- Skylar Mack, an 18-year-old college student from Georgia, was sentenced to four months in prison after breaking the strict 14-day quarantine rule in the Cayman Islands.
- The student was travelling to the British Overseas Territory to attend her boyfriend’s jet-skiing competition and broke the quarantine after two days.
- Since the sentencing, Skylar Mack’s grandmother sent a letter to President Trump asking for his help.
- On Tuesday, the court is scheduled to hear the appeal.
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On December 15, a college student from Georgia was sentenced to four months in prison in the Cayman Islands after she broke the strict 14-day quarantine to attend her boyfriend’s jet-skiing competition.
The Mercer University student, Skylar Mack, 18, flew to Grand Cayman on November 27, where she was required to quarantine for 14 days.
After two days in quarantine, she removed the government-issued tracking device and left her hotel to attend a jet-skiing competition. In a statement sent to Insider, Skylar Mack’s attorney, Jonathon Hughes, said she tested negative for the coronavirus after arriving on the island.
The competition’s organisers were notified of Skylar Mack’s rule-breaking and called the police. She was charged with leaving her home during the mandatory 14-day quarantine. The 24-year-old boyfriend, Vanjae Ramgeet, is said to have “aided and abetted her in the breach,” according to Hughes, who is also representing Ramgeet.
On December 15, Skylar Mack and Ramgeet were sentenced to four months in prison.
The Cayman Islands have reported 316 cases and two deaths since the start of the pandemic, according to a tracker on their government website.
Since the ruling, Skylar Mack has filed an appeal, and her family has pleaded for President Donald Trump’s help.
Skylar Mack’s grandmother wrote to President Donald Trump asking for his help
Skylar Mack’s grandmother, Jeanne Mack, has been vocal about the incident.
“She just wants to come home,” her grandmother, Jeanne Mack, told the Today show. “She knows she made a mistake, she owns to up to that, but she’s pretty hysterical right now.”
Jeanne Mack also told the Today show that she sent a letter to Trump pleading for help. Jeanne Mack did not respond to Insider’s request for comment.
According to Fox News, Jeanne Mack received a response from the Office of Presidential Correspondence, which thanked her for “taking the time to write and share your story with President Donald J. Trump” and that “White House staff reviewed your correspondence and forwarded it to the appropriate Federal agency for further action.”
In an interview with Fox News, Jeanne Mack said she’s been in correspondence with the US Embassy in Grand Cayman.
The US Department of State’s website highlights that it cannot help US citizens who are detained abroad “get out of jail,” “state to a court that anyone is guilty or innocent,” or “provide legal advice or represent US citizens in court.”
The couple is reportedly the first to be prosecuted under Cayman Islands’ harsher penalties
According to the “Today” show, Skylar Mack and Ramgeet are the first people to be prosecuted under the Cayman Islands’ harsher penalties.
The day before Skylar Mack and Ramgeet when to the ski competition, the government adjusted the penalties for violating the quarantine.
Previously, the penalty had been up to a year in jail and/or a fine of $US1,000. On November 28, it changed to up to two years in jail and/or a fine of up to $US10,000, according to the Cayman Compass.
Jeanne Mack told Fox News that she felt like the Cayman Islands government is making an example of her granddaughter.
“They needed to make a statement,” she told Fox News. “Their government is accusing her of causing major anxiety of everybody that was on the island but it’s because they’re not telling them that she was negative â€” she does not have the virus, she never has had the virus.”
Last month, Pascal Terjanian, 52, and Cristina Gurunian, 34, similarly broke the mandatory quarantine.
According to the Cayman Compass, each person was fined $US1,000 and banned from returning while COVID-19 restrictions are in place.
A total of six cases of a breach of quarantine have been reported.
The couple’s lawyer has filed an appeal that will be heard on Tuesday
On December 4, Skylar Mack and Ramgeet both pleaded guilty and received an initial sentence of 40 hours of community service and a $US2,600 fine.
But on December 8, the Cayman Islands director of public prosecutions, Patrick Moran, filed a notice of appeal stating that the sentences were “unduly lenient.” The Cayman Islands Grand Court ruled in favour of Moran and resentenced Skylar Mack and Ramgeet to four months in prison.
“This was as flagrant a breach as could be imagined,” Grand Court Justice Roger Chapple told the court, according to the Cayman Compass. “It was borne of selfishness and arrogance.”
According to Hughes, he has appealed the case and asked for a lesser sentence.
“The court will hear the case at a special sitting on Tuesday morning,” he told Insider in a statement.
The US Department of State did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
- Read more:
- An American college student has been sentenced to 4 months in a Cayman Islands prison after violating COVID-19 quarantine rules
- You can now apply to work remotely from the Cayman Islands â€” if you earn more than $US100,000 a year
- A man admitted to breaking lockdown rules by riding a jet ski 25 miles from Scotland to the Isle of Man to see his girlfriend