This story worries me for the simple fact of the double standard it represents. Had this 18 yr old girl been a BOY in a ‘consensual’ relationship with a 14 yr old girl, he would definitely have faced similar charges. Same thing if this girl had been involved in a ‘consensual’ relationship with a 14 yr old boy. Simply put, when this kinda thing happens in a heterosexual relationship, statutory rape charges are brought on faster than you can blink.
Why should the law be twisted around to accommodate this girl simply because it was a gay relationship? Is it that gay people mature a lot faster than heterosexuals so the 14 yr old in this case is mature enough to have ‘decided’ to be in such a relationship?
Surely the 18 yr old should have known better than to be putting her hands on a minor, regardless of sexual orientation. Better still, the adults who have risen so strongly in her defense should have cautioned their daughter about the possibility of getting into trouble and urged her to be with someone her age.
What really is going on here?
If she accepted the deal, Kaitlyn Hunt would have had to plead guilty child abuse. The Sebastian, Fla., student’s first court hearing is scheduled for June 20.
BY CAROL KURUVILLA / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
The deal would have forced Kaitlyn Hunt to plead guilty to child abuse even though the relationship was consensual, her family claims. The Sebastian, Fla. high school senior would have spent two years under house arrest and one more year on probation, WPTV reports.
If the two parties can’t reach a plea deal, Hunt’s fate will be decided in court and her 15-year-old partner would have to take the witness stand. The first hearing is scheduled for June 20. If convicted, Hunt could be behind bars for 15 years.
The severity of that punishment has rocketed the case into the public eye. Hunt’s family launched an online campaign defending their daughter and claiming that the charges were brought up because she is a lesbian.
“This is a situation of two teenagers who happen to be of the same sex involved in a relationship. If this case involved a boy and girl, there would be no media attention to this case,” Hunt’s attorney Julia Graves said in a statement.
Hunt has a number of supporters on her side, from the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida to the hacktivist group Anonymous. A Change.org petition in support of the teen has gathered more than 280,000 signatures. Her family set up a “Free Kate” Facebook group, which has more than 50,000 members.
Jim and Laurie Smith, the parents of Hunt’s partner, have been threatened and harassed for deciding to press charges, CBS12 reports. But the Smiths say that the case has nothing to do with Hunt’s sexual orientation and everything to do with her age.
“They’ve made me seem as if I’m a monster,” Laurie Smith told CBS12. “It had nothing to do with the sex. It’s the age and maturity level of my daughter.”
The couple started dating a year ago, when the Smith’s daughter was 14. The legal of age consent in Florida is sixteen.
The Smiths allegedly warned Hunt twice to stay away from their daughter. But the relationship continued. At one point, the younger girl started to act out.
Then, she ran away.
The Smiths walked into their daughter’s bedroom one morning and discovered that she was missing. They panicked, fearing that she had been abducted. When they later learned that Hunt had picked their daughter up, it was the last straw.
Jim Smith felt that Hunt had taken away their daughter’s “innocence.”
“We had no other alternative but to turn to the law, use it basically as a last resort,” Jim told CBS 12.
The Smiths now say they are not afraid take the case to trial.
“I love my daughter and I’m willing to do whatever to protect her,” Laurie said.
State Attorney Bruce Colton said that the plea deal offered in this case was “extremely lenient.”
It “would have ensured that the defendant avoided any term of incarceration and the stigma of being labeled a sex offender,” Colton said in a statement.
Hunt has been expelled from Sebastian River High School, where she and her partner had played together on the basketball team.
A felony conviction would follow Hunt for the rest of her life. She would have to disclose it on job applications. She might also have difficulty applying for student loans, adopting a child or securing a childcare license, CNN reports. Her dream of one day becoming a nurse would be ruined.
“High school relationships may be fleeting,” the Hunt’s lawyer said, “but felony convictions are forever.”