Florida Girl Faces Felony for Dating Female Classmate
Kaitlyn Hunt’s parents knew their 18-year-old daughter was dating a 15-year-old girl whom she met through classes and varsity sports at the Florida high school the two attended. But when the younger girl’s parents learned about the relationship, they had Kaitlyn arrested on two counts of felony lewd and lascivious battery on a child ages 12 to 16. Kaitlyn must now choose whether to go to trial — if found guilty, she’d have to register as a sex offender and could serve up to 15 years in prison — or accept a plea deal of two years’ house arrest and one year of probation. The Hunts hope growing publicity will pressure the state to drop her case and focus on protecting and educating teenagers instead of prosecuting them for falling in consensual love.
Steven Hunt told Jezebel in a phone interview that his daughter Kaitlyn, whom friends and family call “Kate,” grew close with her 15-year-old former girlfriend through classes and the varsity basketball team the two played on at Sebastian River High School in Sebastian, Fla; the younger girl was a freshman student enrolled in International Baccalaureate courses with upperclassmen, so they were peers in the same social circle. Kate’s mother, Kelley Hunt Smith, wrote on Facebook that the two girls hung out with the family at their home and before basketball games. Since Kelley had seen the girl’s father at sporting events, she assumed her family knew about and accepted the relationship. Kate had always dated boys, but when she told her mother she was dating a girl, Kelley “didn’t want to make it a big deal,” she wrote. “I talked to her about it, and figured it was just a social thing, times have changed and a lot of kids are experimenting, so I didn’t make much of it.”