Teen’s Arrest Sparks Debate Over Age of Consent & Same-Sex Relationships
June 18, 2013
Eighteen-year-old Kaitlyn Hunt was enjoying her senior year at Sebastian River High School in Indian River County, Florida. She had been voted the student with the “Most School Spirit.” She was also getting ready for college and happily dating an underclassman. And then on February 16, she was dragged out of her house in handcuffs.
Kaitlyn and her 15-year-old girlfriend were both members of the varsity basketball team, but after their coach found out about their relationship, the coach kicked Kaitlyn off the team. According to a Facebook group established to support Kaitlyn, the coach told Kaitlyn’s girlfriend’s parents about the girls’ relationship, and the parents were not happy about it.
Kaitlyn’s parents allege that her girlfriends’ parents went to the police once Kaitlyn turned 18. The police then recorded a conversation between the girls, talking about their relationship. Kaitlyn was then arrested and charged with lewd and lascivious battery on a child. The state attorney offered Kaitlyn a plea deal that would mean she would spend two years under house arrest and be forced to register as a sex offender. Last week Kaitlyn refused the plea. Now, if convicted, she could possibly spend 15 years in jail.
I can’t help but wonder how this story would be playing out if Kaitlyn was in a heterosexual relationship instead. Would her partner’s parents be OK with it then? Or would they still consider it to be “lewd and lascivious battery” for dating a minor? Kaitlyn’s girlfriend’s parents, acting out of hatred and homophobia, have gone too far. I blame them and the school, which Kaitlyn was expelled from, for putting Kaitlyn, her family and her girlfriend through this ordeal. People in same-sex relationships will continue to be treated unfairly unless we act now. If you want to help Kaitlyn, sign this petition and share her story.