In May, we told you about Katelyn Hunt, the 18-year-old Florida teenager who was arrested and expelled from her high school for having a same-sex relationship with a 14-year-old at her school.
Although Hunt and her girlfriend had a consensual relationship, the younger girl’s parents did not approve of their daughter dating a girl. Since Hunt was 18, and technically dating a minor, the young girls parents decided to press charge against her. Hunt was charged with two misdemeanor counts of lewd and lascivious battery of a child 12-16 years old, and one felony count of interfering with child custody. Many were enraged by the charges, calling them an abuse of legislation that is designed to protect children from sexual predators. After all, 18-year-old high school seniors from all across the country often date younger classmates.
After several months of inactivity, there’s an update on Hunt’s case today.
On Wednesday, Hunt’s 19th birthday, she was offered a plea deal from prosecutors. If Hunt pleads no contest to the three charges, she will not face jail time or be forced to register as a sex offender. Under the terms of the deal, Hunt would be placed on probation, have an 11 pm curfew for two years, and have to perform community service. She must also agree never to contact the 14-year-old girl again.
Hunt has not decided on whether or not she will accept the deal, since doing so would admit wrongdoing on her behalf. The state attorney presiding over the case is encouraging Hunt to take the deal, saying it addresses both her concerns and the concerns of the younger girl’s family.
Hunt’s family and their legal team continue to dispute the charges.
“If this case involved a boy and girl, there would be no media attention to this case," her attorney Julia Graves said in a statement.”... If this incident occurred 108 days earlier when (Hunt) was 17, we wouldn't even be here."
In May, Hunt’s mother, Kelley Hunt Smith, said the reasons for the charges stem from same-sex relationship stigma, not from the age difference between the girls.
“They are out to destroy my daughter, because they feel like she ‘made’ their daughter gay,” Hunt Smith said. “They see being gay as wrong and they blame my daughter. Of course, I see it 100 percent 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.”
No trial date has been announced for the case at this time. If convicted of the charges, Hunt may face up to 15 years in prison.