US student jailed for violating quarantine laws
Jeanne Mack, grandmother of the U.S. student jailed in the Cayman Islands for violating quarantine laws, speaks out on ‘America’s Newsroom.’
The grandmother of a Georgia college student who was jailed in the Cayman Islands for failing to follow coronavirus quarantine guidelines told Fox News on Monday that she has written to President Trump seeking the U.S. government's help in the case.
Jeanne Mack made the remark ahead of an appeals court hearing Tuesday for Mercer University student Skylar Mack and her boyfriend, Cayman Islands-based competitive jet-skier Vanjae Ramgeet, who each have received four-month sentences.
"She’s terrified. She called me last night, she couldn’t sleep," Jeanne Mack told Fox News when asked about the hearing.
GEORGIA STUDENT VIOLATES CAYMAN ISLANDS CORONAVIRUS QUARANTINE LAWS, JAILED FOR 4 MONTHS: REPORTS
Skylar Mack, an 18-year-old Mercer University student, is currently being held in the Cayman Islands. (Courtesy Jeanne Mack)
"She knows she did wrong," the elder Mack added, describing the incident involving the 18-year-old as "a total lapse in judgement of an otherwise brilliant young lady."
In an email shared with Fox News, the Office of Presidential Correspondence thanked Jeanne Mack 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."
Officials in the Cayman Islands say Skylar Mack violated local quarantine requirements just two days after arriving at the Caribbean Britsh territory in late November. After asking government officials to loosen a wristband monitor that she said was too tight, Skylar Mack allegedly slipped out of the equipment and went to watch Ramgeet compete in a jet ski competition for several hours, according to reports.
Skylar Mack and Ramgeet were jailed immediately after their sentences were handed down last Tuesday. An island judge issued the four-month term after overturning a previous sentence of 40 hours of community service and a $2,600 fine each, according to a report from the Cayman News Service.
"This was as flagrant a breach as could be imagined," Grand Court Justice Roger Chapple told the court, according to the Cayman Compass. "It was borne of selfishness and arrogance."
Skylar Mack "owns up to making a poor judgement," her grandmother, Jeanne, tells Fox News.
(Courtesy Jeanne Mack)
GEORGIA STUDENT BEING MADE AN EXAMPLE OF BY CAYMAN ISLANDS, GRANDMOTHER SAYS
A State Department spokesperson told Fox News on Monday that the department is aware of the case but "due to privacy considerations, we have no further comment."
On Friday, Jeanne Mack said during an appearance on Fox News’ "America’s Newsroom" that her granddaughter was the first person who was jailed for such an offense. She insisted that Skylar did socially distance while attending the tournament and told any person that came near her to stay away.
"They needed to make a statement," she said. "Their government is accusing her of causing major anxiety of everybody that was on the island but it’s because they’re not telling them that she was negative – she does not have the virus, she never has had the virus."
Jeanne Mack added that Skylar has posted negative results for COVID-19 each of the six times she’s been tested – and, on Monday, told Fox News that her boyfriend has tested negative as well.
Skylar Mack traveled to the Cayman Islands in late November. (Courtesy Jeanne Mack)
In her own statement, Skylar Mack apologized for what she admitted was "a mistake."
"I was afforded the opportunity to enter the islands during these trying times and I abused it," she said. "I am humbly asking for the forgiveness of the community."
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Jeanne Mack told Fox News on Monday that her granddaughter, under normal circumstances, would have been heading back to the U.S. on Tuesday on a flight she had booked prior to departing for the Cayman Islands.
"We don’t want her left on the island," she said. "We want her home."
Fox News’ Stephanie Pagones contributed to this report.
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