Loeffler, Perdue ask for leniency for Georgia 18-year-old jailed in Cayman Islands

ATLANTA — U.S. Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue are calling for leniency in the case of a Georgia teenager jailed for violating COVID-19 restrictions in the Cayman Islands.

Skylar Mack, 18, is currently detained in the British overseas territory in the Caribbean after she traveled to the island and violated quarantine restrictions, according to officials there. She was originally sentenced to four months in prison, but her sentence was reduced to two months.

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Georgia Republican Senators Loeffler and Perdue sent a letter to the U.S. Embassy in Jamaica on behalf of Mack, calling for leniency.

“We write today in regard to the recent arrest and detainment of Skylar Mack, a U.S. citizen and resident of Georgia, in the Cayman Islands,” the senators wrote. “It is our understanding that Ms. Mack has formally requested the Prerogative of Mercy and we wish to express our support for her family’s call for leniency.

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Mack flew to the island last month to celebrate Christmas with her boyfriend, who is a native of Grand Cayman. Police said Mack removed a government-issued quarantine tracking bracelet and left her hotel to attend a jet ski race her boyfriend was competing in. Authorities said she was at the event for hours and did not social distance or wear a mask.

The court initially sentenced her to community service, but then added prison time to her sentence. Channel 2 Action News spoke to family members, who said the punishment does not fit the crime.

“The day she arrived is the day the new law went into effect. They are trying to use her as an example and the poster child to say, ‘Do not do this,’” said Mack’s father, Jason Burt.

Mack’s Cayman attorney said with the two-month sentence, in reality she will serve 60 percent of that. She’s been locked up for a week so she will likely get out right around Jan. 20, unless the U.S. pulls some strings.

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“We support the right of the Cayman Islands, as a British Overseas Territory, to enact appropriate regulations to protect the safety of its residents during this trying time and to impose fair sentences against those who violate such restrictions,” Loeffler and Perdue said in a joint statement. “Ms. Mack has admitted guilt, regrets her actions, paid a substantial fine, and been incarcerated for over a week. However, it is the sincere hope of her parents that she can safely and expeditiously return home to continue her studies as a pre-med student at Mercer University. Her family has also expressed serious concern about her safety, as she has received numerous threats against her life following the publicity of her case.”