Vermont parents of a 3-year-old child have filed a $20-million lawsuit against Disney Cruise Lines claiming negligence from the staff after their daughter was sexually assaulted while they were onboard a seven-day cruise in January 2020.

The parents of the child, identified by the court as John and Jane Doe, allege that the cruise staff did nothing to help the girl, referred to in court documents only as R.V., while she was pinned down and sexually assaulted by an older child. The incident reportedly happened at the Disney Fantasy’s daycare facility, Law & Crime reported.

The family boarded the ship from Florida on Jan. 4, 2020, and their child visited the onboard childcare facility “Oceaneer Club” for several days after that. On Jan. 9, 2020, R.V. was brought to the facility, which catered to children of different ages. An older child around the age of 10 restrained R.V. and sexually assaulted her according to a news release from the family's lawyers.

The family alleges that the assault lasted for several minutes and Disney counselors and crew members entered the room during the incident, “but failed to recognize" and stop the ongoing assault. They also claim that the assault was caught on CCTV. However, court documents did not explain how the parents came to know about the alleged abuse.

"The victim was essentially trapped for roughly 20 minutes while she was sexually assaulted, while she was under the direct 'supervision' of Disney employees whose singular job is to oversee these children," the lawsuit said. 

The parents of the victim also claimed that the staff at the facility “were not properly fit, trained, skilled or licensed to work in a child care program.” They stated that their child's experience was not unique and several such incidents have happened on cruise ships.

"Disney fails to take adequate steps or provide adequate supervision to prevent such occurrences, and fails to warn its passengers of the growing epidemic of sexual assaults at sea,” the girl's parents added.

Disney has responded to the lawsuit. A spokesperson for the company told Law & Crime, "This lawsuit is wholly without merit. The plaintiffs’ first allegations were reported to the FBI, and the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office investigated them and determined them to be unfounded."

"The plaintiffs have now come back with a different story, which is equally unfounded, that another young female child acted inappropriately with their child. We will vigorously defend this case in court," the spokesperson further said. 

Chapek's list of accomplishments includes adding more ships to Disney Cruise Line Chapek's list of accomplishments includes adding more ships to Disney Cruise Line Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / HANDOUT