ROSEAU, Dominica -- Two gay men from California pleaded guilty to indecent exposure in Dominica on Thursday, ending an ordeal that began when someone reported seeing them having sex on a cruise ship balcony.
Retired police officer Dennis Jay Mayer, 53, and his partner, John Robert Hart, 41 both of Palm Springs, were ordered to pay a fine of $4,000.
"This was a horrible experience," Mayer told KTLA.
"I'm not going to implicate myself one way or another, but we were charged with being naked on the balcony," he said.
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 the 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 Southern California company that specializes in gay travel.
After someone reported they were having sex, military police arrested them on Wednesday.
They were initially charged with "buggery," which is equivalent to sodomy. That charge was later dropped.
Mayer said that 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, describing the conditions.
"We were taunted all night long. They paraded us around like we were some oddity."
Many have asked why a cruise carrying roughly 2,000 ay men would go into a port where gay sex is illegal.
The president of Atlantis Events, Rich Campbell, told KTLA he has taken over 50,000 guests to the Caribbean over the past 15 years without incident.
He calls what happened to Mayer and Hart "minor" and "unfortunate."
"The guests were in the wrong place at the wrong time, and like getting a speeding ticket were simply caught, nothing more," Campbell said.
But Mayer begs to differ, saying it wasn't a minor incident to them.
"It was frightening to us, and we didn't know how to respond to them because we don't come from a world or country that prosecutes people for being gay."