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Teen Gets 4 Months for COVID Violation

Skylar Mack is imprisoned in the Cayman Islands
By Luke Roney,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 19, 2020 3:30 PM CST

(Newser) – A Georgia teen has been sentenced to four months in prison in the Cayman Islands for violating strict COVID-19 restrictions there, the AP reports. Skylar Mack, 18, pleaded guilty to breaking quarantine to watch her boyfriend, Vanjae Ramgeet, a professional jet ski racer from the Cayman Islands, compete at an event late last month, per People. Mack reportedly arrived in the Caymans on Nov. 27 and was required to quarantine for 14 days. Two days later, however, she removed a tracking bracelet and left her residence to attend Ramgeet's event. The boyfriend, 24, was charged with aiding and abetting Mack. He also pleaded guilty and was sentenced to four months in prison. The couple's lawyer, Jonathon Hughes, tells the AP that he will appeal the sentence next week.

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"They're two young people who have never been in trouble before," he said. "This is the first time they've had interaction with police, the courts, prison." Initially, a judge in the British territory sentenced the pair to 40 hours of community service, a $4,400 fine, and a two-month curfew for Ramgeet. A higher court, however, sided with prosecutors who said the sentence was too lenient and imposed the harsher punishment. Mack's grandmother, Jeanne Mack, tells the AP that she has contacted the White House for help and received an email from a staffer saying they would look into it. When Mack calls her family from prison, "The minute she starts talking, she starts crying," the grandmother says. (He broke quarantine for 8 Seconds. Now, a $3.5K Fine.)

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