CBS: Kaitlyn Hunt in an undated personal photo / Facebook
Associated Press Release
VERO BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- A teen accused of having sex with her underage girlfriend is back in jail after prosecutors withdrew a plea deal.
Authorities say 19-year-old Kaitlyn Hunt was booked into the Indian River County Jail Monday night. She remained in jail Tuesday morning, charged with two counts of lewd and lascivious battery on a child.
The state attorney's office pulled its plea offer Monday following allegations Hunt violated her pretrial conditions and contacted the girl identified as the victim in the case. She's scheduled for a hearing Tuesday afternoon.
Indian River County Sheriff's Sgt. Thomas Raulen told Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers (http://bit.ly/19EdMjr ) the bond company that posted Hunt's bail brought her to jail.
Authorities say Hunt had sex with her then-14-year-old girlfriend last year. Hunt argues the sex was consensual.
Information from: The Stuart (Fla.) News, http://www.tcpalm.com
Associated Press Release
VERO BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Prosecutors have offered a plea deal to a Florida teen accused of having sex with her underage girlfriend.
The deal would spare 19-year-old Kaitlyn Hunt jail time and registration as a sex offender but adds a felony count to her charges.
Authorities say Hunt was 18 when she had sex with her then-14-year-old girlfriend. The two met at Sebastian River High School in 2012.
Prosecutors want Hunt to plead no contest to two counts of battery and one felony count of interference with child custody. Hunt would be subject to a curfew, have to perform 150 hours of community service and serve probation.
Hunt has argued the sex was consensual, but Florida law considers it a felony offense to have sex with a person under the age of 16.
Hunt's defense attorney hasn't commented publicly on the offer.
CBS Web Copy
(CBS) SEBASTIAN, Fla. - A Florida state attorney says the charges against Kaitlyn Hunt, an 18-year-old high school student who engaged in a same-sex relationship with a 15-year-old classmate, will not be dropped, despite petitions from the public, CBS affiliate WTSP reports.
Hunt has been expelled from Sebastian River High School in Sebastian, Fla. and is charged with two counts of lewd and lascivious battery of a child 12 to 16 years of age as a result of the relationship.
The case began in February after the younger girl's parents notified authorities when Hunt turned 18. Since then, the story has garnered national attention for what some say is a gay rights issue.
Kelly Hunt Smith, Kaitlyn's mother, created a Facebook page to gain support for her daughter in an effort to get the charges dropped, the station says. The page, entitled "Free Kate," had over 30,000 members as of early Tuesday.
Smith posted on the page that the girlfriend's parents "conspired with police to entrap Katilyn" because they disapproved of the relationship.
A similar petition on Change.org was set up by Kaitlyn's father, Steven Hunt, and has more than 56,500 supporters calling for prosecutors to drop the charges.
Steven Hunt claims his daughter's relationship with the 15-year-old girl was consensual and that the girlfriend's parents went to police because they blamed Katilyn for their child's homosexuality, WTSP reports.
The Indian River County Sheriff's Office held a press conference Monday in response to the public's uproar.
"If this was an 18-year-old male and that was a 14-year-old girl, it would have been prosecuted the same way," Indian River County Sheriff Deryl Loar said.
According to the station, Florida's law says any person who engages in sexual activity with a minor between the ages of 12 and 16 commits the crime of lewd and lascivious battery.
"The idea is to protect people in that vulnerable group from people who are older, 18 and above," Bruce Colton, state attorney for Florida's 19th circuit, said, according to the station. "...The statute specifically says that consent is not a defense."
Colton said prosecutors will not drop the charges based on the public petition. He said this case exemplifies the purpose of the current law and added he would not support any effort to make consensual relationships among peers legal, the station reports.
"There's a big maturity difference between them," he said. "You're talking the difference between a senior in high school and a freshman in high school. That's what the law is designed to protect."
The second-degree felony charges are reportedly punishable by up to 15 years in prison and could require the individual to register as a sex offender. Colton told WTSP Hunt has until Friday to accept a plea agreement that would subject her to two years of house arrest followed by a year of probation.
According to an arrest affidavit obtained by WTSP, Kaitlyn and her girlfriend began dating in November 2012. The victim reportedly told police they began a sexual relationship and according to the report, the victim was 14 and Kaitlyn was 18.
As part of the investigation, Indian River county detectives reportedly a recorded phone call between the two high school students to develop grounds for an arrest. In the call, Kaitlyn told the girl she loved her, the station reports.
Associated Press Release
By KELLI KENNEDY
MIAMI (AP) -- Gay rights advocates are rallying around an 18-year-old central Florida girl who was expelled from school and charged with having sexual contact with her 14-year-old girlfriend.
Kaitlyn Hunt was charged with two felony counts of lewd and lascivious battery on a child 12 to 16 in February. Prosecutors have offered a plea deal that includes two years of house arrest and a year of probation.
The Hunts say that the relationship was consensual and that their daughter is being discriminated against because she's gay.
But State Attorney Bruce Colton says the arrest has nothing to do with Kaitlyn's sexual preference. He says the law is designed to protect younger children from people who are older and can be more aggressive in forming a relationship.