By now, most have heard the news that Kaitlyn Hunt, an 18-year-old high school senior from Indian River County, Florida, is facing felony charges for engaging in a consensual sexual relationship with another girl at her school. If not, here is a summary: Kaitlyn met her 15-year-old girl friend at the beginning of the school year, when she was still 17. They began dating in September, shortly after she turned 18, and was arrested a few months later and charged with two counts of sexual battery on a person 12-16 years old, according to Gawker.com. She was also kicked off the school basketball team in order to avoid the “drama” associated with her ordeal, and then expelled from school. She is now being offered a plea deal that will allow her to avoid a trial if she admits to the felony, and accepts two years under house arrest and registration as sex offender. Her decision is due this Friday.
Florida’s age of consent is 18, but exemptions exist for people who are close in age. For example, someone who is 23 or younger can engage in sexual activity with a minor who is 16 or older. Unfortunately for Ms. Hunt, this exemption does not apply since her partner was younger than 16. Yet this is probably not the reason she is being punished. Why would the police ever know about a consensual relationship between two high school students? Rather, she was only arrested after her girlfriend’s mother complained to the police (they never even attempted to contact her parents first). Most likely, she is being punished for “corrupting” a minor and “teaching” her to be a lesbian, not for breaking the spirit of the law. After all, if a 23-year-old man can legally have sex with a 16-year-old girl (with an age difference of 7 years), why shouldn’t an 18-year-old be able to have sex with a 14-year-old (with an age difference of only 4 years)? Furthermore, her basketball coach said that it is common at her school for 18-year-old boys to date freshmen girls. Why aren’t any of them being prosecuted?
Ms. Hunt’s mother believes the charges stem from homophobia by the girlfriend’s parents. She was quoted by Gawker.com saying:
“They are out to destroy my daughter, because they feel like she ‘made’ their daughter gay. They see being gay as wrong and they blame my daughter. Of course, I see it 100% differently. I don’t see or label these girls as gay. They are teenagers in high school experimenting with their sexuality – with mutual consent. And even if their daughter is gay, who cares? She is still their daughter.”
There is some evidence to support this claim. The girlfriend’s parents’ demanded that the school district expel her, but refused. A judge, likewise, refused to grant their request. It was only after they appealed to the school board that she was finally expelled.
There is a Change.org petition to stop the prosecution of Ms. Hunt. Click here for details.
The global hacker collective, Anonymous, is also rallying behind Ms. Hunt, according to Mother Jones. On Saturday, they launched the twitter hashtag #OPJustice4Kaitlyn, and a press release that begins: "Greetings, Bigots."
"The truth is, Kaitlyn Hunt is a bright young girl who was involved in a consensual, same-sex relationship while both she and her partner were minors," reads the release. "She has a big future ahead of her and there are people, thousands of people in fact, that have no intention of allowing you to ruin it with your rotten selective enforcement."
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.ReplyDelete
You can read the police affidavit here xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx You're okay with statutory rape, conducted on school grounds, and you're a public school teacher? You shouldn't be anywhere near children.Delete
The above comment was posted in response to my article on Kaitlyn Hunt. I x'd out the url because I do not want to promote this invasion of Kaitlyn's privacy. I do not see how the police report helps the Anon's idiotic point.
Where in my post did I say I supported rape at all, let alone on school grounds?ReplyDelete
I was only pointing out the obvious and clearly outrageous hypocrisy of threatening an 18 year old girl with prison and a potential future of homelessness and unemployment (common consequences of being on the federal perve list) for merely doing what teens all across the country routinely do (and should be allowed to do): have sex with each other.
Just because she violated Florida's age of consent law doesn't make her a rapist, criminal or in any other way a bad person. Age of consent laws are supposed to protect children from adult predators who, by virtue of their experience and access to luxuries like cars, alcohol and their own apartments, are often able to take advantage of naive and inexperienced kids. Florida's version of the law, with its exemptions for adults aged 23 to legally have sex with 16-year-olds hardly seems to serve this purpose. Yet Kaitlyn was only barely legally an adult at age 18, was still living at home, and was having a consensual relationship with someone who went to her school and who was on her basketball team--not a whole lot different than the 18-yr-old jocks messing around with 14- and 15-year old cheerleaders (except for the gay part).
And yes, I am a teacher who is perfectly okay with teens having sex, even gay sex, if it is consensual and done safely. Fact is, you cannot stop it even if you wanted to. Ruining one girls life because of your own prejudices is not going to make the world any safer or better.