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British girl, 17, raped on cruise trip with parents

Bustling port: Valencia harbour in south-east Spain is popular with cruises PICTURE: AFP

A BRITISH teenager was raped on a cruise ship while travelling with her parents, it has emerged.

The 17-year-old told police her attacker forced her into his cabin where he carried out the sex assault.

But the suspect, an 18-year-old man living in Italy, has reportedly been freed on a technicality.

Reports suggest the attack took place when the Panama-registered ship was heading from Majorca’s capital Palma to Valencia in Spain on Thursday.

After raising the alarm, the girl was examined in hospital and DNA tests are understood to have taken place in the cabin and on her clothes. The suspect was held as he returned to the vessel after a day tour of Valencia.

But he was freed after a judge concluded he did not have jurisdiction to carry out an investigation.

Reports claim the judge said he had to let the Italian go because the alleged crime was committed by a foreigner on another foreigner in Panamanian territory and in international waters.

According to the Valencia newspaper, Levante-EMV, the judge could have claimed jurisdiction if the rape suspect lived in Spain.

The cruise company said: ‘This is a matter that relates to guests who were travelling on board one of our ships.

‘Within this context, our company is fully cooperating with the authorities overseeing this investigation but is not itself in any way subject to it.’

The Foreign Office said its staff were ‘providing support and assistance to a British woman and her family following an incident on board a cruise ship’.