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Men arrested on Caribbean cruise recall 'horrible' experience

March 23, 2012 |  9:08 am

Two California men who pleaded guilty to indecent exposure in the Caribbean island nation of Dominica said in an interview that the entire experience was "horrible."

Retired police officer Dennis Jay Mayer, 43, and his partner, John Robert Hart, 41 both of Palm Springs, were ordered to pay a fine of $4,000. They were arrested Wednesday after someone reportedly saw them naked on the balcony of a cruise ship off the coast of the Caribbean island and called police.

"This was a horrible experience," Mayer told KTLA-TV. "I'm not going to implicate myself one way or another, but we were charged with being naked on the balcony."

A photo shows Mayer and Hart, under police escort, being led from court to go to a bank to withdraw money for their fine as a crowd of residents watched.

"I've never seen something like this," Mayer said. "I've never seen people chanting and protesting in the street. It was amazing."

They returned to pay the fine to a judge, who called them rogues and vagabonds.

"Me and my partner have been together for 17 years," Mayer said. "We weren't trying to put on a show for people."

Mayer and Hart were on-board the Celebrity Summit cruise ship. The cruise was coordinated by Atlantic Events, a West Hollywood-based company that specializes in gay travel.

After someone reported they were having sex, military police arrested them. They were initially charged with sodomy. That charge was later dropped. Mayer said authorities even wanted to have them medically evaluated.

"They were going to transport us to a medical facility and have us medically examined to determine if we had engaged in sexual activity," he said.

The men were held in jail for 19 hours, and Mayer said the small cement cell they were stuck in was inhumane. "No light, no water, no toilet," he said. "We were taunted all night long. They paraded us around like we were some oddity."


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