This is where it gets really dirty and here we see how Maersk covers up this kind of sexual abuse of cadets. According to the trial transcript, the 2nd Mate gave Captain Paul Willers, master of the Maersk Idaho, a statement on the day he departed the vessel in Genova, Italy on February 3, 2015. That statement said that Stinziano had sexually assaulted the 2nd Mate in a lifeboat by groping him. It also included numerous specific instances in which he had seen Stinziano sexually harass and sexually assault the Deck Cadet 1, and included the details that Stinziano had abused the cadet by working him more than 24 hours at a time and subjecting him to a pattern of “sexual abuse.” Then the 2nd Mate left the vessel, and the 2 cadets were still onboard the ship. Captain Willers initiated an investigation, which was directed by Gary English, Maersk’s in-house lawyer at MLL headquarters in Virginia. While the “investigation” was being conducted, Stinziano, who had been accused of numerous federal sex crimes by the 2nd Mate, was allowed to remain on the vessel with the Cadet he was alleged to have assaulted and abused. The 2 cadets tried to tell the Captain what had happened, but were then intimidated and threatened into giving false written statements denying the harassment and abuse. These written statements had to be overcome at trial by the prosecution. Here is trial testimony from Deck Cadet 1:
A. I was never officially told that by anyone of an official capacity. But it was passed on that you don’t make much of a noise about anything, just get it over with.
Q. To that point about not raising waves, and being the culture of just kind of getting through. I want to talk a little bit about the investigation that occurred from, we had heard testimony earlier and you are aware that Second Mate had filed a Complaint.
Q. And can you tell me a little bit about how that occurred and what was your involvement in that?
A. In terms of the whole day, or?
Q. Yes, well let me start out with a simpler question. When did you first learn the 2nd Mate had filed a Complaint for lack of a better word, or comments on his performance evaluation?
A. I believe it was the captain that told me that there was a Complaint filed. I can’t recall the exact time of day, it may have been mid-day, early mid-day.
Q. Okay. And that captain, who was that?
A. Captain Paul Willers
Q. okay. And he came to you, correct?
Q. Did you speak with the second mate about what the content of that, his comments?
A. No. I was approached by the second mate the night prior, he didn’t allude to any details. He just said he was going to be dropping off some documents with the captain upon his departure from the vessel. And he just wanted me to be as honest as possible with the conversation about it.
Q. Okay. And did you have any other comments with the second mate about his comments on the performance evaluation prior to his disembarking in Genoa?
A. Not that I can recall.
Q. Okay. Okay, did you have any interaction with the chief mate [Stinziano] about what was stated in the performance evaluation?
A. I believe, yes, there were several interactions with the chief mate about the document. I, are you, do you want me – on that day or the –
Q. Yeah, well the, let’s start on that day.
A. So the chief mate found out that he had these complaints placed against him. And then he was looking for crewmembers to vouch for his character so the Captain would not dismiss him from the vessel. That’s –
Q. He – go ahead.
A. That’s the only event I recall from that specific day. In later days, the chief mate and I had a conversation where he said the statements that [my Sea Partner] gave were going to get him fired. Those are the two main interactions I can remember from the Complaint.
Q. And when you say the statements that [your Sea Partner] made, what statements were those?
A. I don’t know why, I don’t remember why, but somehow my Sea Partner gave a statement by himself prior to our double discussion with the captain. I don’t recall the exact circumstances that [my Sea Partner] gave an original statement to Captain Willers, I don’t know if it was written or not, it may have been a verbal conversation.
Q. Okay, and did he tell you this directly, or you heard it from someone?
A. Yes, we, when we found out about the Complaint my Sea Partner and I had a discussion between ourselves about the circumstances.
Q. Okay. And did you yourself give a statement?
A. Yes, I did.
Q. Okay, and do you recollect was that a typed statement, was that a written statement?
A. There was a verbal interview with the captain. And then we were asked to provide a written statement as well.
Q. And who was at that verbal interview?
A. It was the chief engineer and the captain.
Q. Okay, okay. And, okay. If I may, Your Honor, and SO – okay, apologize, let me rephrase. At that time, in the verbal interview, and this was prior to any written interviews, correct? What was that discussion?
A. In terms of the official discussion or the private discussion prior?
Q. The private and the official.
A. We, essentially, I don’t remember the exact words, but we were told this, there could be some consequences for our statements, and we should be careful about what we say. And that –
Q. And who said that to you?
A. I, it was, I believe it was the chief engineer, but I, I don’t know for sure.
Q. Okay, and that was informal?
A. That was informal. And then we began the verbal interview in which essentially we went through the statement, and they asked us, did each of these things occur.
A. To which we were to respond, yes or no.
Q. Okay. And who was present? That was still the same people, the chief engineer and the captain for that?
A. I don’t remember if the chief engineer left.
A. Before that happened or not.
A. I believe he did.
A. I believe it was just the captain.
Q. Just you and the captain?
Q. And were there written responses to that, or was that just verbal?
A. I believe – the captain, yes, the captain was recording the details of the conversation on a form.
Q. Okay. Okay.
MS. MEHAFFEY: If I may, Your Honor, the Coast Guard would ask to approach with what’s been marked previously as Coast Guard Exhibit 8, but will be entered into evidence as Coast Guard Exhibit 15 if accepted. THE COURT: All right.
MS. MEHAFFEY: Let me make sure this is the statement to You have it? May the record reflect that I am approaching the witness with the exhibit? THE COURT: You may. (Coast Guard Exhibit #15 was then marked for identification.) BY MS. MEHAFFEY:
Q. And if you could just take a moment then to look through that and when you are ready and comfortable, please look up and I’ll ask you a few questions. (Bricf pause while witness reviews exhibit.)
Q. You ready?
Q. Okay, great. So if you could, we, the Respondent’s counsel and myself and Your Honor had agreed to the authenticity of these exhibits. However, if you could talk about what this document if, you don’t have to read it. Do you recognize this document?
A. This must have been what was recording during our conversation, but I don’t recognize it.
Q. Have you ever seen this document before?
A. I have not seen this document.
Q. Okay, is that your name at the top there?
Q. And the responses, does this look like an accurate reflection of what your responses were?
A. These were the responses, I gave, yes.
Q. Okay. And I guess knowing that you haven’t seen this before, but as far as the responses, have they been altered, to the best of your knowledge?
Q. Now, it’s your testimony that this was, this written statement was taken subsequent to a verbal discussion with the captain, is that correct?
Q. Was it, what was your intent in writing, in giving these answers?
A. I just wanted to keep everything as easy as possible for my, so the rest of my time of the vessel. I didn’t want to stir, stir up anything. I figured it’d be easiest just to say nothing happened and make it go away than make any noise about it.
Q. And is this an accurate portrayal of what happened?
Q. And is your testimony here today, earlier today an accurate statement of what happened?
Q. And why the difference?
A. Between the two documents?
Q. No, between your testimony here today and what was said to Captain Willers.
A. The difference is I, there’s no reason for me to not tell the truth, I don’t have any reason not to. I’m not on the vessel anymore going to the Middle East. I’m here, so it’s a safer environment, I would say.
Q. When you say, “Going to the Middle East,” can you, what did you mean by that? That you’re not going to the Middle East, I just want to clarify what it is that you meant.
A. That the vessel was going to the Middle East after we finished in the Mediterranean. I didn’t, right, so I was nineteen years old and I had never even left the states without my parents, and I was just pretty nervous about going there on a vessel with a bunch of people I didn’t know. So I figured it would be best to just make everything as cohesive as possible and be as agreeable as possible.
Q. So you were going to be going to the Middle East after this statement?
A. I don’t recall the exact vessel rotation.
Q. That’s fine, that’s fine. Did you ever submit a typed statement?
A. We were asked to type an official statement and we gave it to the captain.
Q. Okay. And what was, and who asked you to do that?
A. The captain asked us to do that.
Q. Okay. And what was the circumstances surrounding asking, them asking you? Did they take you in a room, did they, you know, ask you –
A. It was in this same discussion, with the verbal responses, that we were asked to give the written statement.
Q. Okay. And was there anybody on the phone at any time during that statement?
A. Yes, there was a lawyer for Maersk that was listening in.
Q. That was listening.
A. I didn’t hear any comments, but they were listening in to the conversation.
Q. Okay. And you were made aware of that?
A. Yes, we were told that the lawyer would be on the phone.
A. Yes. And I sat in the computer lounge and [my Sea Partner and I] typed our statements together.
Q. Okay. And is that your signature at the bottom?
A. Yes, it is.
Q. Okay. And to the best of your knowledge, has this been altered in any way?
A. No, it has not.
MS. MEHAFFEY: Okay, at this time, Your Honor, the Coast Guard would ask that Coast Guard Exhibit 16 be entered.
MR. HEWIG: No objection.
THE COURT: There being no objection Coast Guard Exhibit 16 is admitted into evidence. (Coast Guard Exhibit #16 was then admitted into evidence.)
MS. MEHAFFEY: Okay, thank you.
MS. MEHAFFEY: Q. And just to clarify again, is what’s stated in here an accurate reflection of what happened on the Maersk Idaho?
A. No, it is not.
Q. Okay, thank you.