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Going To Court: Kate Hunt, 18-Year Old Charged In Underage Same-Sex Relationship, Refuses Plea Deal

by David Badash on May 24, 2013

in Civil Rights,Discrimination,News,Politics

Post image for Going To Court: Kate Hunt, 18-Year Old Charged In Underage Same-Sex Relationship, Refuses Plea Deal

Kaitlyn Hunt, or “Kate,” has just refused a plea deal in a case that has focused the nation on discriminatory prosecutions and ways in which LGBT people are treated differently by some prosecutors. Kate Hunt, a high school senior who began a consensual relationship with a classmate three years her junior, when she was 17, was arrested when she turned 18 after her girlfriend’s parents demanded her arrest and expulsion from school.

The Florida prosecutor, Brian Workman, offered her a deal vastly different from those generally offered to teens in her situation engaged in opposite-sex consensual relationships. Instead of offering her a misdemeanor charge Hunt is being charged with two felonies. Her plea deal would include her being forced to register as a sex offender for the rest of her life, no possibility of her case being overturned or records sealed, and forced to serve two years’ house arrest.

“Hunt will appear in court June 20, and could face 15 years in prison if convicted,” the Huffington Post reports:

In a statement obtained by The Huffington Post, Hunt’s attorney, Julia Graves, wrote, “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. … If this incident occurred 108 days earlier when she was 17, we wouldn’t even be here.”

Hunt faced two felony counts of “lewd and lascivious battery on a child 12 to 16″ after the parents of her girlfriend pressed charges earlier this year. The Hunt family said this week that a plea deal would only be acceptable if the charges were reduced to a misdemeanor, according to CBS.

“There are colleges that will not let felons do certain things, or child abuse charges, where you can’t supervise field trips or your own children later, you can’t participate in things,” Graves said in a news conference Wednesday. “These are things that will certainly affect her future if she takes this current plea offer.”

On Tuesday the ACLU of Florida issued a statement condemning the state’s prosecution of Hunt “for engaging in behavior that is both fairly innocuous and extremely common.”

“This is a life sentence for behavior by teenagers that is all too common, whether they are male or female, gay or straight. High-school relationships may be fleeting, but felony convictions are not,” the ACLU statement read.

Julia Graves, Kate Hunt’s attorney, in her statement also noted:

Right now this is the biggest thing in her life.  We are going to stand behind her.  Her family and friends are going to stand behind her.

This is not logical.  The State is willing to take this teenager’s life away over 108 days.
Along with Kaitlyn and her family, we are going to fight to have the law changed so no other teenager finds themselves in this same position created by the State of Florida and prosecuted unfairly.

There’s a Change.org petition that has been signed by over 270,000 people, a Free Kate Facebook page, and a GoFundMe fundraising page.

 

 

Related: 

18-Year-Old High School Senior Charged With Sexual Battery For Her Same-Sex Relationship With A 15-Year-Old Freshman

Watch: 18 Year Old Kate, Dated High School Freshman Female, Faces Felon, Sex Offender Status

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{ 14 comments }

Woodstock1947 May 24, 2013 at 10:27 pm

I am overjoyed and relieved that she and her family turned down the draconian plea offer. Accepting it would have been agreeing with the state that she was a criminal.
Despite what some argue, there is no doubt that her persecution occured because it was a same-sex relationship. It would have been like 50 years ago if a black male teenager had been dating a white female. Same hate and prejudice. Anyone remember the wonderful Janis Ian song Society's Child?
I joined the FreeKate Facebook page as soon as I found out about the case. Whatever one may think of teenage sex making a young woman into a convicted felon goes far beyond the bounds of human decency. Legal lynching. They wanted to do everything but kill her and dump her body in the river, like Emmet Till. Instead they decided to kill her spirit.
And lets not forget the other girl. She deserves our sympathy and support too, for what her parents have done to her.

stupart74 May 25, 2013 at 9:18 am

If Kate Hunt was 15 and an older man or woman had targeted her for a sexual relationship would that be right? If you had an underaged child that was targeted by an older person, would that be right? Equal rights also means equal justice. If homosexuals want equal rights under the law then everything else has to be equal. Why is it when a homosexual individual has to face responsibilities for their actions, they cry prejudice. I guess they can rape, kill and steal also.

tgflux May 27, 2013 at 4:16 am

Oh, quit positing BS false equivalencies. The only relevant thing here, is that if Kate were "Nate", this probably wouldn't be prosecuted AT ALL, much less as a felony!

stupart74 May 27, 2013 at 5:19 am

I don't know under which rock you live but I have heard of a few "Nates". The only difference is that it wasn't blasted in the media. I advise you to do 2 things. Go read the transcript and find the cbs 12 interview of the victim's parents.

osckar30 May 25, 2013 at 6:30 am

Why did the parents of the younger girl wait until Kate was 18. Why did they not do something about it earlier? It just shows their narrow mindedness.

stupart74 May 27, 2013 at 5:26 am

If you find the transcript of the case you will realize the lies told. Kate was 18 when it happened not 17. The victim was 14. The girl's parents asked Kate to stop seeing their daughter twice (a right of any parent). However she did not heed their request. That is when they went to the law.

Lasteka June 13, 2013 at 11:19 pm

Don't believe all the lies her parents are spreading. Kate's birthday is in August, so she was 18 all school year, and well before the relationship started. Also, the other parents don't care whether they are gay or not at all, it's just another lie invented by the Hunts.

givesgoodemail May 25, 2013 at 6:50 pm

<div id="idc-comment-msg-div-650071968" class="idc-message"><a class="idc-close" title="Click to Close Message" href="javascript: IDC.ui.close_message(650071968)"><span>Close Message</span> Comment posted. <p class="idc-nomargin"><a class="idc-share-facebook" target="_new" href="http://www.facebook.com/sharer.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fthenewcivilrightsmovement.com%2Fgoing-to-court-kate-hunt-18-year-old-charged-in-underage-same-sex-relationship-refuses-plea-deal%2Fpolitics%2F2013%2F05%2F24%2F67468#IDComment650071968&t=I%20just%20commented%20on%20Going%20To%20Court%3A%20Kate%20Hunt%2C%2018-Year%20Old%20Charged%20In%20Underage%20Same-Sex%20Relationship%2C%20Refuses%20Plea%20Deal%20%7C%20The%20New%20Civil%20Rights%20Movement&quot; style="text-decoration: none;"><span class="idc-share-inner"><span>Share on Facebook</span></span> or <a href="javascript: IDC.ui.close_message(650071968)">Close MessageI don't think this situation has anything to do, legally, with Ms. Hunt's orientation. If she had been Kevin Hunt and as a 17-year-old had started a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old, he would just as guilty of violating state law.
This isn't about homophobia (regardless of the victim's parents' attitude). This is about having sex with a legally-defined child.
If we're going to treat all citizens (regardless of gender or orientation) equally, then we treat them all equally. We don't give special considerations based on irrelevancies.

givesgoodemail May 25, 2013 at 6:54 pm

Oh, and the headline for this story is inflammatory and inaccurate. Ms. Hunt is being prosecuted for having a sexual relationship with a legally-defined child. Her orientation has nothing to do with it.

tgflux May 27, 2013 at 4:20 am

Kate was a "legally-defined child" herself when the relationship began! They were both on the same basketball team, for goodness sake. Same age-cohort. This isn't "starting a sexual relationship" (much less being a sexual predator). It's two teenagers experimenting. As teenagers have done from TIME IMMEMORIAL. There isn't a crime here!

stupart74 May 27, 2013 at 5:27 am

She was 18 not 17 as told in the media.

Woodstock1947 May 25, 2013 at 9:19 pm

Nobody ""targetted" anyone. Kate was 17 and the other girl 14 when they got involved, both teenagers. They waited until Kate was 18 and the other girl 15 before taking action. In other words, both teenagers.
No! If it had been a boy and girl of the same ages, that would not have justified bringing felony charges either. I do agree that our age of consent laws need some adjustment to face reality.
This type of thing has been turning up on the Free Kate Facebook page and kept its admins busy kicking them out. Anyone thinking of going there to do anything but support Kate-Don't, you'll be booted.
We're talking about teenagers here, for Goddess sake! Not some psychopathic predatory adult.
Another thing, there's a lot of teen pregnancies. But don't see the jails full of the guys who impregnated them. And cannot believe none of them are 18+.

stupart74 May 27, 2013 at 5:30 am

The transcript of the case states this happened in November 2012. Kate's birthday was stated as 8/1994. Victim was 14.

Lasteka June 13, 2013 at 11:18 pm

Wow, David Badash – are you getting paid to publish lies about her case or something? Research your facts please before you post an article … she was 18, and helped a 14 year old child sneak out of her house during night to have sex with her IN HER PARENTS HOME. Where were her parents looking then?

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