Sentence reduced for Georgia teen jailed in Cayman Islands

Skylar Mack, an 18-year-old Loganville native, and her boyfriend now will serve two months in jail instead of four months, according to an appeals court ruling Tuesday. (Photo from Facebook)
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Skylar Mack, an 18-year-old Loganville native, and her boyfriend now will serve two months in jail instead of four months, according to an appeals court ruling Tuesday. (Photo from Facebook)

Credit: Contributed

Family says 18-year-old struggling after being sentenced for violating COVID-19 restrictions

An 18-year-old Loganville native and her boyfriend now will serve two months in jail instead of four months, according to an appeals court ruling Tuesday.

Skylar Mack and her boyfriend Vanjae Ramgeet originally were sentenced to four months for violating Cayman Islands’ strict mandates regarding COVID-19, according to family members.

Mack, a Mercer University pre-med student, has struggled to cope with spending time in jail, according to her family. The family also is seeking an assist from President Donald Trump.

Mack originally was sentenced to spend four months in prison for ignoring the Caribbean territory’s 14-day quarantine restrictions and violating other COVID-19 rules. Ramgeet, her 24-year-old boyfriend whom she was visiting in the Caribbean territory, was also sentenced originally to four months in prison for aiding and abetting Mack.

ExploreCayman Islands court sentences Georgia teen to 4 months in prison

Mack’s grandmother, Jeanne Mack, told Augusta news station WRDW that her punishment was too harsh, because initially she only faced a fine and community service. Jeanne Mack said her granddaughter has been emotionally wrecked by the outcome of her choices.

“She’s … she’s pretty messed up right now. She’s very sad, very remorseful. She can’t believe she did something like this, and she’s also feeling like she’s been made an example of,” Jeanne Mack said.

Mack sent a letter to Trump to assist with shortening her granddaughter’s sentence, according to several reports. The Office of Presidential Correspondence responded to her, according to Fox News. The agency thanked her for “taking the time to write and share your story with President Donald J. Trump” and that “White House staff reviewed your correspondence and forwarded it to the appropriate Federal agency for further action.”

In an interview with Fox News, Jeanne Mack said she’s been in correspondence with the U.S. Embassy in Grand Cayman as well.

Vanjae Ramgeet and Skylar Mack are led out of the courthouse on their way to prison after being sentenced at George Town Court House. Skylar, who is a pre-med student at Mercer, and Ramgeet, a professional jet ski rider, were sent to jail for four months for breaching isolation rules. (Taneos Ramsay / Cayman Compass)
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Vanjae Ramgeet and Skylar Mack are led out of the courthouse on their way to prison after being sentenced at George Town Court House. Skylar, who is a pre-med student at Mercer, and Ramgeet, a professional jet ski rider, were sent to jail for four months for breaching isolation rules. (Taneos Ramsay / Cayman Compass)

Credit: TANEOS RAMSAY

Credit: TANEOS RAMSAY

Skylar Mack went to support Ramgeet’s water sports competition, and both were seen mingling for several hours sans masks and not practicing social distancing, Cayman Islands’ Director of Public Prosecutions Patrick Moran told The Cayman Compass.

The country has reported 316 cases and two deaths since the start of the pandemic, according to the government’s COVID-19 tracker website.

Mack had been in the country for only two days when she began socializing around the island, which is known for its lavish beaches and aquatic activities. Ramgeet was charged with aiding and abetting Mack during her visit. They both had to spend 14 days in a quarantine facility before beginning their sentences. Ramgeet was also forced to return his trophy he earned during the competition and banned from competitions taking place in early 2021.

Both issued an apology for their behavior, with Mack admitting she “made a mistake.”

“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,” she wrote in her apology letter.

Rich Barak of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contributed to this report.