Dickerson, of Casselberry, Fla., was arrested by federal authorities on Monday after an FBI investigation accused him and several teenage boys of raping the female minor in the cabin of the ship on Sunday.
A judge deemed Dickerson a danger to his community and ordered him jailed until his trial. The teenage boys who participated in the alleged gang-rape admitted to having sex with the girl but have not been charged.
To pursue a case against the juvenile boys, federal prosecutors have to get permission from the Attorney General. A spokeswoman from the U.S. Attorney’s Office says her agency is reviewing the case, according to The Sentinel.
Here is a rundown of events that lead to the alleged rape, as reported by The Sentinel:
According to a criminal complaint, Dickerson and his wife were on the cruise that left from Port Canaveral on Aug. 16. The couple was given a second cabin after complaining about a noise issue with their first room, according to the complaint, but was allowed to keep both cabins.
The teenage victim told an FBI agent that she and another friend, also 15, went to Dickerson’s cabin with him and four other boys.
Once in the cabin, the girl said, Dickerson and the boys held her down and took turns having sex with her, according to the complaint.
At the same time, the victim’s teenage friend was being held in the bathroom by one of the boys.
As Dickerson and the others sexually assaulted the victim, they told each other to “switch,” so that they would change positions.
The girl said someone knocked on the door while she was being attacked and one of the boys answered it.
The girl said she was on the floor of the cabin, wearing only a bra, and after the person who knocked at the door left, Dickerson and the boys continued their sexual attacks, the complaint says.
Eventually, one of the suspected attackers dressed the girl and her teenage friend was allowed out of the bathroom.
The girl received medical treatment on the ship for her injuries.
The Sentinel reports that the boys evolved in the alleged rape told FBI agents that Dickerson gave alcohol to the victim and her friend. Both girls were so inebriated that neither could fight off the sexual advances of the boys.
As for Dickerson, he says that he became so drunk that he did not know when anything became sexual. He admitted to having sex with women on the ship who were not his wife but could say for sure whether the teenage girl was one of them.
Carnival called the FBI soon after learned about the attack, according to The Sentinel. They released this statement:
“Carnival is fully cooperating with law enforcement officials as the investigation continues,” the statement read.
Couvertier said parents’ best defense it to remain vigilant about their children’s safety, no matter how many security measures are in place.
“Parents cannot rely solely on the security measures implemented by the venue officials,” he said. “Families should fully enjoy their vacations, but should never have a false sense of security.”
FBI Special Agent Dave Couvertier warns that, even during vacations, parents must remain vigilant about their children’s safety and that unsupervised minors serve as easy targets for sexual predators.
“Whether at a sporting event, theme park, or a on a cruise, you need to be aware that there are hundreds of people from all walks of life participating in the related activity,” Couvertier said. “This could include thieves, con men, and even child predators.”
WFTV in Florida got a one-on-one interview with Dickerson. If you want to view it, click here.