Gay men arrested for having sex on cruise ship plead guilty in Dominica

Gay men arrested for having sex on cruise ship plead guilty in Dominica

ROSEAU, Dominica — Two men on an Atlantis gay cruise who were arrested Wednesday and accused of openly having sex on the boat while docked in the Roseau port, have plead guilty to a charge of indecent exposure are expected to leave the Caribbean island country later today.

Dennis Mayer (left) and John Hart.

Dennis Mayer, 53, and John Hart, were charged with “buggery,” an offense equivalent to sodomy, and indecent exposure after they were seen allegedly having sex on the Celebrity Summit cruise ship by someone on the dock.

In Dominica, sex between two men is illegal.

Mayer and Hart were taken into custody Wednesday and held overnight, and appeared before a magistrate for a court hearing on Thursday, reported the Earlier, police in Dominica had dropped buggery charges against the two men and opted for the lesser charge of indecent exposure.

Police Chief Cyril Carette said the decision was made to drop the buggery charges saying “they could have been charged with buggery but because it is a very long process, we decided that it was in our best interest to deal expeditiously with the issue and get the individuals out of our island as quickly as possible.”

The Dominican court fined the men US $888 each for indecent exposure.

The incident received worldwide press coverage and brought public scrutiny on the island’s buggery (or sodomy) laws, which are not dissimilar to laws throughout the Caribbean.

“People coming to our island must be in conformity with our laws and if these laws are violated they must be prepared to suffer the consequences,” Carette said.

Under the sodomy law, sex between gay men is illegal and persons found guilty could face up to ten years in prison.

The cruise was organized by Atlantis Events, a Southern California company that specializes in gay travel. The ship left port early Thursday, leaving both men behind.

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