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Men arrested on gay cruise say they were taunted while in jail in Dominica

Men arrested on gay cruise say they were taunted while in jail in Dominica

Dennis Jay Mayer and John Robert Hart insist they weren't 'putting on a show for people' aboard the cruise ship they were vacationing on when it pulled into port in the Caribbean island of Dominica.

But they were quickly arrested by military police on suspicion of indecent exposure and sodomy and held for 19 hours in tiny jail cell where they said there was no light, no water and no toilet.

'We were taunted all night long,' Mayer said in a telephone  interview from Puerto Rico with a Los Angeles television station. 'They paraded us around like we were some oddity.'

The Palm Springs residents were on a Celebrity Summit cruise ship organized by West Hollywood-based Atlantis Events when they found themselves on the wrong side of the law on an island where sex between two men in illegal.

'I'm not going to implicate myself one way or another but I'm just saying we were charged with being naked on the balcony,' Mayer, a former police officer, told KTLA News. 'We weren't putting on a show for people.'

On Thursday, the men pleaded guilty to indecent exposure with the sodomy charge was dropped. But at one point, Mayer said, authorities had planned to transport them to a local hospital to have them medically examined to determined whether or not they had had sex.

They were able to enter their plea, said they were forced to apologize in order to avoid jail time, and paid an approximately $900 fine in order to be released.

But when they left the hearing in the capital of Roseau to withdraw money to pay for the fine, they were met with a public demonstration of sorts.

'I've never seen a spectacle like this, I've never seen people chanting in protest in the street,' Mayer said. 'It was amazing.'

Atlantis Events President Rich Campbell, who was aboard the ship, has downplayed the incident in various interviews ths week calling it 'minor' and 'unfortunate.'

He pointed out to KTLA that he has taken over 50,000 guests to the Caribbean over the past 15 years without any similar incidents.

'The guests were in the wrong place at the wrong time,' Campbell said. 'Like getting a speeding ticket, they were simply caught.'

But Mayer said the experience was anything but 'minor' the he and his partner. 'It was frightening to us and we didn't know how to respond to that because we don't come from a world or a country that prosecutes people for being gay.'