« Czech President Milos Zeman in gay-rights dispute | Main | Sally Ride to get posthumous Medal of Freedom »

Lesbian, 18, faces 15 years in prison for having sex with 14-year-old high school basketball teammate

BY STEVE ROTHAUS, srothaus@MiamiHerald.com

More than 105,000 supporters since Friday have signed an Internet petition demanding felony sex charges be dropped against an 18-year-old lesbian who dated a 14-year-old high-school basketball teammate.

Kaitlyn Hunt of Indian River County is charged with two felony counts of lewd and lascivious battery on a child 12 to 16 years old. If convicted, she would be sentenced from probation to 15 years in prison and registered as a sex offender.

Hunt turned 18 on Aug. 14, 2012. She and a 14-year-old classmate, known as C.S., began dating in November. They first had consensual sex just before Christmas in a bathroom at Sebastian River High School. The relationship continued through February, according to an arrest affidavit.

“It’s outrageous that a law intended to stop adults from preying on children is being used to destroy a high school senior’s life,” said Nadine Smith, executive director of Equality Florida, the state’s largest gay-rights group. “These are schoolmates, teammates. I suppose every school in Florida should start letting high school seniors know they can face 15 years in prison if they turn 18 before the school year is up.”

Indian River sheriff’s deputies showed up at Hunt’s home on Feb. 16, according to her mother.

“My husband answered the door and they asked for my daughter. She wasn’t home at the time,” Kelley Hunt Smith told The Miami Herald on Monday. “They refused to tell my husband anything. They said it was no big deal, it was just something that happened in school.”

Smith said that when her daughter arrived home, deputies handcuffed and arrested her.

“I flipped out, my husband flipped out, my other daughter was crying hysterically,” she said. “I can’t wrap my head around how they could prosecute an 18-year-old for a felony that carries 15 years in prison. She’s scared to death and trusting her parents. We’ve done everything we can to protect her. We’re doing our best.”

At the sheriff’s office, deputies read Hunt her Miranda rights and she told them about her relationship with C.S. “Your affiant asked Kaitlyn if she knew it was wrong to have sex with C.S. due to C.S. being 14 years old. Kaitlyn stated that she did not think about it because C.S. acted older,” detective Jeremy Shepherd wrote in his report.

Hunt's friends and family set up a Facebook page, called "Free Kate."

“When the girls' basketball coach found out that two of her players were dating, she kicked Kaitlyn off the team and informed her girlfriend's parents that their daughter was in a same-sex relationship," the page reads. "The parents then conspired with police to entrap Kaitlyn and press charges."

According to the group, which now has more than 25,000 members, the Indian River County School Board expelled Hunt from Sebastian River and transferred her to an alternative school.

On Friday, Hunt’s friends began an online petition at Change.org, “Stop the prosecution of an 18 year old girl in a same-sex relationship.”

Within 24 hours, the nonpartisan campaign website collected 57,414 from all over the world, said Jon Perri, Change.org’s deputy campaign director.

“It’s definitely one of the fastest. Most petitions don’t get this sort of attention so quickly,” Perri said. “I don’t like to use the word viral, but this is viral. It’s being shared on Facebook, the media and Twitter. That’s what’s driving traffic.”

In Florida, the legal age of sexual consent is 18. In 2007, the state adopted a “Romeo and Juliet” law that would keep 18 year olds from being registered as sex offenders if they had consensual sex with classmates age 15 or older.

Hunt doesn’t qualify because her girlfriend was 14 at the time they had sex, Indian River State Attorney Bruce Colton said Monday.

C.S. turned 15 in April, according to Hunt’s mother.

“She looks a lot older and she’s bigger than my daughter,” Smith said. “She’s in school and goes to classes with upperclassmen.”

A month ago Colton’s office offered Hunt a plea deal, which she must accept by Friday.

Hunt would plead guilty to third-degree child abuse, face up to five years in prison and not have to register as a sex offender, Colton said.

“The plea offer is that we, the state, would recommend two years of community control, plus one year of probation,” he said, adding that his office “would stand silent” whether Hunt is adjudicated guilty.

Many Change.org signers say Hunt is being treated unfairly because she is a lesbian.

“Being gay and in a same-sex relationship, I find this ridiculous and appalling,” wrote Nathan Johnstone of Melbourne, Fla. “I highly doubt this would be happening in if it were a ’traditional’ relationship.”

Untrue, Colton said.

“People are saying it’s being singled out because it’s a gay relationship and that has nothing to do with it,” Colton said. “It has no bearing on whether it is two girls or two boys, or an older boy and a younger girl or an older girl and a younger boy. Whatever the combination, it doesn’t matter.”

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Having sex with a minor is and should always be a criminal offense! It makes NO DIFFERENCE if the sex is between hetersexuals or homosexuals.. YOU CA NOT ENGAGE IN SEX WITH MINORS. Gays want equal treatment under the law..well then here it is...You can not have sex with a MINOR!!

This started when they were both minors and appears technically to fall within the jurisdiction of the law. The law must act however I would hope she gets a caution and is let free to live her life as a valuable human being

IF IT WERE AN 18 YEAR OLD STRAIGHT BOY AND A 14 YEAR OLD STRAIGHT GIRL, I BET WE WOULD NOT BE HAVING THIS DISCUSSION.......THE LAW SAYS 16 IS OLD ENOUGH TO CONSENT.

If she were male, everyone would be screaming to throw the book at him. This girl should have known better than to get involved with a 14-year-old. The fact that it is a same-sex relationship is irrelevant. She should get whatever punishment an 18-year-old boy would get for the same thing. Just because she's a pretty girl doesn't mean she should get away with it.

Well, send her to general population, she can find love inside, a minor is a minor no matter what, under the constitution we are all equal, so, they want equality, there you go!!

There are two incidences one a male and the other a female. Both were in a heterosexual relationship. Their partners were 16 - 17 and they were 18. The are both in jail for having sex with a minor. Being a homosexual doesn't give you a free pass to have sex with a minor and in this case, the other girl was FOUR YEARS younger. This pedophile needs to pay for the crime and do the time. Homosexuals want to be treated like everyone else? I totally agree - go to jail. Do not pass go, do not collect $200!

In Western Australia a short while ago (possibly still, for all I know) the age of consent was 16 for heterosexual sex, 21 for homosexual sex between boys - and homosexual sex between girls was not even mentioned. Nuts.

14 is very young, too young. It's not clear whether this Hunt-girl knew that her gf was only 14 or whether she thought she was older (it says the gf attended classes above her age?). But regardless, this has been blown entirely out of proportion, methinks. Had the younger girl been raped, ok. But she wasn't.

Whatever happened to talking to kids and verbally smacking them on the hand for doing things that isn't wise?

once again your trying to excuse this behavior because one is a homosexual. the law is the law. this girl was four years younger. if this was a straight man involved
with a younger women, they would put him under the
jail. you preach equ8ality! practice what you preach!

lets see... i'm 18 y.o. and my partner NEVER told me her age. Never did I ever ask her how old she was... really. I want to be treated as an adult, except when it comes to breaking the law; i'm still a 18 y.o. child. she is full of baloney; so that means the 14y.o. gal gets away with entrapment. Send them both to jail... afterall, it is the Law and as parents; we teach our children to respect the Law right...
unless it has to do with our child, then we want a free pass... this time.
overall; this comes down to the age of consent, not gender preference as the activist as trying to lead us...

Kate's Mom gives an interesting account of her side of the story. They had sex ONE time only. Just once.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/FreeKate/doc/192326077586085/

The 18 year old , her family and everyone clamoring for her freedom are all of the same material ( crap ) degenerates and depraved minded. Hope the "law" is not intimidated by the liberals whose sole purpose in life is to degenerate America and the World. JUst wait and see what's in store for you liberal minded demons. Hell is where you belong so you can taste sulfur and brimstone.

Well, actually it ISN'T the same thing.

With an older boy, the girl MOST probably would have gotten coerced into sex. Plus, that sex very possibly would've gotten her pregnant.

With this older girl, the younger girl probably felt free to experiment in a way that was consensual, non-invasive and had no potential of getting her pregnant.

As a male, you have NO idea just what that difference means, so don't you preach to me, thank you!

The gay and lesbian community have been fighting for equal rights so this will be the perfect test case.

If an 18 yr old man has sex with his 14 yr old g/f, it's a crime. This case should be no different. Next case!

For those that are seeing this issue "black and white" and think that the day after this girl turned 18 she was supposed to stop liking her girlfriend, think back to when you were 14-15, and then 18 for part of a school year. It's not that simple, and it's not rape, or sexual harassment. This was consensual. If this were a heterosexual relationship it would still be ridiculous. We are talking about high school teens here. It was consensual. A 14 - 15 year old girl knows what she is doing when it comes to dating, and 3 - 4 years of age is not a huge difference. The issue here is that the parents knew about the relationship prior to the 18th birthday and deliberately waited until this girl turned 18 to ruin her life. Would they have done the same if it were a boy? Maybe, and we will never know. But it sure looks like they took it to an extreme because of the homosexual nature of the relationship. When I was that age I dated boys that were older than me by a few years, and I knew exactly what I was doing and I liked the older boys better because they were more mature. It would not have been fair for my parents to ruin an 18 year old boy's life because I started early. Same applies if my preference or experimentation or what have you, would've been with another girl. It is not fair to this girl to be labeled as a sexual predator! The parents of the younger girl are handling it badly, and everyone commenting that it's a case of the LGBT community trying to get special treatment should be thrown back to the Stone Age. Maybe that way we can finally get some progress with Human Rights issues in this state. And please, tell me that all of you folks that are totally simplifying this issue were virgins until you were at least 18 years old, or that you didn't date anyone in high school above or below your grade level. REALLY?

Gays want equality in the eyes of the law....well, here it is.

should it not count how old she was when it occurred not how old she is now?
this is crazy

That is ridiculous. My cousin was 16 when he started dating his wife, and his wife was 19. Now he is 35 and she is 38 and they are happily married.

I am a bail bondsman. It is very common for parents to call the police when the lover of their minor child turns 18. It is usually a very high bond., jailbait is jailbait, no matter what sex. A 14 year old is not mentally mature enough to make the decision to engage in sexual relations.

If this were a boy and it was a consensual relationship, I most certainly would not be screaming for them to "throw the book" at him. The law is corrupt. It punishes young people REPEATEDLY for having hormones and relationships. I had an older boyfriend when I was in High School. My mom didn't like him. I'm glad he didn't get arrested because of it. That wouldn't have been right. In fact, I bet most people had this situation at one point in their life or another. RIDICULOUS.

Wow, there's a lot of hate happening here. "JUst wait and see what's in store for you liberal minded demons. Hell is where you belong so you can taste sulfur and brimstone." Really?

There's an unfortunate disconnect involved, considering high schools bring together minors and students over 18 in the same environment, as peers. This is a lot of responsibility to place on high school students who are considered children in the eyes of education, but legal adults from the perspective of law enforcement... As Kate's uncle commented, Kate isn't a sexual predator, just a teenager who loves someone whose parents don't approve.

I don't deny that these girls were behaving foolishly, as so many teenagers do. To me, it's a sad fact of life that someone's future can be entirely derailed by a foolish mistake. But to deliberately wait until the girl turned 18 before pressing charges, as these parents apparently did, turned an adolescent mistake (which she didn't make alone) into a felony. It strikes me as vicious and excessive.

And that doesn't make me a demon or a degenerate, or mean that I should burn in hell.

Antwan Easterling: Miami Northwestern Senior High School former football player. People in the herald had a fit when it was found out that he had sex with a 14 year old in the locker room after a game. He to went through the judicial system. The LGBT community needs to get over it. They prosecute and send young males to prison all the time in Georgia for the same crime.

I keep hearing about "equality"
That means that the laws that apply to heterosexual relationships must apply to same sex relationships.
Should the law make an "exception" because the victim was the same sex as the perpetrator?

Kate should accept the plea deal.

Book her Danno! A crime was committed.

Sending a high school senior to prison for dating a high school freshmen is outrageous, regardless of whether the relationship is heterosexual or homosexual. Our politicians (on the left and right) can get away with anything, yet our justice system wants to spend its time on this BS?

If you can read, Kate was 18 in August or September. They started Dating in NOVEMBER. They knew each other before hand. Were not involved. Sex happened after Kate was 18 the victim was 14. Happened on school grounds, then in December at Kate's House. The younger girl didn't even turn 15 until April, ONE MONTH AGO. According to Florida Law a crime was comitted. If it was a Boy he would be brought up on charges. May be stupid because they all are in the same school. If it is good for one good for all. If your changing it for one then change it for all.

14 is 14. 18 is 18 and knows better. Hiding behind your sexual preference is NO EXCUSE

I think once I had a sexual experience with a 16 year old in college. I didn't feel like it was illegal but to put somebody in jail for just fondling and no penetration seems stupid. Obviously they couldn't penetrate. Is hugging going to have an age restriction next?

The Florida law.
No one under twelve can consent to any sexual relationship. (Sexual Battery)
Twelve years old to less than sixteen years old cannot consent to sexual relationship to someone above sixteen. IF the victim is, a willing participant is classified as a lewd and lascivious battery. If forced or coerced is Sexual Battery.
If the child is sixteen or seventeen years old, the child is able to consent to someone who is under twenty-four years old.
Race sex or sexual preferences are never taken into consideration.

I was madly in love with my high school sweetheart. She was a lovely girl but was a sophmore, I was a senior. She was a cheerleader at our school. We never had sex but wish we would have. Even though we were very close I never dreamed I would go to jail for doing so. This 18 year old didn't penetrate her so how can they prosecute her?

This law needs to be changed. Putting high school seniors in prison and making them register as a sex offender for life all because they dated an underclassman? That's outrageous! This country is going overboard with this crap.

Also notice how these laws are only enforced when the female is the victim? If this was a case between an 18 year old woman and a 15 year old boy, all the men in here would be saying, "lucky guy." That right there shows you why this law needs to go to the trash bin.

The older one needs to spend some time in jail and counseling to turn her away from this perverted behavior while still at a young enough age to prevent her from entering the destructive lifestyle she appears headed for. The jail time is necessary for her attempts to recruit an innocent young child into this perverted lifestyle.

Ed Jenkins. The 1950's called. They want you back you a**hole.

I THINK FEMALE ALWAYS HAS LITTLE BLAME IN SEX BEHAVIOR

Just because their was no penetration she should not go to jail you say, your stupid because a guy does not have to penetrate to go to jail all he has to do is touch her private parts just like this sick 18 year old girl did.... Plane and simple if your gonna be stupid you better be tough.

send her to jail fast.A minor is still a minor no matter what.This woman is guilty of corruption of a minor.Send her to lockup

Gotta love all the hate and lack of common sense in these comments. Teenagers date. This relationship was consensual. Uperclass teens frequently date underclass teens in high school.
This is not a good use of taxpayer dollars nor the criminal justice system.

and charge the mother of a 18 year old girl for not reporting the crime,and perhaps some of the other adults.

this is sooo stupid , this is the reason why i left shitty florida

Unbelievable. My 15 year old daughter was secretly dating/having sex with a 25 year old man. I contacted the Eustis police to press charges. They didn't do a damn thing...I contacted the state attorney, he didn't do a damn thing. What is different - this is not heterosexual. Move on people. Your pathetic.

gay or straight it is illegal gay rights activist would do a disservice to their cause to endorse this case. Adults gay or straight should be treated the same when it comes to sex crimes were it a younger girl and older boy or older woman and young boy the community would be appalled this is no different

Its the law. Equal for all, heterosexual or gay. She should know better. Enough with that BS that its because she is gay. You all want equal rights, well that comes with equal laws. Its called Pedofilia.

It is one thing for romances to start young, even among those below the age of consent. But an 18 year old trying to corrupt an innocent 14 year old by engaging in these perverted acts is intolerable. The 18 year old needs to go to jail for what she did to the innocent 14 year old and rehabilitation to turn her away from the perverted lifestyle. This is a good step and the next step should be going back to enforcing our sodomy laws that have been ignored for so long. It is also a reason to discontinue these female contact sports as they are sources for generating this behavior.

You gays want equal treatment under the law. That's what you get. well then here it is...It does not matter straight or gay you can not engage or have sex with a MINOR!

@Steve Rothaus' What is your opinion?

So they change public high schools to now include freshman, yet the public thinks that freshmen and seniors aren't going to date? I think it's ridiculous from a heterosexual standpoint and a homosexual standpoint. It's just flat out ridiculous. If we were talking about a college senior who would be 22/23 dating a 14 year old and having sexual relations, that's a different story, but a high school senior and a high school freshman? That's just freaking nuts and the law should be changed.


CFD, you're my hero. You said exactly what I was thinking.

If it was an 18 year old man messing around with a 14 year old boy, it would be so different. Very different. Laws are made for everyone to follow, no matter gender or race. But the system will always crack. Shame on those who support this girl.

She was 17, not 18.

17

Seventeen.

Senior and freshman. Happened all the time when I was in high school.

An example should be set by giving the lesbian 15 years behind bars. She destroyed the 14 yr old probably for life.

The comments to this entry are closed.