Florida teen fighting criminal charges for same-sex relationship
Kaitlyn Hunt, 18, a senior at Sebastian River High School in Sebastian, Fla., has been charged with two felony counts of ‚Äúlewd and lascivious battery on a child 12 ‚Äď 16 years of age‚ÄĚ stemming from her sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl, according to arrest records.
Kaitlyn HuntBooking photo
Hunt was arrested on Feb. 16 after her girlfriend‚Äôs parents filed a complaint with local police.
‚ÄúShe had a mutual consenting relationship with her girlfriend who is three years younger, and her parents had her arrested,‚ÄĚ according to Kaitlyn‚Äôs mother, Kelley Hunt Smith.
‚ÄúThis is about two teenage high school girls who were dating, and both consenting,‚ÄĚ Smith told LGBTQ Nation on Saturday. ‚ÄúThey are out to destroy my daughter, because they feel like she ‚Äėmade‚Äô their daughter gay.‚ÄĚ
Following the arrest, the Indian River School Board expelled Hunt based on the criminal charges, according to Smith, but said she would be able to participate in graduation and senior class events. She is completing her senior year at an alternative school, and has been ordered not to have contact with her former girlfriend.
Hunt faces the possibility of a 15-year prison sentence, but has been offered a plea deal by state attorney Brian Workman, according to Smith.
Under the terms of the plea deal, Hunt would be sentenced to two years house arrest, and allowed to attend school or work only during that time, one year of probation and attend sex offender counseling. It would be at a judge‚Äôs discretion whether Hunt would be required to register as a sex offender.
‚ÄúWe have until next Friday to either agree with an outrageous plea offer, or start trial,‚ÄĚ said Smith.
If Hunt rejects the deal, she would face a jury trial in the predominantly conservative Indian River County, and if convicted, would face up to 15 years in prison and be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of her life.
Under Florida‚Äôs ‚ÄúRomeo and Juliet‚ÄĚ Law, an ‚Äúoffender‚ÄĚ can petition the court to remove the requirement to register as a sex offender if the ‚Äúvictim in the case‚ÄĚ is between 14 and 17 years old, ‚Äúa willing participant in the sexual activity and no more than four years younger than the offender,‚ÄĚ but historically the law has only been applied in cases between heterosexuals.
A petition at Change.org is calling on the state‚Äôs attorney‚Äôs office to drop the charges against Hunt.
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