A YOUNG woman and her boyfriend were sentenced to prison after she broke her 14-day coronavirus quarantine to watch his jet ski competition.
Skylar Mack, 18, broke her 14-day quarantine after two days[/caption]
The couple were sentenced to four months in prison on Tuesday morning, after the Cayman Islands’ Director of Public Prosecutions Patrick Moran appealed their original sentence.
Initially, Mack and Ramgeet were each handed a $2,600 fine and 40 hours of community service.
Mack, a student from Loganville, Georgia, arrived in the Cayman Islands on November 27.
On November 29, Mack took off her geo-fencing bracelet and left her residence to see Ramgeet compete.
Vanjae Ramgeet, 24, was charged with aiding and abetting his girlfriend[/caption]
Mack and Ramgeet reportedly came in contact with other people at the event over a span of more than seven hours and did not wear masks or practice social distancing.
After getting arrested, the couple stayed at a government quarantine facility for 14 days, ending on Tuesday.
Ramgeet was charged with aiding and abetting Mack.
Mack and Ramgeet pleaded guilty.
Mack, a student from Loganville, Georgia, arrived in the Cayman Islands on November 27[/caption]
Moran appealed the couple’s original sentence because he believed the offenses “should have been met with far more stringent measures,” according to the Cayman Compass.
“When it comes to a matter of deterrence, the sentences imposed are likely to have little to no effect on other like-minded individuals,” Moran told the Grand Court on Monday.
The couples’ lawyer, Jonathan Hughes, argued that the sentences were too harsh and that their offenses were owed to “youthful ignorance and selfishness.”
“There is no way that it can be right that a custodial sentence is imposed for a first-time offense on an 18-year-old defendant, who entered an early guilty plea,” Hughes told the Cayman Compass.
Ramgeet was forced to return his trophy and prize money from the jet ski competition [/caption]
Hughes added that Mack fully paid her fine from her savings.
“She has received hate mail, so far as to say even death threats,” Hughes said.
“This has even impacted her father, who is also a professional jet-ski rider and has now lost sponsorship because of it.”
Mack wrote in a statement to the Compass: “I am aware that the Cayman Islands Government has done nothing but dedicate extreme caution to combat the spread of COVID-19, for this the country and its citizens can be extremely proud.
“I made a mistake, and words cannot express how sorry I am for this… I was afforded the opportunity to enter the islands during these trying times and I abused it. I am humbly asking for the forgiveness of the community.”
Meanwhile, Ramgeet was forced to return his trophy and reward money, and to write an apology to the Cayman Islands Watercraft Association.
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He has also been barred from competing in several of the first races happening next year.
Moran’s office said in a statement that the Cayman Islands Government has prioritized the safety of its residents amid the coronavirus pandemic since early 2020.
“To accomplish this goal the Government employed stringent isolation and social distancing policies,” the office stated.