updated 2/7/2004 11:08:21 AM ET 2004-02-07T16:08:21

A second American agreed to pay a hefty fine for making an obscene gesture during fingerprinting procedures for U.S. citizens in Brazil, police said Saturday.

Douglas A. Skolnick won’t be allowed to leave the southeastern resort town of Foz do Iguacu until he pays the equivalent of $17,200 for raising his middle finger when he was fingerprinted and photographed, said federal police spokesman Marcos Koren.

The customs requirements were imposed in response to similar U.S. rules for citizens of Brazil and many other countries. The United States says its rules will help prevent terrorists from entering the country.

Skolnick, who arrived in Brazil on Friday with a tour group, was taken before a judge early Saturday after being arrested and jailed for hours on the charge of showing contempt to authorities.

Skolnick, 55, of New Jersey, said he made the gesture as a joke, agreed to pay the fine and told the judge he was sorry, Koren said.

On Jan. 14, American Airlines pilot Dale Robin Hersh was arrested on the same charge after making a similar gesture when he was fingerprinted in Sao Paulo, the capital. Hersh returned home after paying a $12,750 fine.

Skolnick "said he knew what happened with the pilot but said he had no intention of insulting the Brazilian authorities or the Brazilian people, but we don’t think that’s true," Koren said. Skolnick’s hometown was not immediately known.

After the court hearing, Skolnick was taken to the hotel where the tour group is staying. He was being kept inside his room with police standing guard outside while the group toured the area, famed for its waterfalls, Koren said.

Foz do Iguacu sits at the border with Argentina and Paraguay, about 500 miles southeast of Sao Paulo. Skolnick’s tour group arrived from Santiago, Chile, on a chartered flight.

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