Florida city cyber officer charged with cruise ship voyeurism
The City of Kissimmee, Florida, fired its cybersecurity officer Monday following his arrest last week on federal charges that he hid a video camera in a cruise ship bathroom and used it to record his fellow passengers in various states of undress, officials said.
According to court documents, the camera captured footage of at least 150 individuals, including 40 who appear to be minors, some as young as four years old.
The former cyber officer, Jeremy Froias, was arrested by the FBI May 3 in Puerto Rico on charges of video voyeurism and attempted possession of child exploitation material. According to an FBI affidavit, Froias, a passenger on the Royal Caribbean ship Harmony of the Seas, installed a hidden Wi-Fi camera in a high-traffic bathroom one day after the ship set sail April 29 from Miami for a seven-day itinerary through the Caribbean.
On April 30, with the ship in international waters, Froias, 41, planted the camera in a bathroom on the top deck, between a surfing simulator and a bar, according to the affidavit. The camera was placed in a section of wall that had been removed for repairs.
The device was not discovered until about 7 p.m. on May 1, when a passenger noticed it and reported it to a crew member. According to the affidavit, the lens had been left visible. Upon retrieving the camera, the ship’s security officers found a micro-SD card containing several hours of video files, beginning with footage of Froias hiding and adjusting the camera, the FBI said.
“The initial videos depict Froias hiding the camera and adjusting the angle of the camera, so it focuses on the area of the toilet,” the affidavit reads. “Froias is also seen taking his Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max out of his pocket and appears to have connected the phone to the hidden camera using Wi-Fi. Froias then exits the bathroom.”
The Harmony of the Seas is one of the biggest cruise liners in the world, with a passenger capacity of up to nearly 6,800, plus 2,300 crew members.
The FBI affidavit goes on that Royal Caribbean crew interviewed Froias about midnight on May 1, when he admitted to placing the camera in the bathroom. He said he knew it had been discovered when he went back earlier that evening to look for it.
The Harmony of the Seas docked in San Juan on May 3, at which point an FBI agent reviewed the hidden camera’s footage.
“Individuals are seen coming into the bathroom to either use the toilet or to change into or out of swimsuits,” the agent John Auchter, wrote in his affidavit. “Froias’s camera captured these individuals in various stages of undress, including capturing videos of their naked genitals, buttocks, and female breasts.”
Froias had worked for Kissimmee since April 2004. According to a LinkedIn page matching his profile, he’d held several IT-related positions over the years and was appointed to the cybersecurity officer role last November. A city spokesperson confirmed Froias was fired Monday after city officials reviewed the charging documents against him.
Froias was released on $25,000 bond Monday in federal district court in San Juan. He’s been ordered to wear an electronic monitoring device and limit his travel between his home in Florida and future court appearances in Puerto Rico.
The FBI has also opened a tip line for passengers who may have been captured by the hidden camera.