Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Dominican Republic: Update--Canadian Groom, Cousin Released from Custody, Returning Home

According to The Global News, Canadian newlywed Nick Miele, 34, and his cousin, Ben Costantini, 18, who were both jailed by police in the Dominican Republic shortly after Miele's marriage to Stacey Vernon, 31, were imprisoned and charged with physical aggression after a fight erupted between the wedding party and Canadians from Montreal.

For the complete background on previous events stemming from how Miele and Constantini came to be arrested and jailed, please review my previous postings.

Shortly after the fight, in which a Canadian from Montreal was seriously injured and had to be medically evacuated back to Canada, Messrs. Miele and Constantini faced the prospects of spending up to 90 days in jail while police  interviewed witnesses, collected evidence and prepared their case for prosecution.

As the case developed, Miele and his cousin soon learned that they potentially faced two years in prison plus reimbursement of the injured Canadian for medical evacuation which ran upwards of $100,000.

COMMENT: A statement from Minister of Foreign Affairs Diane Ablonczy said Canadian consular officials worked with Dominican authorities, the families involved and legal counsel and will “continue to provide assistance as appropriate until the remaining two citizens have returned home to Canada.”

One can only speculate that the Canadian Embassy explained to both Canadian parties that legal troubles were not good for either party, which may have resulted in a settlement that was acceptable to the Canadians involved.

If there are any lessons to be learned from this case, it is that although romantic, having a wedding in a foreign country are not without their pitfalls, including arrest when everyone has had far too much to drink and may engage in behavior that would normally not be the case.