Source AP ©

Irish student fined 300 USD for dropping his pants in Senegal

Student of Irish college who spent four weeks in a West African jail for 'mooning' some friends in a Senegalese city was convicted of public indecency Wednesday and fined about US$300, lawyers said.

Patrick Devine, a 19-year-old student at Belfast's Queens University who was spending the summer in Senegal, also received a four-month suspended sentence, said his lawyer, Moustapha Diop.

The teenager was arrested July 27 outside the governor's residence in the coastal city of Saint Louis. Local newspapers reported Devine had pulled down his trousers so that a friend could take a photo.

"He deeply regrets his act," Diop said.

Devine was at first refused bail, but was released Friday after an appeals court in the capital, Dakar, overturned that decision. Diop said the period Devine spent in jail was not too severe, noting that long terms for "preventative detention" are common in Senegal.

Devine had been spending his summer in Senegal as part of a program called "Teaching and Projects Abroad" that placed him with an educational institution in Saint Louis, local papers said.

Public indecency is punishable by a prison sentence of three months to two years in Senegal, along with a fine of 20,000 to 200,000 francs CFA (about US$40 to US$400).

Though Senegal is a primarily Muslim country, it is not generally seen as a place where risque dress or acts would incur strict censure. On the streets of the former French colonial capital of Saint Louis, some women wear headscarves and long robes, while others sport miniskirts.

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