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Long IslandCrime

Farmingville man federally charged with assaulting woman on cruise ship

Authorities said Adam Panetta was seen on security cameras on Norwegian Cruise Line's Gem beating, kicking and yanking the woman by her hair down a hallway while the ship was about 200 miles off the coast of New Jersey.

A Farmingville man assaulted a woman on board a cruise ship Thursday, punching her in the face, pulling her down a hallway by her hair and kicking her in the buttocks, federal prosecutors said.

Adam Damian Panetta, 45, was charged in federal court in Boston Friday with one count each of assault and assault resulting in substantial bodily injury, prosecutors said.

Authorities said Panetta, a passenger on Norwegian Cruise Line’s Gem, was caught on surveillance video yanking an unidentified woman by her hair down a hallway. At the time of the assault, the ship was about 200 miles off the coast of New Jersey, officials said.

Panetta and the woman were later observed in a confrontation outside one of the cabins. As Panetta attempted to open the cabin door, the woman was seen on camera striking him in the face with an open hand, prosecutors said.

Panetta responded by punching the victim twice in the side of her head with a closed fist, authorities said. The woman collapsed to the ground and appeared to be unconscious. Panetta entered the cabin and left the woman on the floor in the hallway, prosecutors said.

After about a minute, Panetta is seen on surveillance coming out of the cabin and leaning down to the woman, who remained unresponsive, prosecutors said.

Eventually, the woman begins crawling into the room, whereupon Panetta is seen twice kicking her in the buttocks, authorities said. He then followed her into the room.

Surveillance video showed the two leaving the room a short time later with the woman holding a white towel,  which appeared to be stained with blood, to her head, officials said.

The two later went to the ship’s medical center, where the woman received treatment for her injuries, which included swelling on the right side of her head and a facial laceration that required five stitches, prosecutors said.

Panetta was taken into custody when the ship arrived into the port at Boston Friday. It was not immediately clear if he had an attorney.

If convicted Panetta faces a maximum sentence of 6 years in prison and a $350,000 fine.

The federal government has jurisdiction over crimes committed on cruise ships that embark and disembark in the United States.

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