TAMPA — Federal agents arrested a cruise line employee Sunday at the Port of Tampa after they say he had sexual contact with a 16-year-old female passenger on a cruise and later saved sexually explicit photographs of her on his computer.
Norwegian Star assistant cruise director Senad Djedovic, 29, is accused of possessing child pornography in a United States maritime jurisdiction, according to a federal criminal complaint. Djedovic is a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Investigations began Feb. 27 when a Norwegian crew member notified the ship's security that Djedovic showed photographs of the teenager to him and several other employees. The next day, the cruise line alerted the FBI.
Djedovic met the 16-year-old victim on a trip that departed Tampa on Jan. 29 and returned Feb. 5, according to an FBI affidavit.
The Minnesota resident was traveling with her parents. The affidavit did not name the victim, as is usually the custom with minors and victims of sex crimes.
The ship's internal security team obtained a signed statement from Djedovic dated Feb. 28. In it, Djedovic admitted to having sexual contact with the victim on a staircase on the ship, right after the cruise stopped at Costa Maya, Mexico.
When the victim left the cruise on Feb. 5, Djedovic gave her his work email address. They exchanged several emails that month, the affidavit said.
"I wish you said yes way earlier than the last day because we would have way more fun," Djedovic wrote in an email, the affidavit said. "I miss you big time … you little young girl."
Investigators say Djedovic stored about 20 photos of the victim from multiple emails that appear to have been sent from Minnesota while he was at sea. She wore clothes in some but was naked in most.
In return, Djedovic sent the victim graphic photos of himself and a video of him masturbating in front of her photo, according to the affidavit.
In an interview with FBI agents last week, the victim confirmed the sexual encounter on the ship and admitted to sending Djedovic photos of herself. She introduced Djedovic to her parents at the beginning of the cruise, the affidavit said, and her father specifically told Djedovic that his daughter was 16.
FBI agents interviewed Djedovic on Sunday while the ship docked at the Port of Tampa. He admitted to the interactions with the victim and consented to a search of his computer, according to the affidavit.
On a hard drive, investigators found what appeared to be videos of minors engaging in sexual activity downloaded from the Internet.
Djedovic does not have a criminal record in Florida. He has worked for Norwegian Cruise Lines since 2006.
In a statement Monday, Norwegian officials said the company has a zero-tolerance policy "for crew and guest fraternization and will continue to fully cooperate with federal authorities."
Times researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Stephanie Wang can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 661-2443.