Skylar Mack, 18, a student from Loganville, Georgia, and boyfriend Vanjae Ramgeet. Facebook

Updated December 23, 2020 at 8:48 AM CT

American teen jailed for breaking Cayman Islands quarantine, has sentence reduced to 2 months

      An American teenager, and her Cayman Islands boyfriend, who were sentenced to four months in prison for ignoring the Caribbean nation’s strict COVID-19 quarantine requirement - will only have to serve two months.

Skylar Mack, 18, a pre-med student at Mercer University in Georgia, and Vanjae Ramgeet, 24, a professional jet ski racer from the Cayman Islands were arrested on November 29 after breaking her quarantine to attend her boyfriend’s jet ski competition.

Mack and her boyfriend, Vanjae Ramgeet, were originally sentenced to four months in prison but the punishment was reduced to two months at an appeals court Tuesday, attorney Jonathan Hughes per CBS News. 

Hughes said the appeals court agreed the four-month sentence “was not appropriate” given the circumstances of the case. “Whilst it was our hope that Skylar would be able to return home to resume her studies in January, we accept the decision of the court and look forward to receiving its written reasons in due course,” Hughes said in a statement. 

According to the office of the DPP, Mack arrived in the Cayman Islands on November 27, and was required to undergo a minimum 14-day quarantine-in-residence, per Caymanian Covid suppression guidelines. On November 29, Mack instead left her residence and removed her geo-fencing bracelet, which tracks her location, in order to watch Ramgeet compete in a jet ski event.

Both individuals are said to have interacted with members of the public at the event for more than seven hours without social distancing or wearing masks.

Mack, whose father is also a professional watercraft racer in the U.S., was detained by police at the scene. Both she and Ramgeet — who was charged with aiding and abetting his girlfriend — were placed in a government quarantine facility for a 14-day quarantine, which ended on December 15.

“Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis in early 2020, the Cayman Islands Government has prioritized the safety of its residents and their protection from the global COVID-19 pandemic. To accomplish this goal the Government employed stringent isolation and social distancing policies,” the Office of the DPP told PEOPLE in a statement.

“Anyone wishing to enter the islands is required to quarantine in an approved facility, or at residence using monitoring technology ... Breaches of quarantine may result in prosecution and penalties of up to $10,000 KYD [approximately $12,195 USD] and two years’ imprisonment,” the statement said.

According to local news outlet The Cayman Compass, Moran decided to appeal the couple’s original sentencing of a fine and community service because he did not think the sentence fit the crime.

“These offenses should have been met with far more stringent measures,” Moran said while appearing before the Grand Court on December 14. “When it comes to a matter of deterrence, the sentences imposed are likely to have little to no effect on other like-minded individuals.”

Mack and Ramgeet both pled guilty to their offenses and apologized to the public.



Ran DeBord - All Access Sporting News

 Follow @AASNSports on Twitter, or me, @RanDeBord

Attributes: AASNSports; AP; TheCaymanCompas; CBSNews


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