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Cayman Islands jails US college student in coronavirus case

Caribbean Shark Sanctuaries
Posted at 3:35 PM, Dec 17, 2020

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — An attorney for a U.S. college student and her boyfriend who have been sentenced to four months in prison in the Cayman Islands for violating strict COVID-19 measures says he plans to appeal the recent ruling.

Their attorney Jonathon Hughes says Skylar Mack, 18, of Georgia, and Vanjae Ramgeet, 24, of the Cayman Islands, have been in prison since Tuesday.

He says he will argue for a less severe sentence next week and says the two have never been in trouble with the police.

Mack is accused of breaking a mandatory two-week quarantine.

Hughes told the Associated Press that on Nov. 27, Mack arrived in the Cayman Islands.

But instead of undergoing a mandatory two-week quarantine, she broke quarantine by leaving with her boyfriend to attend a water sports event on Nov. 29, the AP reported.

According to the AP, a judge ruled that Mack and Ramgeet pay a $4,400 fine and provide 40 hours of community service. Ramgeet was also ordered to a two-month curfew, but prosecutors appealed, saying the punishment was lenient.

On Dec. 15, a higher court ruled in favor of the prosecutors, and the couple was immediately imprisoned, the AP reported.

Mack's grandmother told the AP that she emailed President Donald Trump and received a response saying the White House would look into it.