The cruise passenger, Jeremy Froias, arrested by the FBI for installing a secret WiFi camera in the unisex public bathroom on the top deck of the Harmony of the Seas last week was released by a federal judge in San Juan Tuesday morning after his wife posted a $25,000 bond.
We previously reported on this crime which has now received national attention.
You can read the affidavit by a FBI agent involved in the arrest which contains a description of the crime and photographs of the bathroom and camera.
The federal court case number 3:23-mj-00487-GLS convened a “detention hearing” Tuesday morning where Froias’ criminal defense lawyer argued for a low bond for his release from federal custody. The federal judge released him with the following terms and conditions:
“Defendant is to be released subject to the qualification of his wife as a TPC (i.e., “third party custodian”). Defendant is to post a $25,000 unsecured bond to be signed by him and the TPC. He is to reside at the address of record. Defendant is not to have unsupervised contact with any minors under the age of 18, including his two children. His two children will reside at the alternate address proposed by counsel (grandparents’ residence). The Defendant is to be subject to an EMD (i.e., “electronic monitoring device”) in home detention modality. He is to seek and maintain employment. Defendant is not to have any access to the internet, including in his residence or at work (which seems impossible given the apparent fact that he works as a cyber expert with a background of many years working with computers and computer networks). He is to surrender his passport. Travel is restricted between Puerto Rico and Middle District of Florida (where he lives and works). All other travel is subject to approval and coordination with the USPO (U.S.parole officer) and the Court. Courtesy supervision to be coordinated with the Middle District of Florida . . ,”
A $25,000 bond seems inappropriate, given evidence Froias secretly transmitted images and videotaped “more than 150 individuals” including “what appears to be at least 40 minors,” including some “minors (who) appeared to be as young as four or five years old” (per the FBI affidavit filed into the court filing).
Several newspapers reported that Froias worked as a “Cyber Security Officer” for the City of Kissimmee, Florida. Froias’s LinkedIn profile discloses that he worked in this capacity since November of 2022. Previously, Froias worked for the City of Kissimmee for the past nineteen years, first as a computer expert from 2004-2009 and then as a network engineer from 2009-November 2022. Froias’ photograph on LinkedIn is below:
During such employment, Froias obviously developed the computer skills which enabled him to secretly install a WiFi camera to not only record images of passengers and their children in the bathroom but to transmit the images to his iPhone using the cruise ship’s internet.
The Washington Post, in an article titled Cruise Passenger Arrested For Filming 150 People In Ship Bathroom, reported that the “public affairs manager for Kissimmee (a Central Florida city near Walt Disney World) said in an email that Froias was originally hired in April of 2004.” But “after reviewing the charging affidavit involving Jeremy Froias, we have terminated his employment effective May 8, 2023.”
We have received a number of comments about this incident. Many passengers are upset that Royal Caribbean did not notify them during the remainder of the cruise (from May 2-6, 2023) or after they returned home:
- “He’s a real creep, i bet his home computer is full of garbage, i wish they blast his picture too.
- Sure do hope there’s a way to find out what else he has in his home. Would love to see him severely punished.
- This is absolutely disgusting! Royal Caribbean did not inform passengers AT ALL My family was on that cruise and we used that bathroom to change our 2 year old son (who was 1 at the time) I’m 99% sure we were recorded.
- Was on that cruise disappointing Royal has not notified all the passengers on board.
- I can say no one in my party was notified.
- I was on that ship. I did not receive notification either. Thankfully we did not use that restroom. This person is sick in the head. Who knows where that 24hr worth of feed ended up.
- I was on that ship as well and possibly victimized as well as my husband and son.”
We recommend that cruise passengers who were on this cruise and went into the bathroom in question, notify the link provided by the FBI as well as consult with a maritime lawyer familiar with the crime of video voyeurism.
May 10, 2023 Update:
the New York Times covered the story today, in an article titled: F.B.I. Says Video Voyeur Hid Camera in Cruise Ship Bathroom, writing:
“Jim Walker, a Miami-based maritime lawyer who has represented victims in other voyeurism cases, questioned the amount of the bond. “A $25,000 bond might be appropriate for a single victim, but considering there are at least 150 victims and many dozens of children, according to the F.B.I. affidavit, a bond should not be less than $1,000,000,” he said. He said he has been contacted by passengers who were on the Harmony of the Seas during the incident.
Passengers said Royal Caribbean had failed to notify them about the hidden camera during and after the sailing. They said they found out through the media and an F.B.I. notice seeking to identify potential victims.
‘It’s terrifying that passengers and their children were filmed secretly while they were naked using the bathroom,’ said April Wise, 52, who was on the cruise with her husband and niece. ‘Thankfully, we didn’t use that bathroom, but thousands of people were on the ship and they still don’t know if they were filmed or not. It’s unacceptable that Royal Caribbean has not contacted the victims.’”
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Image credit: Jeremy Froias – LinkedIn.