Skylar Mack, an 18-year-old student from the U.S., has had her prison sentence halved after breaking quarantine rules in the Cayman Islands.
Mack traveled to the Cayman Islands to visit her 24-year-old boyfriend, Vanjae Ramgeet, a competitive jet skier — but neither of them expected to end up in prison following the visit.
Mack was required to quarantine for 14 days upon arriving in the Cayman Islands on November 27th. She was also required to wear a monitor on her wrist, specifically for visitors who must quarantine.
However, after just two days, the teen removed the wristband monitor and went to watch her boyfriend compete in a jet ski competition.
Both Mack and her boyfriend were sentenced to four months in prison on December 15th, but a week later — on Tuesday, December 22nd — a local court ruled that the sentences would be shortened to two months.
Skylar Mack was sentenced for breaking quarantine rules, while Ramgeet was sentenced for abetting his girlfriend’s actions.
The incident happened just one day after the government of the Cayman Islands increased the penalty for those breaking quarantine rules.
Mack has since deleted all of her social media pages, including Instagram and Facebook, and has written an apology letter where she said: “I had no intentions to harm anyone around me; that was never the intention; I acted without thinking through my actions. I realize now that I was selfish in the decision I made and that it made a lot of people upset; I am sorry.”
She added: “If there was any way I could go back and fix it, I would. My hope is that the people of the Cayman Islands will forgive me; I am hopeful that we can resolve this. I made the biggest mistake of my life so far, on November 29th, that is something that I am going to have to learn to deal with. I assure you that something like this will never happen again. I want to take this opportunity to express my deepest apologies to both the government and the community of the Cayman Islands, I feel terrible about my mistake, and I hope that the nation will be able to forgive me.”
Mack was studying pre-medicine at Mercer University in Atlanta, and when her family heard about the news — grandmother Jeanne Mack took matters into her own hands and wrote to President Donald Trump.
The president’s son, Eric Trump, shared his anger at the news by tweeting: “This is infuriating. Skylar is an 18-year-old girl who left her hotel to watch her boyfriend compete in a jet ski competition… 4 months in jail?!”
It is not known whether the letter had any direct effect in shortening the sentences, as Mack and Ramgeet, a native of the Cayman Islands, had already appealed their sentences, which began on December 16th.
Jeanne Mack told interviewers her granddaughter is crying in prison and just wants to come home. The grandmother also said Skylar Mack knows she has made a mistake and has admitted to breaking the rules.
As one of the British Overseas Territories, the Cayman Islands is due to receive the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine following the approval by the UK government on December 2nd.