CNN Names Mariner Accused of Raping Midshipman-X


I suggest you don’t post your intent to fire someone on public forums because you have a personal problem with them unrelated to their job performance. Ships officers are supposed to lead by example and hold a high standard of behavior both professionally and personally. You are a roll model for better or worse if you sail as a licensed officer.

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Sure thanks for your advice.

Right…which is what happened here…and after the completion of that due process, he was not fired for sexual assault.

All of this is the reason I push back on the idea that an accusation should not be enough for someone to have their job lost and reputation ruined.


Because of your experience in this area (role playing as the plantiff’s lawyer), I am interested to hear your basis for this. I realize a lawyer can sue for anything he wants, but you seem to make the case that a legit case can be made. Here are my questions:

Not necessarily, but let’s run with the example of union top to bottom. First, I’d like to correct the quoted portion above:
“In a sex crime ACCUSATION aboard a union ship both the ACCUSER and the ALLEGED perpetrator are union members, NOT NECESSIRILY FROM THE SAME UNION. The witnesses are all union member NOT NECESSIRILY FROM THE SAME UNION

Now, good luck making the case that the SIU is going to lie/cover up for a MEBA member or vice versa. If all involved including witnesses are from the same union, then this is moot.

Vetted how? For criminal background? No, he wasn’t, that was done during the process of getting a TWIC card. You want to make the argument that the union has better resources to conduct a background check than those used in issuance of a TWIC??

No, they’re not, these items are collectively bargained with the company.

Really? Based on the items you listed prior to this statement or do you have any more to add to your belief in the validity of this statement?

The union doesn’t have a pension fund. The Pension Plan has a pension fund. The union and the plans are separate entities most likely for the exact reason being discussed here.

Wow…would love to hear from any lawyers we might have on here to comment on the legit possibility of this happening.

Is the case legit? No one knows. But then no one ever heard of a sexual harassment case until the 1990s, and then suddenly they were everywhere.

What a plaintiff’s lawyer would say to this is that it is proof that the union made no attempt to vet the member. A TWIC card is reissued periodically. Did the employer or union check on the prospective member/employee since the time of the last reissuance? Many employers routinely do pre-employment criminal background checks on applicants, reference checks, as well as personality tests, and social media checks. Did the union?

(This is all hypothetical. I’m not saying unions should make checks. I’m just examining things how a plaintiff’s lawyer would be likely to.)

My belief or disbelief in the statement is inconsequential. A plaintiff’s lawyer is not seeking justice. They are seeking restitution, and that restitution is most likely to be awarded in the discovery phase of the case than at anytime else. If they think there is money to be made in saying a union is culpable they will make the accusation, and the union would be forced to spend money to fight it…

Plaintiff’s lawyers get rich by what I call “legal-intimidation”. In this hypothetical situation, the plaintiff’s lawyer may let the counsel for the union know they intend to prove the union’s culpability, based on a host of things. The union will then be faced with a decision: try the matter in court, or settle. Most defendants will settle

The more possible avenues of attack the plaintiff’s lawyer has against the defendant’s legal position, the wider the scope of questioning and witnesses called in at discovery. The more witnesses, the more possible future clients for the plaintiff’s lawyer, and the more dirt they may find on the organization, some of which has no bearing on the case, but which may prove as the basis for future profitable litigation.

At a certain point the original reasons for the lawsuit may be abandoned altogether. A personal injury case can suddenly turn overnight into a harassment case, because the personal injury tack didn’t hold water. It is spiraling defense costs, and the increasing probe into the company’s internal structure, that usually causes a defendant to settle, absent any evidence of guilt.

If that is the case, I agree.

If you are talking about the the dollar amount a plaintiff’s lawyer would ask for in a lawsuit against an employer, the formula I give here would not be at all unusual. In fact, it does not include pain and suffering. Would they get it all? Lawsuits that start in the millions often end up in the five figures, or just fall apart completely.

As to the possibility of a union member suing a union, it may have never happened, and may never happen. As I have said at the beginning of these posts, it is not likely, because it is the employer who has the deep pockets, and plaintiff’s lawyers are an efficient bunch. They are not going to waste time on a difficult case with a low pay-off.

I too would like to hear from any lawyers with info on all this.


Thanks for the insight.

A sticking point for me is this concept of the union/company didn’t do further vetting beyond what is required by law. As in, something bad (allegedly) happened, there were policies that potentially could have prevented it but are not required by anything, so the union/company didn’t effectively use their crystal ball to prevent this issue.

I’m not saying you’re wrong, but if that case can be successfully made, I think that is bullshit.

When employers try this tack in civil court they are usually nailed to the wall. A defense of, “I did everything the law required,” is twisted by the plaintiff’s lawyer into, “You mean you did nothing more than the minimum required by law, when you knew you could do more.”

Better for a employer to answer, “We did everything the law required, and we went beyond that. We did X, Y Z.”

At that point the plaintiff’s lawyer knows that basis for litigation won’t work, and they move onto the next one, and then the next one…


The unfortunate part of this story is that cadet X and their sea partner did not report the assault in a timely way to either the vessel Master, company DPA or back to the ATR (?) back at KP.

Just a few years prior after a similar attempted assault came to light on a US ship there were certain preventative measures that KP was going to put in place to help prevent SAs and expedite reporting which included the Cadets being provided a two way pager for reporting off the ship to KP.

I personally sailed with a few KO cadets who had them and was surprised to learn that they were no longer in use.

Our company SMS was improved with increased training and communication protocols for Cadet shipping. Procedures were in place for onboard mentoring and support. Can’t say what other vessels were doing but both of the Captains I worked with during my rotations took the policies seriously.

I can’t blame the victim as having not experienced the situation who knows how they would react, but they were definitely letdown by their sea partner and a ship which the rules we’re not applied.


What’s fascinating to me is how every time these threads pop up, new random posters join that very day to try and run cover operations for the accused.

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Fascinating how some posters refuse to understand due process. Someone who watches the beginning credits of Cops somehow has a better understanding of innocent till proven guilty than some of the posters here.

Right, man. We get it. Whatever.


@Bestboater78 as a Captain you can fire anyone off your ship and you don’t necessarily need a reason. There is nothing wrong with @New3M saying he would fire this guy. I don’t know the process for privately hired Captains firing people. But on MMP & MEBA ships depending on the contract you have a set amount of time to fire anyone and don’t need a reason. I think most ships it is 60 days. And that is 60 days renews every time the individual joins the vessel for another voyage. That doesn’t necessarily restrict the person from seeking employment with the company again in the future or a different company vessel. It is pretty much just firing that person for the trip. People might scream and say they are going to sue you and the company but they won’t because if they are union they have to use the grievance procedure established by the union and company. The Unions will look at it and be like this is not worth our time just go on another ship.

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KP cadets now carry a satellite pager and satellite phone.

Due to the 60 day rule the grievance system in the unions doesnt create an immediate action i agree. However, individuals in management with numerous grievances against them and revolving door departments have been losing their positions. the complaints if there are enough of them over time do get noticed now. This isnt the old days without accountability. Id postulate that this is a good thing if you are concerned with bad behavior on vessels.

Its the broken glass theory. If you prevent the low level bullying and unnecessary terminations then individuals in management wont move on to wrose things.

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The MEBA contract I worked under there is a probationary period (60 days I think) for new permanent hires where one can be terminated without prejudice and recourse. It is not a “firing” and one should not think of it as such.

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Looks like the USCG filed S&R charges against Sison.

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Hey, while we are on the topic I think It’s important to point out an option besides firing or hoping the Union can get involved.

Have yall read MSIB 01-23?

Frankly, there is a legal requirement to report SASH to CGIS, and not just leavening it within the company. And what’s great is the CGIS has made numerous ways available to report, including getting the app into mariners hands, so victims can be sure reports are being made. And after a report has been made, there is a system so the rapist can actually face punishment in the suspension or revocation of their license.

When talking about SASH, I like to compare our job to working at Walmart. If I was was being sexually assaulted by my manager at Walmart, I don’t know why I would expect Walmart to do anything if crimes are being committed, Call the police.

I know half of the folks here are retired, but If you’re still sailing or in the office and you actually want to help foster a culture shift that makes it safe for everyone, please send this information out to the fleet, inform people, get them to download the app.

We wouldn’t be sitting here saying “and that man is still sailing today” if we all did our part to protect our own, and made sure folks lost their license over this.


The article says they are going after his license for ‘alleged alcohol violations stemming from the rape accusations’. Would like to know what exactly that means. I know about the .04 requirement from the USCG, but is there something in the CFR against drinking onboard?

Since some companies allow it, I don’t believe there is a CFR prohibiting it