Georgia Student Who Violated COVID-19 Rules Gets Sentence Reduced

Skylar Mack, a student at Mercer University in Georgia, traveled to the Cayman Islands on November 27 to visit her boyfriend, Vanjae Ramgeet, a Cayman Island native. She landed in jail after violating the country's COVID-19 guidelines, and currently faces a two month prison sentence after a court granted a sentence reduction on Tuesday (December 22).

The 18-year-old arrived on the island on a Friday, and was to remain in her hotel room until after a 14-day isolated quarantine. To attend a national jet ski competition that Ramgeet was competing in, Mack took off her electronic monitoring bracelet from her wrist, left it in her room, and made her way to the beach, according to a report by The New York Times

Attendees who recognized Mack notified the event organizers and police were called. Originally, Mack faced four months in prison for the quarantine violation, but after appearing before a panel of judges on Tuesday (December 22), she received a reduced sentence of two months. 

“Within a second of the verdict, we were all crying and hurt,” Mack’s grandmother, Jeanne Mack told the TODAY Show in an interview on Wednesday (December 23). 

“She’s scared and doesn’t know what to do,” her grandmother added. Mack’s family had pleaded with Donald Trump to intervene on her behalf. 

“This was as flagrant a breach as could be imagined,” Justice Roger Chapple said in court during the sentencing, as reported by the Cayman Compass. “It was born out of selfishness and arrogance.”   

Mack and Ramgeet have been in jail since December 15. The island, which has a population of about 64,000, imposed strict guidelines to keep its coronavirus infection rate down. Since the start of the pandemic, the island nation has had a reported 311 confirmed cases and two COVID-19 related deaths. 

Jonathon Hughes, a lawyer for Mack released a statement saying, “Whilst it was our hope that Skylar would be able to return home to resume her studies in January, we accept the decision of the court.”

Photo: Getty Images

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