Man arrested for filming 150 people on Royal Caribbean ship
He boarded Royal Caribbean International’s Harmony of the Seas on April 29 for a weeklong voyage with stops in St. Maarten, San Juan and the Bahamas.
The next day, according to an arrest affidavit, he hid a WiFi camera in a bathroom on the ship’s top deck near a bar and a surfing simulator called the FlowRider. Froias placed it in a section of the wall above the door that had been removed for repair, the charging document states. The ship has room for 5,479 guests with two people to a cabin, or a maximum of closer to 6,700.
Only the lens was visible, but another passenger spotted it on the night of May 1 and reported it to the crew. Security officers on board found “several hours’ worth” of video files on a memory stick, an arrest affidavit said.
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“We are aware of an incident that occurred on board Harmony of the Seas’ cruise on April 29,” the cruise line said in a statement. “The case was immediately reported to local and federal law enforcement, and the guest involved was removed from the ship by authorities for further investigation. As this is an active case, we cannot share further details at this time.”
Footage first shows Froias hiding the camera and adjusting it to point at a toilet. The affidavit says Froias appears to have connected his iPhone to the camera as well. At the time the camera was installed, it captured videos of more than 150 people, including what appeared to be at least 40 minors.
“Individuals are seen entering the bathroom to either use the restroom or to change into or out of bathing suits,” the affidavit said. “Froias’ camera captured these individuals in various stages of undress, including videos of their bare genitalia, buttocks and female breasts.”
The San Juan-based FBI agent who wrote the affidavit, John Auchter, wrote that some of the children recorded appeared to be as young as 4 or 5. The FBI is asking anyone who believes they or their children were victims — or who may have information relevant to the case — to fill in a form.
Interviewed by security workers on the ship around midnight on May 1, Froias admitted to putting the camera in the bathroom and said he realized it had been discovered earlier that evening after he tried but failed to find it in the bathroom. Footage shows he returned to the bathroom at some point that day to adjust the camera angle.
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In a brief email, the San Juan-based attorney representing Froias, Leonardo Aldridge, declined to comment on the case.
“MR. Froias is not charged at the moment”, he wrote. – Therefore I have no comment.
Froias appeared in court for a bail hearing Monday in Puerto Rico. A judge said he could be released on $25,000 bond but must wear an electronic monitoring device, surrender his passport and limit travel to Puerto Rico. He is not allowed to use the internet or have unsupervised contact with anyone under the age of 18, including his own two children.
Stephanie Bechara, community manager for Kissimmee — a Central Florida city near Walt Disney World — said in an email that Froias was originally hired in April 2004.
“After reviewing the statement of charges involving Jeremy Froias, we have terminated his employment effective May 8, 2023,” Bechara wrote.