued twice: by the person making the accusation, and by the accused. So companies are usually pretty careful about having lawful cause to fire. But they will do it, if the proof exists.

I’m no expert on union-companies. But IMO the main thing would be: What does the contract say about union-members accused of sex crimes aboard ship? Does the contract say the accused must be kept employed until a legal trial? If so, the matter is settled. But if the contract doesn’t say that, then it seems to me that the company is free to act just as any non-union company would: investigate, and if need be terminate. And no pay.

If the contract didn’t protect the accused, and they were fired, the accused could, I suppose, just sign-on with another union company. Unless that company heard of their reputation and refused to hire them. Once again: Is there a contingency mentioned in the contract for the refusal of union members accused of sex crimes? I don’t know. Depends on the union, I guess.

But if no such protection existed, then the best world for an accused union member might be to have their pay supplied by the union until the matter is settled. In other words, all union members would need to kick in something. The precedent here is the union strike fund, which exists to protect all union members’ pay (a small part of it) in case of a strike.

The union, in turn, could increase whatever assessment they charge for the administration of pension/benefits to make up for the financial loss.

I understand your argument, but it hinges on this part:

Is that applicable here? It was my understanding that due to the long timeframe between alleged incident and evidence gathering, that no guilt for that accusation could be established. The linked CNN story said he was fired for not cooperating, but I thought it was for violation of the alcohol policy (drinking onboard) which there was evidence of. It’s been a while so my recollection could be off.

All contracts have policies on terminating employees, particularly permanently assigned employees (which I think he was). Absolutely the company can fire someone whenever they want, but lost wages and other liability would be incurred subject to arbitration with the union. Even that hinges on if the union wants to go to bat for him.

Not sure about this. Knowing the union, there is probably some strong protections in there particularly when you’re basically dealing with a he said-she said after how many years. If there was smoking gun evidence (bloody sheets, pictures of bruising, other eye witnesses corroborating the account), I would expect the person to be fired and the union to do nothing to support him.

I’ve never seen or heard of that. In this post #metoo/Midshipman X world, I could see a company trying to get that into the contract at the next negotiation. I would hope the union would not agree to take their members’ livelihood away based purely on an accusation.

Disagree wholeheartedly with this. Either back the accused as he fights the (according to him) false accusations or cut him loose in the ‘dead to rights/smoking gun’ scenario discussed above.

Anybody who’s ever worked with or around a sailing union knows that the union contract is more like the Pirates Code - more guidelines than actual rules. Certain pieces get followed when it’s convenient for either the company or the union. It hardly ever benefits the sailor.

If the union had any balls, and MEBA doesn’t, they would have done a chicken shit investigation and kicked this asshole and all his buddies to the curb the next day. But, that’s MEBA for you.

Based on what? Legit question as the only evidence I’m aware of is the accuser’s side of the story (countered by the accused’s side of the story). Is there any other evidence to support a guilty conclusion?

I don’t know. I’d use the sea lawyers rationale of “where there’s smoke there’s fire.”

I may not be legally correct, but I feel like I’m morally correct. Hang these dickheads by their ducks.

Wow…careful what you wish for (a VERY low standard of proof for being fired), as you just might get it one day.


The company could have fired them right away for violating the alcohol policy. Why didn’t they?

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I don’t know the exact timeline but my guess would be that they decided against the smoke/fire method and actually conducted an investigation. Seeing as how these alleged events happened years before, it was probably a chore to conduct such an investigation. I’m sure on day one of the investigation they didn’t get a statement about how much alcohol they were all consuming.

Seems like someone has some pretty strong opinions about MEBA and how the union should act and what they should do. It is always the non union company men that have never sailed union that tend to be the most vocal. That’s until they are laid off or fired for something petty so the company doesn’t have to pay unemployment. Then mates realize the union actually affords people protections and respects due process.
OSG mates are the most brainwashed in the industry but ex-OSG see differently. After the COVID layoffs a lot has changed. People would rather be union than not. That’s why OSG can’t keep mates and as a result they are hurting.

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This is for Cadets !!!
For cadets both Male or Female, doesn’t matter.
On every ship and there is a number posted for a DPA or even an additional number for a shoreside company individual to deal specifically with assaults, sexual assaults etc. These individuals have direct access to the top company officials. You should report whatever happens to the Captain and/or DPA ASAP. I don’t care if it’s 2am or whatever wake the Captain. It’s his or her job to be on call 24/7 so never be afraid to wake the Captain. Additionally, contact your school representative after you tell the Captain. The Captain will immediately confine the accused individual to his or her room with a guard posted out front of the room.
You will immediately be given an assault/ rape kit if one is on board and/or the medical officer or captain will immediately start documenting the evidence in the medical log. You will not be alone and never left alone during this process. You will always have someone with you and I repeat you will not be left alone with the individual who attacked you and that person will not be let anywhere near you. A help/ hotline assault number to talk to someone regarding this should also be provided to you. This process might be embarrassing or uncomfortable but is necessary to hold the person who attacked you accountable.
The person that attacked you will be fired/ removed from the ship immediately. Doesn’t matter if it’s Union or non union the Captain has ultimate responsibility of the ship. He can fire or remove anyone at anytime. It doesn’t matter what country. That person will be getting off the ship immediately. Possibly not even at a port that is scheduled but the closed port to anchor and get a launch. Remember if you’re assaulted you will be supported through the process and there will be no retaliation from the company or other crew members.
This is the process if you want to hold the person who assaulted you accountable for their crimes.

It is the right thing to do. More right than waiting years to say something and then suing the company for a monetary sum.


There was reporting from a year ago that Maersk fired 5 crewmembers including the captain. Was that reporting incorrect? Or were some rehired?

And like it said then, it took them too long to fire them.