A former room service attendant on a nude Holland America cruise has been sentenced to more than 30 years in prison for a second time after admitting to brutally raping, beating and nearly throwing overboard a female guest.
Indonesian national Ketut Pujayasa, 31, has already served more than two years in federal prison, half of it in a notoriously violent correctional facility in Texas, for the February 2014 attack.
Pujayasa told police after his arrest that he decided to punish the female cruise guest on board MS Nieuw Amsterdam after she apparently told him: ‘Wait a minute, son of a b****’ when he knocked on her door with her breakfast. He said he took her words as an offense directed at his mother.
In the course of the savage assault, which lasted up to an hour, the female victim was raped, choked with electrical cords, and battered bloody with various objects inside her room.
Pujayasa even attempted to throw the woman from the balcony, but thanks to her training as an acrobat and fitness instructor, she was able to hold on.
The victim eventually was able to escape. In printed reports she was described as appearing in a hallway partially naked and ‘painted with blood’ from head to toe. She still had the wire from a curling iron used in the attack wrapped around her neck.
The 31-year-old attacker pleaded guilty in September 2014 to charges of aggravated sexual assault and attempted murder and was sentenced in January 2015 to 30 years and five months in federal prison.
However, an appeals court later threw out the sentence, saying that the judge presiding over the case failed to adequately explain his decision to hand down a sentence that was twice as long as recommended under sentencing guidelines, reported Orlando Sentinel.
On Tuesday, US District Judge Jose Martinez imposed the same sentence on Pujayasa, but explained to the court that the more severe punishment was appropriate considering the shocking nature of his actions and the impact on the victim, who has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, depression and other problems.
Upon his release from prison, Pujayasa will be deported to his native Indonesia from the US and barred from ever re-entering the country.
Speaking through an interpreter in court, the former cruise ship worker apologized for his actions and begged the judge for mercy, saying that he did not want to return to the violent Texas prison dubbed ‘Bloody Beaumont.’
‘Every day, I have to witness people fighting,’ he lamented.
Pujayasa sought to justify his conduct by saying that he acted out of anger sparked by what he believed to be an insult to mother, whom he loves the most in the world.
Last year, Pujayasa’s victim filed a civil lawsuit against the cruise line seeking $50million compensation and $365million in punitive damages, which settled out of court.
According to the civil complaint, then-29-year-old Ketut Pujayasa, a junior room service attendant, used his company-issued, master key to enter the cabin of the victim, identified as Jane Doe, where he was able to lurk on her balcony for several hours until she returned.
On February 14, 2014, the married woman, who was on the nudist cruise with a group of friends but had a room to herself, returned around midnight and got ready for bed.
As she climbed into the bed and turned off the lights, in the shadows, she became aware of a figure lurking on the stateroom balcony.
Pujayasa, a 29-year-old employee originally from Indonesia, pounced on the woman.
During the sustained attack, which lasted close to an hour, Pujayasa punched her, smashed heavy blunt objects into her head including a laptop, and threw her across the room.
The rapist attempted to strangle his victim with his hands and then used a telephone cord and a curling iron cord.
The victim lost consciousness during the attack where she was raped and sexually assaulted.
Pujayasa pulled the woman to her room’s balcony and tried to throw her overboard into the dark waters.
She screamed repeatedly but no one responded.
The victim was able to hold on to the door handle to prevent being dragged on to the balcony.
Mr Hickey said it was only by having a certain degree of physical strength as part of her career as an aerialist, that his client was able to hold on.
The victim eventually escaped herself. She managed to wrestle free of Pujayasa, opened the door to her cabin on her own, and ran into the hall where other passengers had congregated.
An FBI report on the attack stated: ‘[The woman], fearing death was imminent, asked the passenger to relay to her family how much she loved them.’
The victim suffered a deep laceration to her left cheek, skull fracture and a wound to the back of the head which required staples.
According to the now-settled lawsuit: ‘He [Pujayasa] beat her head and face so hard that she experienced shifting of her teeth. All of the trauma to her head produced a traumatic brain injury.’
She suffered bites to the hands which left marks; a spinal fracture, swelling, bruising and lacerations to the face, scalp, head, neck, back, front of torso, arms, and legs and abrasions on both arms.
Cord marks were left on her neck from being repeatedly strangled. She has suffered a long-term brain injury due to being beaten about the head and having her oxygen supply cut off with repeated strangulation.
Pujayasa escaped the room by jumping from balcony to balcony and told a workmate that he had ‘killed a guest’. The colleague reported him to a superior and he held by the ship’s security until reaching a US port.