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Attorney: Florida judge in sex trial involving teenage lesbians should step down

ASSOCIATED PRESS

VERO BEACH, Fla. -- The attorney for a young Florida woman who was charged with a felony for having sexual contact with her 14-year-old girlfriend has filed a motion asking the judge to remove himself from the case.

Circuit Judge Robert Pegg chose September as a trial date for 18-year-old Kaitlyn Hunt, who was charged with lewd and lascivious battery on a child 12 to 16 in February.

In a motion filed Monday, Hunt's attorney, Julia Graves, said she was never notified of the trial date and alleged that Pegg moved the case ahead of 200 other pending criminal cases because he is biased against Hunt, who is gay. A similar case Pegg handled involving a male defendant and female victim took 19 months to conclude, Graves said in her motion.

The judge did not immediately respond to a telephone message Tuesday seeking comment.

Hunt's story received international media attention and prompted gay rights advocates to say she is being unfairly targeted for what would be considered a common romance if she was not gay. They have argued that older high schoolers dating their younger counterparts is an innocuous, everyday occurrence that is not prosecuted - regardless of sexual orientation - and not a crime on par with predatory sex offenses.

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