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The Kaitlyn Hunt story

This is the topic that convinced me once and for all that I needed to begin a blog, if anything to allow me to vent my frustrations—to rant, if you prefer—about topics that I am interested in.  Such as items that come up in the news that bring out strong reactions in me—and those reactions can be both anger and hope at the same time.

A little over three weeks ago I found out about one such case.  It all revolves around a young lady living in Sebastian, Florida, a city I had not even heard of before, but I see from Google Maps is just down the coast from Cape Canaveral.   I become very interested in this case, and I have been closely following it since I first learned of it.  And why?  I can’t completely explain other than to say that I find the story compelling, and fraught with human rights issues.

Here is the timeline of the events, as I understand them:

-Kaitlyn (Kate) Hunt, 18 years old, began the 2012-13 school year at Sebastian River High School as a senior, looking forward to graduation in June, and a future career in nursing.  Indeed she was already a medical assistant training to go to college the following fall.

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Kaitlyn Hunt. The center of controversy that she did not ask for

-Shortly into the school year she met a younger student, a female freshman (name withheld) who was only 14.  Hereafter I will refer to the younger girl as the GF.  They met while playing on the varsity basketball team.

-At some point, the two became closer and they started dating—and the relationship eventually became sexual.

-The basketball coach learned of the relationship, and kicked Kaitlyn off the team.  Not content with that, the coach informed the GF’s parents of the relationship.

-The GF’s parents ordered Kaitlyn to stop seeing their daughter.  Like many teenagers, neither girl heeded the warning and the relationship continued.

-On one occasion, the GF ran away from home, and eventually called Kaitlyn from a park.  Kaitlyn went to get her and they spent the night at her place.

-The GF’s parents chose not to take the logical step and speak with Kaitlyn’s parents.  Instead, on an February evening when Kaitlyn was at home with her parents, the police suddenly knocked on the door and she was taken away to the police station where she was charged with two counts of “felony lewd and lascivious battery on a child 12-16.”  She was interviewed without a lawyer present, admitting to several sexual encounters with her GF.

-Two different judges ruled that Kaitlyn could finish her education at the same school, but the GF’s parents went to the school board and successfully managed to have Kaitlyn expelled and she finished the year at an alternate school.  The GF was allowed to stay in the school where they had met.

-Kaitlyn (on her lawyer’s advice) offered to plead guilty to a misdemeanor of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.  The suggestion was refused.  She offered to move to another state in return for dropping the charges or reducing them to a non-felony charge.   The offer was refused.

 -Kaitlyn’s parents, Steven R Hunt Jr. and Kelley Hunt Smith set up a facebook page.  It was at this point that the story became “viral.”  This page is getting more and more followers every day.  The Hunts and their friends are adamant that the page is for support only, and not for making negative comments about the GF’s parents.  As I write this, the page has 51, 962 members.

-A “Free Kate” online petition has been set up, which as of this writing has garnered 309,405 signatures.

-“Free Kate” rallies and other events have been organized to help raise the funds needed for her defense.

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Kaitlyn (just left of center in pink, holding two children) and members of her support team.

-Kaitlyn was offered a plea bargain.  If accepted, she would have had two years house arrest, and be forever on the sex offender’s list.  This would effectively put an end to any plans of a nursing career.  On May 24th, she rejected the deal.  She will appear in court on July 25 to fight for her freedom.  The maximum penalty is a prison term of fifteen years.

-Florida State Senator Thad Altman (R), citing the Hunt case, announced that he will fight to have the state sex laws changed.

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Those are the important events in the case thus far.  I have determined that those who are following the story can be given two classifications, which I have come to name as those who support the letter of the law, and those who support the spirit of the law.

Letter of the Law – Those in this camp cannot get past the fact that Kaitlyn, at the age of 18, was having sex with a 14-year-old (the girl has since turned 15, by the way).  According to Florida law, this is illegal.  She does not deny the sexual encounters, therefore, according to these people, she is damned from her own mouth.  As far as these people are concerned, she deserves what she gets, even if it is the full 15-year sentence.

It’s easy to find these people.  Numerous web pages have been devoted to this opinion, and they go so far as to belittle Kate’s supporters relentlessly.  Simply type #freeKate into the search engine on Twitter and numerous posts will come up—a few supporting Kate’s side—but most wanting her locked away as a sex offender.

These people habitually repeat a few points, over and over, which I will list further below.

Spirit of the Law – These people recognize the fact that the law in question was never intended to break up teenage romances.  Its intent was rather to protect young people from older sexual predators.  We hear of those people all the time.

Kate began dating a freshman girl who was attending classes with seniors, and played on the same basketball team with them, and we would assume, showered together after practises and games.  In this modern age, no school can deny anymore that same-sex relationships exist, and they should not act so surprised when students who are thrown together develop such a relationship.  In short, the schools, by their non-action, encourage them.

This was basically a teenage romance.  To be honest, of all the teen romances among my peers when I was in high school all those years ago, I know of only one couple who are still together today in their late 40’s.  Only Kate and her GF know how serious the relationship was, and I am in no position to judge it.  Perhaps it was just simple teenage experimenting—that’s been known to happen at that age.  Perhaps it was just a brief fling that would have petered out in another month or two (which creates the irony that the GF’s parents possibly only had to wait a short time and all their worries would be over).  But quite bluntly, we don’t know.  Perhaps even the girls had no idea how much longer they would be a couple.  But it must be said that there is also the possibility that maybe this WAS a case of true love.  It has been known to happen.

It is totally understandable that the GF’s parents would be concerned about their daughter dating an older student.  In fact it would be understandable for them to be concerned about ANY person their daughter was dating, regardless of the age.  But to threaten Kaitlyn’s life with up to fifteen years in prison?  Sorry, that’s overkill.

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Here are the main points that the Letter of the Law people repeat incessantly:

We wouldn’t be hearing about this if it were a heterosexual relationship – Okay, I’ll agree on this one, but I don’t count it as a negative point.  Many boys dating a younger girl get caught up by the same law.  It is nothing new.  But it still comes down to the sexual predator law being enforced in a way it was not intended.  A law that Senator Altman wants to change.  Young people’s lives, whether homo or heterosexual are being ruined simply because they had a relationship with a younger student.  Yes, Kaitlyn and her GF are the same sex.  Whether for right or wrong, our society does seem to obsess over sex, and if many news sources see a story about two young ladies having sex, they are going to pounce on that story.  It is probable that that very fact is what brought this case the media attention it has received.  And if it took a same-sex relationship to bring this unfair law the attention it deserves then so be it.

Kaitlyn Hunt is receiving the exact same treatment she would receive if she were a boy having sex with a 14-year-old girl.  – This seems to be their favorite point, since it gets repeated the most.  It is also not true.  In Florida, when a boy is caught having sex with a 14-year-old girl, more often than not he is released with a simple misdemeanour and allowed to live his life.  Kate was offered no such choice—indeed she pleaded with her GF’s parents to allow this, but to no avail.  The deal that she was offered included two years of house arrest, and to be labelled as a sex offender for life.

The GF’s parents are not homophobes.  They are only concerned that an 18-year-old was having sex with their 14-year-old daughter. – Well, I’ve never met them, so I can’t say they’re homophobic, can I?  However, it is known that the Hunt’s lawyer has the witness statements of some of the school’s staff.  When the GF’s parents were at the school demanding that Kaitlyn be expelled, these two staff members distinctly heard the mother making comments like, “My daughter is not gay!” and “That girl is not going to turn my daughter gay!”  That doesn’t sound homophobic, does it?

A 14-year-old cannot legally give consent to sex. – Yes, this is true, but let’s examine this law and age thing and little more closely:

Kaitlyn is legally an adult.  Why?  Because in the state of Florida (and pretty much everywhere else in the Western world), 18 is considered to be adult age.  Now, is it really as straightforward as that?  I’d say no.  For one thing, this implies that upon turning 18, you are allowed to do everything an adult may do.  Kaitlyn can vote in the next election.  She can serve her country in a foreign war.  And, yes, she cannot legally have sex with a minor (at least one under 16 according to Florida law).  But, wait a minute, she can’t drink yet!  Alcohol is legally off-limits to her until she is 21.  So on that point, she is not an adult.  Either she is an adult, or she isn’t.  With such confusing laws, it’s no wonder teens are confused.

And let’s be serious here.  What kind of logic is it that you can be 17 years and 364 days old on one day, and be able to have sex with a minor, and then 24 hours later you cannot?  The age of 18 is purely arbitrary.  Everyone matures at different speeds.  The truth is, the age of 18 was chosen a long time ago so that young men could be drafted into war (I don’t know when exactly this law came into being, but as an American Civil War buff, I know it was in place in the 1860’s).  That age later came to indicate adulthood in most other areas as well.  Logically speaking, it cannot seriously be said to be a true boundary between immaturity and maturity.  People who believe that an 18-year-old is automatically mature apparently believe we come equipped with a special gland.  Unlike the pituitary gland, which kicks in at puberty to bring about physical maturation in our bodies, this unknown, apparently magical gland apparently kicks in the moment we turn 18 and suddenly, not gradually, make our brains function at a completely adult level!  I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for this gland to be found by doctors.

No, most 18-year-olds are still young in mind and are still learning their way in the world.  And they will make mistakes, just as we all make mistakes no matter old we get.

Now, let’s look at the GF’s age at the time of the relationship.  She was 14.  The general feeling is that at age 14 one is not yet mature enough to use sex wisely (an odd suggestion, seeing that many adults don’t use sex wisely either).  This is probably true in most cases.  It was probably true when the law was made.  But since that law was made much has happened.  Schools at that time did not have sex education as they do now.  The GF would certainly, by the time she turned 14, have heard all about intercourse, safe sex, and same-sex relationships.  Obviously I can’t speak for certain here—both families have gone out of their way to keep the younger girl away from the media, and rightly so.  I am not a parent, but I know many kids of all ages, and to be honest, even I worry that they might be jumping into sexual relationships too soon.  Many of us would like to see our young people stay young forever, but we know that isn’t possible.  For some reason, right or wrong, sex is considered the marker that indicated immaturity and maturity.  This is mainly because western society has become sex-obsessed.  But the fact remains that even though the GF may not legally consent to sex, that does not mean that she did not consent, and I submit that the law should be amended to say that all young people who have successfully passed a sex education course should be exempt from being considered a “victim” of the statutory rape laws.  Yes, I know that’s a bold statement, but if a teenager has completed such a course, surely s/he should know what s/he is getting into and should be able to consent if desired.

Besides, the Florida law as it is currently written is blatantly absurd.  As stated already, Kaitlyn could not legally have sex with her GF.  But though she is 18, she could, if she wanted have sex with a 50-year-old, or even older, with no penalty to the elder.  AND, in less than a year, the GF will be 16.  At 16, according to Florida law, she can have sex with someone as old as 23!

[Note:  When I wrote that paragraph it was not quite complete.  See the  response below by  Kella to see how even more bizarre the law is. --  June 9]

And yet a relationship between two peers within the same high school carries a possible 15-year prison sentence for the elder.

Pedophile – Believe it or not, they’ve been throwing this word around.  A pedophile is, of course, an adult who preys on children.  Kaitlyn is in no way a pedophile.  Her GF was 14 as their relationship began—not an adult to be certain—but not a child either.  There is a stage between childhood and adulthood that we all go through called adolescence that appears to have little legal standing, even though it most definitely exists.  The fact that the haters are throwing this word around show that they have clue as to what they are talking about.

To be sure, it is a word we hear a lot lately, mainly due to modern society’s concern about actual pedophiles—a very real problem.  But let’s only use the word for those it was meant for.

Most decidedly NOT the face of a pedophile!!!

Most decidedly NOT the face of a pedophile!!!

A final word about the nasty turn that the various “hate” sites have taken.  They have begun to attack other members of Kaitlyn’s family.  This includes an entirely uncalled for insult on Kaitlyn’s 13-year-old sister.  Is this called for?

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A few more points I want to bring up.  For one thing, why did the GF run away from her home on that one occasion?  I ask rhetorically, since that is clearly not my business, but it does indicate that all was not well at her home.  And note that on this occasion, it was the younger girl initiating contact with the elder.  Not for sex perhaps, but it does indicate how much trust she put in Kaitlyn.

Why did the GF’s parents go directly to the police after their initial warning to Kaitlyn went unheeded?  The logical step would have been to speak with Kaitlyn’s parents about the issue, and only go to the police if the girls still disobeyed.  A great suggestion would have been to have all four parents, plus both girls, in a room to discuss the situation and define boundaries.  But no, this step was skipped and the police were involved.  It seems to me that they wanted Kate in jail—no other solution would do for them.  This is further indicated by their refusal to accept Kate’s suggestion of moving out of state.  But this makes no sense.  Concern for their daughter having sex with an older girl is understandable.  Wanting to ruin the other girl’s life is not parenting.  It is vindictiveness.

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Kaitlyn with her mom, Kelley Hunt Smith

Kaitlyn with her mom, Kelley Hunt Smith

I’ve gone on at some length now, so I’ll shortly bring this to a conclusion.  I would like to mention a heartwarming moment that happened this past week at Kaitlyn’s old high school—the one from which she was expelled.  They had their graduation night, and this including the naming of winners of various “titles” that been bestowed by votes on the graduates by their peers—things like “most likely to succeed, etc.”)  In the category of “Best School Spirit” the name “Kaitlyn Hunt” was read.  One of her friends reported on the “FreeKate” site that the cheers were almost deafening, and not a boo was heard!  Clearly her peers still love her and it must have done her good to hear of it.

Her own graduation from her new high school occurred three days later, and many wonderful photos of the event were posted on the site.

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Kaitlyn with her dad, Stephen R. Hunt Jr. on graduation night, June 7, 2013

In conclusion I’d like to say that the laws preventing peers within the same school from having sexual relations seriously need to be changed.  They already differ from state to state, and in many of those states Kaitlyn would never have been charged with anything.  Indeed, in my country, Canada, this would never have been an issue.  The laws are antiquated and simply do not treat modern teenagers fairly.  Indeed, one other thing that has come out on the FreeKate site is the mention of a number of other cases of other young people being caught in the same vice.  It seems that the site is becoming a forum for discussing such cases, not just Kate’s.  People are coming together and are demanding that things change.  Not just for same-sex couples, but for heterosexual couples as well.  The naysayers who insist that the Hunt case is only getting attention because of the homosexual aspect, as well as the fact that Kaitlyn happens to be a very beautiful young lady, are missing the point.  If it takes an attractive young woman in a lesbian relationship to bring this issue to national attention, then I’m all for it.

Kaitlyn Hunt may be the catalyst to bring about this change.  One person can get the ball rolling on changes to laws, even if they initially had no such intention.  Those who believe otherwise have no knowledge of history.  Changes can be initiated by those in high positions or by ordinary citizens just trying to find fairness in their lives.  Looking at U.S. history alone we can see a president, Abraham Lincoln, pushing into law the bill that would prevent forced servitude of one human being to another.  In Topeka, Kansas in 1954 Oliver L. Brown marched his young daughter into a “whites-only” school, and in set in motion the events that led to children of all colors being educated together.  In 1955 Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus, and set in motion the Civil Rights Movement.

And in 2013, Kaitlyn refused to stop dating a girl three years and seven months her junior.  The ball has started rolling…

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For an update on Kaitlyn’s case, posted on August 28, 2013 click here.

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Comments are welcome, no matter what side of the debate you are on.  But I reserve the right to choose which ones will be added to the blog.  In short, please keep things civil.  If you disagree, I’m sure you can do so respectfully.

63 Comments
  1. Excellent post. Welcome to the Blogisphere.

  2. Carla permalink

    The best explaination of it all and in the most simple terms. Love it.

  3. A concerned mom permalink

    Very well spoken! The ball is indeed rolling…

  4. SUZY SNOW permalink

    extremely succinctly put:)

  5. You have out my exact words in writing. Totally agree. A job well done …. had to come from Canada not the US!?

  6. Marlene Borchert permalink

    I applaud you for an excellant article explaining this situation perfectly. Laws have to be changed to protect teens involved in same sex relationships from being persecuted simplely for being gay. My grandson is in same situation & his future is also being threatened.

  7. I really liked this. I’d add a few things based on life experience, but I have to say: A lot of this information is being skewed by reporting on Facebook and bogus news. They were in class together. Plus, from what I understand, they will allow a 23 year old to date a 16 year old. That is ridiculous and then call Kate a sex offender. She is not a sex offender by any stretch. My sentiments exactly on this post. I can’t believe it…I actually can. She offered to take a lesser charge and they wouldn’t. 15 years. My nephew was brutally murdered. The main person can only get a max of 32 years. Wow! This young girl has a life. I could site endless stories worse than this. And…those parents should have been talking to Kate’s parents. They went the roughest way. :( Nice writing. Hang in there Kate if you see this. <3

  8. I was reminding myself about Miranda and being detained, questioned, the basics in criminal law. I found this. Was Kate read her rights before being questioned?

    “When the police have questioned you without reading your rights and, for example, you made a statement, that statement would not be able to be used in the case against you. It’s best to speak to an experienced defense attorney to determine whether your rights were violated in your situation.”

    • That has crossed my mind in the last couple weeks as well, Cheryl, but in the absence of any word to the contrary, I must assume she was read her rights. But perhaps Kate can confirm this herself through one of her parents.
      We don’t have the Miranda rule in Canada, but I know what it is through watching U.S. television shows over the years.

    • friend of Kates mom permalink

      Yes Katie was given her rights but, she did not understand them 100% and was brought up to respect the police and to answer their questions. We all know Miranda by heart but the fact of the matter is we do not understand the importance of anything you say will be used against you. Kaitlyn was never taught to remain silent because she had never before been in trouble with the law. Her father expressed that it is something he never considered in his life having to teach his daughters but they have all learned from since. Now all of this has been a lesson for everyone on the sidelines to teach our kids to ask for a lawyer before opening their mouths in an arrest.

  9. 16 AND PREGNANT ISN’T A TV SHOW FOR NOTHING…LET TEENS KNOW WHAT THERE DOING IS UNEXCEPTABLE….BUT THERE GONNNA DO WHAT THEY WANT. WE ALL HAVE BEEN THERE AND DONE THAT…

  10. Kella permalink

    I really appreciate your thorough summary of the events. A lot of articles written about this are skewed one way or the other and don’t include all the information.

    I wanted to poke a couple holes in your argument, not because I disagree with you (I’m completely for Kate’s freedom) but because I think your argument could be stronger.

    You make a good point about the difference between someone who is 17 and 364 days old and 18 years old. Limits do need to be drawn somewhere for laws concerning age (like voting, and drinking) but it is pretty clear that in this situation, the lines should be blurry where they are hard and poorly drawn. What I wanted to bring to your attention was that according to this editorial (http://www.mypalmbeachpost.com/news/news/opinion/editorial-bend-on-kaitlyn-hunts-case-and-then-bend/nX7FL/) it would have been illegal even if she was the same age as GF.

    “Florida law prohibits sexual contact with anyone under 16, and the restriction doesn’t apply just to adults. Technically, two 15-year-olds who have sex are guilty of lewd or lascivious battery, a felony. A 15-year-old who fondles another 15-year-old’s breasts has committed lewd or lascivious molestation, also a felony.

    A loophole in the law allows a 16-year-old or 17-year-old to have a romantic relationship with an adult as old as 23, but that same teen having a relationship with a 15-year-old classmate is illegal.

    When a student turns 18, as Ms. Hunt did, the penalties are even stiffer.”

    That means that ANYONE having sexual contact with someone 15 or younger is breaking the law in florida. Young teens can’t give consent to ANYONE until they are 16, at which point they can consent to sex with anyone up to age 23. This makes Kate’s prosecution all the more ridiculous.

    Secondly, in response to your idea that students who’ve passed the Sex education course being able to bend or bypass age of consent laws, there are a few problems with this idea but one big one. Sex education in this country is terrible. Many parts of the country don’t have it at all or only allow abstinence only education. This does not allow for then necessary knowledge of things like protection that you were mentioning. Studies show that there is a high rate of teens’ first sexual experiences being painful or uncomfortable because they were not taught that sex is supposed to be pleasurable. This occurs in sex ed programs that DO have a comprehensive set of materials and resources other than abstinence. Sex ed in the US is not leading to good sexual health in teens. Very much the opposite. Until that changes, I don’t think passing a sex ed class should be used as a bar for bypassing age of consent laws.

    Keep up the good work.

    • Thank you, Kella, for pointing this out my mistake concerning the age of consent law. I’ll add a brief not to that part of my essay directing readers down to your comment.
      As to sex education, I will concede that point, however I do believe that 14-year-olds know more on the topic than we think they do.

  11. Brad, just want you to know that my son got 5 yrs for 1 count of lewd and lascivious battery (same charge as Kate) with a minor last year when he was 18 and still in HS in Florida. We nearly fell over and died when our lawyer told us that was a very good plea deal. We contacted 3 other lawyers and 2 said it was the best he would get; only one said he could of gotten probation only. This is a felony (FS 800.04) that immediately scores a lengthy prison term – it cannot be reduced to a misdemeanor. However, it is up to the prosecutor and judge to determine the sentence in a plea. We live in an ultra conservative county and the judge we had is notorious for slamming lengthy sentences to those that deny plea deals. My son was also expelled from his high school and the district banned him from setting foot on any campus in the county – as if he was a dangerous predator. He could not graduate and walk in his class. Most of his friends abandoned him and only family, friends of family, parents of some friends, and former teachers have stood by him. It is hard to pin point biases but I can assure you if you search the prison population on the DOC site that youth camps have plenty of boys serving long prison terms. A 32 yr old man that was in jail with my son got less time for the same charge and a beautiful blonde school teacher, Debra Lefave who had sex with her 14 yr old student, didn’t go to prison because she was “too pretty”, according to the prosecution. We were appalled at the injustice and we certainly feel that my son got shafted and his life forever altered and ruined. I know the anguish and heartbreak that Kate and her family is going through and I commend them for their bravery for fighting the charge and going public. Thanks to her, I see hope and change on the horizon for all kids caught up in this law.

    • Thank you for telling your son’s story, Michele. So sorry to hear what you and he are going through. The part about most boys getting a misdemeanor I’d learned from more than one source. If it is wrong, my apologies. But perhaps what I’d heard is more a case of most lawyers realizing that it is just a simple teenage romance and they are bending the rules a bit to go lenient. As you say, you are in an ultra conservative county, so maybe this option wasn’t considered. If anyone has any more information on this, feel free to comment.

  12. Thanks for your wise words! I agree and want to add my opinion, that law needs to make a clear difference between CONSENSUAL teenage relationships and forced or even abused acts. If the GF will turn 16 next year and repeat her statement, that she wanted it all and don’t want Kate to be hurt, will this change everything, because in the age of 15 her word means nothing? And what about the ‘Romeo and Juliet’-term, which exists in Florida as far as I know?

  13. rebekahmm permalink

    SO MANY GOOD POINTS IN YOUR BLOG.THE SADDEST PART OF THE ENTIRE CASE FOR ME IS ALSO THE LACK OF FORETHOUGHT THE PARENTS OF THE GF HAD AND THEIR SMUG VENGEANCE, WHICH ULTIMATELY HAVE HURT THEIR VERY OWN DAUGHTER NOW AND WILL FOR THE REST OF HER LIFE. THEY TOOK A SITUATION AND MADE IT INTO A NIGHTMARE FOR BOTH THESE YOUNG GIRLS. SO SO SAD.THEIR BAD CHOICES AND POOR PROBLEM SOLVING SKILLS IN THIS SITUATION WITH KATE AND THEIR DAUGHTER, THE GF, FURTHER ILLUSTRATES THE REAL PROBLEM,THE GF PARENTS ARE SEVERELY DYSFUNCTIONAL AND LACK INSIGHT. THANK YOU FOR POINTING THAT OUT. ALSO YOUR BLOGGING ABOUT THIS ISSUE/CASE MAKES ME THINK OF THIS QUOTE “When ever one person stands up and says, ‘Wait a minute, this is wrong,’ it helps other people to do the same.” — Gloria Steinem ♥ THANK YOU BRAD FOR YOUR FIRST BLOG POST!

  14. Mandy White permalink

    Thanks for this brilliant and passionate comment over this injustice! It made my day.

    Mandy White
    Butzbach, Germany

  15. Judy houser permalink

    Great blog, interestingly enough the girls parents are an interracial couple, (which as far as I’m concerned is fine)! Twenty five years ago there were still states in the US, that on the books considered this illegal. I just find it ironic that at one time their love was against the law.

  16. Axel Mirecourt permalink

    Hard to believe, that this is your first block, Brad. Best and independant review of the Kaitlyn Hunt Case, that you can find online.

    • Thank you. It is my first blog of this type. I have two ongoing and incomplete blogs on two completely different topics: A lesser-known playwright of Shakespeare’s time, Thomas Dekker (the blog is really an excuse to get his plays posted online), and another on my favorite TV show M*A*S*H. But I have written other things as well such as plays and short stories. Nothing published yet, but a few plays have been performed locally in my area. Still waiting for fame. :)

  17. Allen Zbranek permalink

    We need to do more than just say “Good Luck Kate” Since she turned down the Plea.. the Prosecutor will now try to make an example out of her. They are doing God’s work.. or so they believe. This is a war against Gay marriage.

  18. Tommy Chamberlain permalink

    I just recently received my Free Kate bracelet in the mail. I’m all for Kate’s cause. I’m 21 and I can’t say that I have a lot of life experience but I do have enough to see what is really going on. In this day in age, I know of many people (my age) who are shunning religions, aren’t concerned with same sex relationships, and don’t have an opinion politically. The parents of the GF may feel that they are doing the right thing for their daughter but that shows me one thing, they are simple minded. In a society where people are quick to sue for any little thing, I have no doubt in my mind that the parents are looking for some kind of benefit. Whether it be money, or publicity I’m not sure. The parents are angry at Kate, fine. It seems they had already planned to go to the police right off the bat, but decided to talk to Kate once, only once, to cover themselves. In Florida, and pretty much everywhere now, you can’t step out and be against same sex relationships without receiving substantial hate. Deciding against that way of doing things, they took it to the legal system to show their simple minded hatred. I’m not saying I know the parents of the younger girl, but I have so little faith in people like this that I feel they used the legal system to punish a girl, not because she broke the law but because they didn’t agree with the two girls being together. My stand on everything I do and anyone else does in life is, just do what makes you happy. If you want to be in a same sex relationship and that is what makes you happy, please do it. If you want to be a part of religion or stand as an atheist, please do it. If I can give one message to Kate it would be: You did what made you happy no matter what anyone else thought. A lot of people much older, same age, and younger than you could learn a lot from you. I have so much respect for you, staying true to what makes you happy. Please don’t ever change and always be an advocate of doing what makes you happy. Things are changing very rapidly, and soon enough the open minded will weed out the simple minded and I truly believe it starts with you.

  19. Gary M. Herndon permalink

    Brad, a tear has struck my eyes, I like you came into this case with the very same views and have been following it in the very same way.Although, we are very much different,I was deep in,(investigating), the story and talking with the family to,my outlook was for Kate’s future.Her future for anything in life resides on fairness and with the Prosecution.But, the Prosecution and the GF parents,that’s not going to happen as we see thus far.

    Brad, as I informed the parents of Kaitlyn Hunt, I am a Federal & State Convicted Felon.Nothing in my history was ever Violent or Sex related.I’m not proud of my past,I have learned from my past.But my concern is Kate’s future and what she is going to go through.Its not going to be anything fun either,it will be down right hell for her if she is convicted as a Felon.This case has gathered strength in supporters,but its lacking appeal from the Prosecutor. I can tell you many stories from experiences with prosecutors, they are blatant assholes,most just making a name for themselves and just wanting to fill the prison’s with as many free labor inmates as they can.Or giving Plea agreements to label Innocent minds.

    Generally,most Prosecutors would rather convict on Misdemeanor charges.But, we are seeing a large number of young people in certain states,being drug through the system and completely made into Career Criminal on the basis that they are just First Time Offenders,caught up in unjust laws.

    I agree fully,that the GF parents acted away from parenting.The first and foremost action should have been made to Kate’s Parents, its Parenting 101.I don’t know of any parent in my current life ,(50 yrs old),that goes to the Police instead of the other parents on a first time issue.They said that they had “no alternative”,frankly that’s an absurd statement. If you viewed the CBS12 interview of the GF’s parents,like I did,(of course I watched it numerous times),you could have seen holes so big in their interview that you could have sailed a Battleship through it! There was no evidence in the video,nothing. It was all hearsay on all accounts of the relationship.No one will ever know if anything was ever said to be true from the GF’s parents story side.

    Lets look at the future of Kaitlyn Hunt’s life that going to happen after a Felony Conviction and possibly a prison sentence… Lets look at the cost to Tax Payers that are going to have to pay for her incarceration … The Tax Payers are going to shell out $35,000.00 per year just for one inmate in their state,(ruff estimate). The Tax Payers are going to pay a Probation/Parole Officer to over see a released inmate back into society,basically $50,000.00,(ruff estimate). In Kate’s released future after incarceration,she will not in some states be able to attend college,mainly if she is convicted on Felony Sex Offender Charges,which mean’s NO Professional Job related Courses,because Children attend Colleges at all ages not just over 18.Community Colleges are out as well. No Professional Jobs because she cannot get into courses at Colleges to be educated.

    Kate Hunt will be subjected to what every Felon is subjected to, Unemployment,Welfare,Food Stamps,public ridicule,labeling,… The list goes on and its not fun. It hurts and it just makes a person down right fed up to the point where either they “Act Out” and do something or they have their say.Frankly,I haven’t gotten to that point of acting out yet,lets hope I stay on the legal part of of sanity.But, I have started to having my say to people that challenge my past and think I should be removed from society and this country. I have been on the offensive against haters in my life and against Kaitlyn Hunt.

    Well, I am as you are a talker,so I’m cutting this short,Thanks for a great story and the fact that you care as do thousands of others,

    Gary M. Herndon
    Charlotte,NC

    • She hasn’t crossed that bridge….yet. Would she be able to appeal? I’m sure that would cost more money though.
      As for later employment, she has so much support, I’m sure someone can offer her something. But again, it hasn’t come to that point yet, and let’s hope it doesn’t.

  20. Amber permalink

    Beautifully written! I have had these thoughts swimming in my head for weeks but Could not have said it so eloquently! Thank you for you Expression of common sense!!!

  21. I know getting the facts straight here is important to you. Please consider the following feedback for an update.

    “Shortly into the school year she met a younger student, a female freshman (name withheld) who was only 14″

    First of all, it’s refreshing to see your post correctly identify the ages of Kaitlyn and the young girl involved. Many articles circulated are still misreporting these details as those originally pushed by Kaitlyn’s parents.

    However, as recently as Wednesday, June 5 Kelley Hunt Smith was still posting in the Free Kate Facebook group that the “girls knew each other at 14 and 17.” I don’t know if that’s true or not, but that would mean your timeline is wrong, “Shortly into the school year she met a younger student…” If they had met during the school year, they couldn’t possibly have known each other while Kaitlyn was 17. If they had in fact met with Kaitlyn was 17, it was outside of the school prior to the school year. You should clarify with Kelley which version of their story is accurate.

    “The GF’s parents ordered Kaitlyn to stop seeing their daughter. Like many teenagers, neither girl heeded the warning and the relationship continued.”

    It’s refreshing to see you post this, as most supporters of Kaitlyn Hunt are stating the 14 year old’s parents did not ever warn anyone and went straight to the police the moment they found out about the relationship. Kudos on accurately reporting the details on this point.

    “The GF’s parents chose not to take the logical step and speak with Kaitlyn’s parents.”

    That might seem like the logical step to you, but at 18 years old Kaitlyn’s parents had no say and no legal control over Kaitlyn’s actions in this regard. To me, taking their concerns up with Kaitlyn was exactly the logical step to take.

    “Kaitlyn was offered a plea bargain. If accepted, she would have had two years house arrest, and be forever on the sex offender’s list”

    This is patently untrue. The lesser charge of Child Abuse offered in the plea is *not* on the list of charges for which someone may be placed on the sex offender registry. If she had taken the plea, she would have avoided a charge that would have put her on the list. You can check for yourself on the law for this.

    “It is totally understandable that the GF’s parents would be concerned about their daughter dating an older student. In fact it would be understandable for them to be concerned about ANY person their daughter was dating, regardless of the age. But to threaten Kaitlyn’s life with up to fifteen years in prison? Sorry, that’s overkill.”

    There is no record whatsoever of GF’s parents pushing for fifteen years in prison. In fact, quite the opposite. They feel a reasonable penalty should be imposed but have never defined a 15 year sentence as reasonable.

    “Kaitlyn Hunt is receiving the exact same treatment she would receive if she were a boy having sex with a 14-year-old girl. – This seems to be their favorite point, since it gets repeated the most. It is also not true. In Florida, when a boy is caught having sex with a 14-year-old girl, more often than not he is released with a simple misdemeanour and allowed to live his life.”

    Over 90% of those convicted of the charges that Kaitlyn now faces are male who had been charged with relationships with females. There’s no possible way to spin this a law that is being applied to Kaitlyn in an uneven way.

    “Well, I’ve never met them, so I can’t say they’re homophobic, can I? However, it is known that the Hunt’s lawyer has the witness statements of some of the school’s staff. When the GF’s parents were at the school demanding that Kaitlyn be expelled, these two staff members distinctly heard the mother making comments like, ‘My daughter is not gay!’ and ‘That girl is not going to turn my daughter gay!'”

    Odd that you would start out so reasonable and then suddenly accept hearsay from the Hunts, of all people, as valid evidence to suggest the GF’s parents are acting out of bigotry. No record, transcript or document has been produced to back up those claims.

    “And let’s be serious here. What kind of logic is it that you can be 17 years and 364 days old on one day, and be able to have sex with a minor, and then 24 hours later you cannot? The age of 18 is purely arbitrary.”

    This is patently untrue. A 17 year old engaging in sexual activity with a 14 year old is just as guilty of a felony as an 18 year old is. The law does not change based on the age of the offender when a 14 year old is involved. You can check the law for yourself.

    “Concern for their daughter having sex with an older girl is understandable. Wanting to ruin the other girl’s life is not parenting. It is vindictiveness.”

    Again, you’re relying entirely on the Hunt’s to speak for the motives and desires of GF’s parents. Surprise, they’re not exactly being fair and honest about that. There is no sign that they want to ruin Kaitlyn’s life. They have only expressed the perfectly reasonable position that they want her to be held accountable for her actions in a meaningful way.

    By the way, not everyone who believes Kaitlyn Hunt deserves to be tried falls into the one category you write about. Almost nobody believes she should serve 15 years and nobody expects that to be at all remotely likely. ot everyone who takes issue with the deception from the Hunt family feels Kaitlyn needs to face a harsh punishment.

    There are some truly hateful people attacking Kaitlyn Hunt… that’s for sure. They’re loud and easy to find. But there are also some caring, thoughtful people who believe the truth matters, and the Hunt family has clearly been less than truthful. There’s some decent, gentle people who believe Kaitlyn should stand up and accept responsibility for her actions as every other 18 year old would be expected to do, instead of pointing the finger and blaming others for the actions she herself chose to take.

    • Rachael Carson Zerbe permalink

      Kate Hunt said she would accept a plea deal, a misdemeanor which is often what male counterparts in the same situation receive. She accepted responsibility, but she refused to accept cruel and unusual punishment or to let more high school young adults fall into this trap. The plea deal offered was for Kate to plead guilty to 2 counts of lewd and lascivious felony child abuse. On her record forever. 2 years house arrest, one year probation and sex offender registry at the judges discretion. She had a tough choice, hang her head and submit to unfair and horrible punishment for a high school that is not a crime. A 48 month age gap would be the most sensible option so that 14-18, 15-19, 16 to 20 and 17 to 21 would prevent much of the truly heinous cases of abuse of the law by angry parents. Also before any charges are filed the least we could do us have a psychiatric diagnosis of sex abusers prior to any charged filed being pursued. #FREEKATE

      • Rachael Carson Zerbe permalink

        * for a high school romance …

      • And what do you say to the parents of a 14 year old who is being manipulated and exploited by young adults who are truly devious? Tough luck? No legal recourse, you have no legal means at your disposal to protect your child because it might put a kink in Kaitlyn Hunt’s dating life? That doesn’t sound like a fair or wise solution to what can often be a very serious problem.

        Remember that the law exists for a reason, and it is crafted after deliberation by people we vote for to solve tough problems like the one I describe. Numbers aren’t picked out of hats. Studies are conducted, debate is open so that the least bad answer out of a number of bad answers is made into law.

        You can argue that the law seems unfair to you and the lines should be changed. You can’t argue that the law should be changed, though, without recognizing that you’re removing the power that parents have to raise and protect their own children. You can’t change the law without empowering predatory 18 year olds who know how to exploit the power differential between themselves and a 14 year old, between a senior and a freshman, for far less noble ends.

        Ask yourself, do you really want to take what little power parents have to protect their children, and instead hand that power to any and every 18 year old who may have evil intent? And who deals with the consequences when things inevitably go bad?

      • SupportHonesty, your phrasing of “You can’t change the law without empowering predatory 18 year olds who know how to exploit the power differential between themselves and a 14 year old, between a senior and a freshman, for far less noble ends.” can be taken to seem as though you view all 18 year olds as predatory, regaurdless of the age of the person whom they are dating, if anyone at all.

  22. h fall permalink

    Excellent, you’ve done a tremendous job on this story.
    I also believe there is a well organized group effort against Kate , you can see this on the FreeKate twitter trend. I also believe that this hate group is a religious effort. You know the kinda of people would have the homosexuality beaten out of Kate as a cure for they perceived to be an evil affliction.
    Again, you have done a great job and I hope you continue

  23. I will admit to some trepidation in allowing your comment, but I did say I would allow comments of those against Kate if it were done in a civil manner. I HAVE deleted a small portion where you talk of the Free Kate site, partly for brevity, and partly because I have constantly monitored the site and I see disrespectful comments eliminated immediately. It could be the comments you refer to predate my interest in the story, and there was already a mountain of comments to wade through.

    I skipped over the controversy of the ages when the girls first met simply because of the disagreement. You claim the misinformation comes from the Hunt family, but one thing that has never been made clear is when her parents first learned the true nature of the relationship. And really, for all I know, the girls COULD have met before the school year started. It is not so hard to believe that two athletically minded girls may have met during the summer in some public sports facility. But frankly I don’t think it really matters that much when they met.

    The GF’s parents speaking to Kate’s parents IS a logical step regardless of Kate’s age at the time. She may be legally an adult, but she is much more likely to obey her own parents if they express concern. Going to the police right away and eliminating the logical middle step shows their true intentions. And why would they not accept Kate’s offer of moving to a different state? That would have solved the problem by eliminating any possible contact.

    They had her arrested knowing that the penalty would be severe, unless you are asking us to believe that they were not told of the sentence. And even if this were the case, they have shown no sign that I’m aware, of showing any remorse for putting Kate through this. No, they were out for revenge at being defied, period.

    As to the homophobic comments made by the GF’s mother, they were heard by several witnesses among the staff at the school.

    My error about the 17 years, 364 days comment has already been pointed out by Kella further up in these comments. In fact she managed to further point out better than I did just how foolish the laws preventing teens from having sex really is!

    I am glad that you concede that 15 years is too much. But personally I believe that 15 minutes would be too much. The letter of the law says the younger girl is a victim, but the spirit of the law says otherwise. Kate has been trapped in a technicality created by the way the law is written, which as I said in my original blog, was never intended to break up high school romances between peers. She is not the first to be trapped so, and the people in the Free Kate group want to see this law changed. She should NOT be classed among much older offenders preying on young people for sex. She was simply following her heart, rightly or wrongly, and simply does not deserve a conviction for making a simply mistake.

    I was tempted to also delete your allegation of the Hunt’s lying, but I’ll leave it. I don’t believe they lied, or at least that they intended to lie. Remember what they are trying to do. But why is no one suggesting that the police report is not 100% accurate? Police reports have been known to be in error before.

    Anyway, I will leave it at that for now. It is the wee hours of the morning as I write this and I must get up early.

    But thank you for your response, though I must respectfully disagree.

    • Thank you for giving all side a fair shot at making a reasonable case.

      “I HAVE deleted a small portion where you talk of the Free Kate site, partly for brevity, and partly because I have constantly monitored the site and I see disrespectful comments eliminated immediately. It could be the comments you refer to predate my interest in the story, and there was already a mountain of comments to wade through.”

      Brevity may be the soul of wit, but facts need details. The links to comments you deleted from my post were still active links to hateful posts on the Free Kate Facebook group. Not only were they not deleted, one of them (which was particularly nasty) was “liked” by Kelley Hunt Smith. Your assertion was that “The Hunts and their friends are adamant that the page is for support only, and not for making negative comments about the GF’s parents.” In this case, not only is that not true, but they can’t claim the comment was missed as Kelley herself liked the very hostile post against GF’s parents.

      “I skipped over the controversy of the ages when the girls first met simply because of the disagreement. You claim the misinformation comes from the Hunt family…”

      That’s not a claim, that’s documented fact. The article written by Steven Hunt Jr. at http://www.xojane.co.uk/issues/kaitlyn-hunt states the following:

      “This relationship occurred when they were both minors, and my daughter’s girlfriend’s parents waited until she turned 18 to arrest her.”

      We know for a fact this was a fabrication, and we know her father wrote it.

      “but one thing that has never been made clear is when her parents first learned the true nature of the relationship”

      You’re right, this has never been made clear. I’d love to get a concrete answer on that point.

      “And really, for all I know, the girls COULD have met before the school year started. It is not so hard to believe that two athletically minded girls may have met during the summer in some public sports facility”

      That’s entirely possible. That’s why I don’t claim to know one way or the other, but all accounts provided by the Hunts so far have the girls meeting during the school year; none have named summer activities as the first place they met. But like you, it doesn’t much matter to me when they met… it doesn’t change the rest of the facts of the case. It just helps to determine which version of the story that the Hunts have told is closer to the real one.

      “The GF’s parents speaking to Kate’s parents IS a logical step regardless of Kate’s age at the time. She may be legally an adult, but she is much more likely to obey her own parents if they express concern.”

      This is a matter of opinion and a fair point to disagree on. Maybe stronger efforts to involve Kaitlyn’s parents would have changed things. Maybe it wouldn’t.

      It’s also an area in which we don’t have all the facts. We don’t have a comprehensive account of what was told to whom and at what point. Were there actually warning conveyed to Kaitlyn? What was she warned about, and when? Did the Hunts hear anything of GF’s parents discontentment prior to the arrest? We really don’t know the answer to any of those questions yet. In the absence of proof, I really don’t think it’s fair to rely on the Hunts version of all of these things, and completely disregard GF’s parents version of all these things, which is what you seem to be doing.

      “And why would they not accept Kate’s offer of moving to a different state? That would have solved the problem by eliminating any possible contact.”

      This is not something that can be adjudicated because it’s not something that can be legally enforced. I don’t know whether such an offer was made and what the circumstances of that would be other than to say there is no legal framework for banishing Kaitlyn from the State of Florida. Here it appears the Hunt’s legal counsel is attempting to make up their own set of rules.

      Also important to keep in mind, it’s state law that controls the legal case as it moves forward now, not GF’s parents. The state law doesn’t allow for people charged with crimes to pick their own punishment from a dinner menu. There are specific statutes the legal system is bound to and procedures that must be followed in order to protect everybody’s rights.

      “And even if this were the case, they have shown no sign that I’m aware, of showing any remorse for putting Kate through this. No, they were out for revenge at being defied, period.”

      Again you’re substituting your own view of their intentions or the Hunts view of their intentions without letting them speak for themselves what their intentions are. This is simply not fair and not worthy of reasoned discourse.

      “As to the homophobic comments made by the GF’s mother, they were heard by several witnesses among the staff at the school.”

      And that could very well be, but we don’t know that because no single record, affidavit or transcript has been made public yet that backs these claims up. Still you’re relying on the Hunt family and their supporters for your information and calling it fact without any means to verify. This is also not fair. I don’t know what the truth is of those supposed comments, because I wasn’t there. You don’t know the truth either. If you’re going to target people for homophobic statements it’s only fair that you base it on more than just the assurance of the Hunt family and their supporters.

      “I am glad that you concede that 15 years is too much. But personally I believe that 15 minutes would be too much. The letter of the law says the younger girl is a victim, but the spirit of the law says otherwise. Kate has been trapped in a technicality created by the way the law is written, which as I said in my original blog, was never intended to break up high school romances between peers.”

      The law states an 18 year old can sexually engage a 16 year old. Thus, the spirit of the law obviously accounts for high school relationships that get physical. There’s no other way to explain that provision than to say that some reasonable allowances for relationships with a partner under the age of 18 is being made. This isn’t a technicality, it’s just that 14 years old falls well outside of the range considered reasonable.

      Now, reasonable people could disagree on whether or not a 14 year old is developed enough to properly deal with a sexual relationship with an 18 year old. But clearly there isn’t a letter of the law vs. spirit of the law argument to be made. Since some window of allowance for minors is made, the spirit of the law is exactly intended to apply to relationships with 14 year olds. You may not like where the line is drawn, but the State of Florida feels differently in both the letter and spirit of the law.

      “She is not the first to be trapped so, and the people in the Free Kate group want to see this law changed. She should NOT be classed among much older offenders preying on young people for sex.”

      Maybe not. But as a legal matter, parents of 14 year old freshman who know their child is being manipulated and exploited by an 18 year old deserve to have access to legal tools to protect their children. You can’t change the law without removing those tools that protect real victims of real abuse.

      I don’t know Kate, I don’t know her heart and I won’t pretend to know how innocent or noble her intentions were or weren’t. But no matter the circumstances of her case, her case is not every case and the law is there to protect younger children from manipulation of deviant adults, including young adults. Removing or reducing the age of consent removes the protection of many in need of protection from those they ought to legitimately be protected from.

      And what would the law look like, exactly? Allow relationships for students so long as they’re in the same school? What if Kaitlyn had repeated a year… is a 19 year old and a 14 year old in a sexual relationship still okay? What about school districts that happen to bracket grades across schools differently? If a smaller district has a school holding children in junior high as well as high school grades together in the same space, is it okay for those 18 year olds to engage in sexual activity with a 12 year old but not okay for the school distict in the next county who groups them into schools differently? So what does the preferred law look like? What’s the answer to that, and how could it possibly be applied evenly?

      “I was tempted to also delete your allegation of the Hunt’s lying, but I’ll leave it. I don’t believe they lied, or at least that they intended to lie. Remember what they are trying to do.”

      As it’s already know beyond a doubt that they did lie, you might want to start believing it. Whether it matters to you that they have been less than honest is up to you, but we know that they have. It is fact. It’s on the record.

      “But why is no one suggesting that the police report is not 100% accurate? Police reports have been known to be in error before.”

      The police report may or may not be 100% accurate but nobody, including the Hunts, have yet challenged any of the specific elements contained within. It is, however, one of the few legally binding records we have of any of these facts, so it should probably be given some weight as you search for the truth.

      I hope you are having a good night, and resting well. I appreciate your attempt at maintaining a respectful and reasonable conversation about the truth. Just resist the temptation of brevity. The full truth may be uncomfortable but it deserves its place in the daylight.

      • LGBT Heathen in NC permalink

        Would you be just as upset if Kate were male?

        I’d also like to see some actual proof of what you think is the Hunts’ “lying”–but I know I’ll never get it.

      • skiercorinne permalink

        I understand your sentiment, as a parent, I promise, I really do, but I think you are confusing “protecting” children with controlling them. Yes, adolescents are not adults, but they should not be treated as children either and it seems that in this case the law gives the same respect to a 14 year old as to a 7 year old as to a toddler.

      • To: LGBT Heathen in NC

        “I’d also like to see some actual proof of what you think is the Hunts’ “lying”–but I know I’ll never get it.”

        In the comment that you are responding to, I provided one concrete example of the Hunts lying. How did you miss it? See the xojane article linked above. There are many more documented, concrete examples at our website http://SupportHonesty.net – I refer you there, because I’m pretty sure Brad does not want me to copy and paste the whole site on his blog.

        I don’t understand what you think I’m “upset” about in terms of Kate or gender. I’m somebody who strongly supports LGBT equality and have concerns about what dishonesty in this case could do to harm the LGBT movement (as indicated on the website), among a list consequences that are even more severe.

    • Rachael Carson Zerbe permalink

      We have rape laws for when a 14 year or older high school kid is forced so this is no reason to continue a law that is selectively enforced at the whim of parents who are upset with the choices young adults begin to make around high school age. Anytime someone if any age is forced they can charge the other with rape. As we saw in Stuebenville Ohio and the Raehtah Parsins case often teenage girls are slut shamed when they report rapes or gang rapes and if the rap oats are prosecuted they get a slap on the wrist such as a few years in juvenile hall or are never charged or plead down the charges. Child molesters seeking prepubescent girls are roaming the streets we need to focus on these criminals. #freekate

  24. My previous comment should have appeared immediately under “supporthonesty’s” comment, and I’m not sure why it didn’t. I’m still very new to editing wordpress comments.

  25. Jen permalink

    Support Honesty, What about the Romeo and Juliet law. I don’t understand how the state can have a law that states age of consent is 18 and you can be with a 16yo, but then basically have a loophole in the Romeo and Juliet law. It proves that the state is well aware that these situations occur all the time! So why don’t they “loosen the belt” on these forms of punishments for these situations? And what I find messed up is that this law isn’t even available to homosexuals.

    “Romeo and Juliet Laws Enacted by Legislature

    Yet, until 2007, there was little relief for teenagers who were caught having consensual sex. The overly harsh sex offender laws evolved again, and the so-called Romeo and Juliet laws were passed.

    Florida Statute 943.04354, titled, Removal of the Requirement to Register as a Sex Offender Under Certain Circumstances relieves many teens of the requirement to register as sex offenders.

    The statute states that a sex offender may be relieved from registration requirements if, among other requirements:

    c) Is not more than 4 years older than the victim of this violation who was 14 years of age or older but not more than 17 years of age at the time the person committed this violation.
    Modified Age of Consent

    So, a 14 year old and an 18 year old; up to a 17 year old and a 21 year old; are allowed to have consensual intimate relationships, without fear of the life time stigma of sex offender status.

    This Romeo and Juliet law was passed quietly without fanfare. Changing the age of consent was passed without the media frenzy that accompanies stories of sex offenders stealing children in the night.

    Many young registered sex offenders may not be aware that they can now request they be relieved of the obligation to register as sex offenders.

    The mechanism for requesting relief from the obligation to register is within the statute.”

    • I don’t follow your question and don’t know what you mean by “loophole” as this statue does nothing to permit legal sexual activity with a 14 year old. The state seems to be taking the position that an offender who is a minor at the time of the offense and who is convicted of the crime is considered guilty and will receive punishment, but can request that the offender not enroll with the sex offender registry.

      The two important takeaways with regards to this provision are
      1) it does not change the definition of the offense or that the offense occurs, only the sentencing, and
      2) it operates from the perfectly reasonable perspective that minors may not belong on a sex offender list

      My reading of the law is that it wouldn’t apply to Kaitlyn’s case, since she does not qualify as an 18 year old offender. Also, nowhere in the statute does it reference gender – it would be equally available to homosexual and heterosexual offenders, which is also an interpretation shared by Kaitlyn’s attorney who suggested they may be employing this statute as part of her defense.

      I am not interested in seeing Kaitlyn on the sex offender registry as I don’t think it does anybody any good.

      That said, she had the chance to avoid that risk by accepting the plea offer, but chooses instead to risk that fate in order to avoid the felony charge. My guess, though, is she’s no more likely to end up on the sex offender registry than she is of serving a 15 year sentence. This determination would be at the discretion of the judge, and I find it unlikely such a condition would be applied in her case.

      • Rachael Carson Zerbe permalink

        I feel i must respond to this comment as i keep reading how Kate should have accepted the plea deal and been willing to hang her head and run and hide. the cery thought of that is horrifying. Thankfully a very kind and wise woman has been brave enough to step up to represent Kate Hunt. I am grateful her family is tough and smart enough to say ENOUGH and battle this ridiculous, antiquated and unjust law. Julia Graves plans to challenge this Florida law itself, as many states have a four year age provision and Florida should as well. Basically the “Romeo and Juliet'” provision should be changed to the actual law we would follow in the future in Florida. I propose to modify Florida law so that 14-18, 15-19, 16 -20 and 17 to 21 may date without criminal prosecution provided no force is used. We have rape laws in the cases where a teenager reports being made to do sexual things against their will. It seems THAT would solve the high school sweetheart issue, as well as modifying existing law that allows a 16 year old the day after their birthday to date up to the older partners 24th birthday. It would also be nice to see agreements between families and an older suitor to respectfully ask permission as we had in the “olden days.” If you have met the parents and they are batshit crazy perhaps it would be wise to hold off on the relationship just on general principle. To punish a high school peer in the same way as we would say a 25 year old with a 14 year old is a travesty and completely undermines the intention of the law. There should also be far harsher sentences I believe for cases of incest, and for cases where an adult through coersion or force has sex with a Pre pubescent child. In no way should a senior in high school face any possibility of 15 years jailed as a felon, but an actual criminal with intent to harm does and should face the full force of our laws. A misdemeanor plea deal with community service is the most I would ever expect to see amongst 2 classmates and that even seems ridiculous if you look at this on an individual level. Common sense must be used by prosecutors in any case and here it obviously was not. To say that Kaitlyn should have accepted a plea deal of admitting guilt to 2 counts of child abuse, (lewd and lascivious), 2 years house arrest, one of probation, and rolling the dice at a judges discretion of being placed in the sex offender registry was a grossly ludicrous offer. To face agreeing to have all of her dreams shattered due to a high school romance, (the felony could never be expunged so working with children or even going places whete there are kids under 18) her life as she knew it would have ended that day. Kaitlyn deserves to be free to move on in life and go to Nursing School as planned. Her 4 little sisters must have her at their events. Her family must be there to applaud her next graduation in a few years. The world must be blessed with her beautiful smile and potential to help so many people, a diamond like Kaitlyn ahould never be buried in the dark, unable to shine. Because she is so strong, brave and has an amazing support system she has chosen to fight the cruel and unusual punishment the “Dont Free Kate” contingent insist she was obligated to just accept without question. We have to wonder if the point of making an example of these 2 girls was simply to shame the “gay” out of them. Now look what has happened. The IRCSD has released an affadavit to taint the jury pool and public opinion with the details of two teenagers lovemaking. Particular people who have web blogs and facebook pages daily verbally crucify Kate and her supporters as the scum of the earth, you would think Miss Hunt were a serial killer by the vicious statements and accusations made. A 15 year old is at the mercy of her parents who brought the charges against her will, forced to accept what these “adults” have chosen to do by using the law to be vindictive. It wasn’t enough for the 2 girls to break up. The parents of the young gf want Kate to suffer and then cry victim when they are exposed for their cruelty. What they have done to their own daughter, a wonderful young lady, is unforgivable by any measure. She has been sacrificed by her parents so vengeance could be had and now her most personal moments are out on trial for the most hateful among us to judge and ridicule. So for both girls I plead for mercy from the court. They have been punished beyond measure already. If the State Attorney had simply done his job in offering a misdemeanor plea none of this would have happened. I live in Indian River County where this is all unfolding. I am disgusted beyond words at how this case has been handled by the authorities. The case is a tragedy, yet if we continue to fight to seek justuce for true victims of sexual abuse we must differentiate in no uncertain terms and the terms sex abuser, child abuser and a host of others must only be applied in those cases. Do not cheapen the definitions that describe what happens to true victims. i stand with and demand freedom for these two girls, perhaps progress and eventually greater understanding and unconditional love will win in the end.

      • Rachael Carson Zerbe permalink

        The younger must be under 18 but at least 14 for the RNJ provision to apply, you are reading it wrong. This case clearly falls in that category, what that provision means is if the accuser is 4 years older or less than the minor they may be spared the sex offender registry. Instead they should be spared unjust prosecution in the first place! Again, if force is involved we have rape laws for that!!!

      • “To say that Kaitlyn should have accepted a plea deal of admitting guilt to 2 counts of child abuse, (lewd and lascivious), 2 years house arrest, one of probation, and rolling the dice at a judges discretion of being placed in the sex offender registry was a grossly ludicrous offer.”

        Note that my post did not adddress what Kate should or should not done. I was not discussing whether Kaitlyn should have accepted the plea deal. I was mentioning, as a factual matter, that by turning down the plea offer to charge of child abuse she’s risking not only jail time and potential sex offender registry listing, both fates entirely avoidable under the plea offer.

        Maybe rejecting the offer was the right thing to do. I don’t know, I’m not in her shoes. But it’s definitely risky. Right or not, it’s still a matter of fact that if she does end up on the registry or serve any jail time, it will be the result of turning down the plea offer.

        It’s important to be clear and honest about the legal situation if you’re going to have a productive discussion about the law. Many are getting important aspects of this legal case wrong, as you did.

        “Now look what has happened. The IRCSD has released an affadavit to taint the jury pool and public opinion with the details of two teenagers lovemaking.”

        The affidavit was release to directly contradict the fabrications that the Hunt family was spreading. The record needed to be corrected since the Hunts were claiming the charges were held until Kaitlyn turned 18 in order to maximize the consequences. When the Hunt family lied about the basic facts of the case, they shouldn’t cry foul when they’re called out on it.

        “A 15 year old is at the mercy of her parents who brought the charges against her will, forced to accept what these ‘adults’ have chosen to do by using the law to be vindictive.”

        This all remains to be seen, as it’s a perception based entirely on the testimony of the accused and her family. If you can provide me with any primary sources outside of Hunt family narrative that builds a case against the Smiths, I’d love to see it. I’ll add it to our website. Maybe they’re vindictive, maybe they’re bigots. I really don’t know. Maybe they’re caring, decent people. Outside of what the Hunts have to say about them, I haven’t yet seen evidence of the former.

  26. “You can’t change the law without empowering predatory 18 year olds who know how to exploit the power differential between themselves and a 14 year old, between a senior and a freshman, for far less noble ends.”

    Predatory 18 year olds?

    • Leslee permalink

      Do you not think an 18 year old can be predatory?

      • No, I was making the same point as “A” was above that not all 18 year old’s are predatory. This is the same assumption that is being made about Kaitlyn.

      • Rachael Carson Zerbe permalink

        An 18 year old would be considered a predatory pedophile if they are at least 5 years older and only interested in younger (generally before puberty) minor children. Psychological testing can separate normal behavior from deviants.

    • I wasn’t at all saying that all 18 year olds are predatory. I was saying some are, and changing the law because you want to allow good (?) 18 year olds to have sexual relationships with 14 year olds necessarily removes protects that families of 14 year olds have to protect their children from those that are truly evil.

      That’s why I made this comment in another post:

      “I don’t know Kate, I don’t know her heart and I won’t pretend to know how innocent or noble her intentions were or weren’t. ***But no matter the circumstances of her case, her case is not every case*** and the law is there to protect younger children from manipulation of deviant adults, including young adults. Removing or reducing the age of consent removes the protection of many in need of protection from those they ought to legitimately be protected from.”

      The unintended consequence of this effort would be to put kids at risk, leaving the good parents without the means to protect their kids from bad people.

    • Rachael Carson Zerbe permalink

      The plea deal offered did not exclude the sex offender registry in the plea deal. the SO registry would have been left to a judges discretion. Pleading guilty to two counts of lewd and lascivious child abuse with the punishment discussed above, all Kaitlyns work towards and dreams of being a nurse would be gone in that instant. She is very brave and strong to fight this. But they left her no choice when the a state Attorney would not compromise to a misdemeanor plea. As a taxpayer in this county I am extremely angry that time and money are being used to prosecute Kaitlyn Hunt!

  27. Julie Meskauskas permalink

    What you have written is amazing!! You have hit the nail straight on the head with this one. You made some very good points, which I will quote on my Group page,”Free Kate, Two girls who found love in a world of hate”, I will put your name under the quotes because what you have said here is VERY important and everyone should see it and read it, INCLUDING the GF’s family!!

  28. Rachael Carson Zerbe permalink

    Re R and J provision “The statute states that a sex offender may be relieved from registration requirements if, among other requirements:

    c) Is not more than 4 years older than the victim of this violation who was 14 years of age or older but not more than 17 years of age at the time the person committed this violation.” We can see the state has already stated that a 14 year old is within the limits of the statute, implying that once you are 14 you can make some decisions then as a 16 year old up to 23 for dating. So this entire argument is ridiculous. The case should be dismissed. Disgusted with those bending over backwards to say Kaitlyns plea deal was the best solution. WHAT IF IT WAS YOU OR YOUR 18 YEAR OLD SENIOR IN HIGHSCHOOL???

  29. A concerned mom permalink

    I would like to address Support Honesty for a moment, if I may? It is strange how one person reads something and applies meaning, yet it means something totally different to someone else. While I understood your comment regarding predatory 18 year olds, it can easily be proven by court records that most of the cases that have come before the court are similar to Kate’s, or my daughter, Paige’s cases, nonpredatory, no harm intended. My daughter, who is a lesbian, was also 18, the younger girl was also 14. Her mother and the DA lied, under oath, to the judge during my daughter’s sentencing hearing after accepting a plea “deal”. My daughter was sentenced 2-4 years State prison for a nonviolent consensual relationship. While my 18 year old cheerleader, who didn’t drink or do drugs, was sitting in the county jail awaiting transfer to a State prison, an 18 year old predator male who forcibly raped a local 14 year old girl was sentenced 3-6 months local county time. He was out of jail in less than 3 months, and guess what? Mr. Predator 18 year old raped again. Yes, some 18 year olds are predators, as shown by his case, but the majority are normal, average everyday teenagers who get caught up in the excitement of young love. In my daughter’s case, the 14 year old was the aggressor. She had already been removed from her home and been placed in a group home at the age of 12 or 13.

    Another point I would like to make is that with children physically maturing at an earlier age, whether we like it or not, they are going to experiment earlier. While I certainly do not condone 18 sleeping with 14, I am also realistic. It is going to happen. It happens every day, all over our country, but only when a parent does not like their child’s choice does it become a matter for police. I don’t care who you are – you have seen younger girls dating older boys or you have heard about it and turned the other way. “It’s okay until it isn’t okay.” My daughter was more than willing to take “normal” punishment for her actions, 3-6 months local jail, probation and community service. The predator 18 year old male should have gone to state. If the 18 year old boy had been in a consensual relationship, he would still have been given the usual 3-6 months local time sentence that he was given for forcible rape. The disparity in sentencing for same sex cases is appalling.

    Kate’s plea “deal” would ruin her chances for a lot of careers. What kind of a deal is that for an 18 year old who had no intent to harm? Truthfully, I have never seen the USA citizens so divided on an issue. It’s black and white, with very little gray area. None of us involved in these cases personally are saying “Hey, let’s allow all 18 year olds to have intimate contact with 14 year olds.” We are saying the laws have to be changed to allow the courts a little wiggle room on cases such as this where no harm was intended. In cases where it is easily proven that it was consensual with no harm intended, no violence, I am not even sure it should any longer be an issues for the courts. We are past the point where we can bury our heads in the sand or look the other way. Right now, it is easy to say you wouldn’t want your 14 year old to have sex, and I respect that. What would you say in 4 years if he/she unintentionally dated a 14 or 15 year old, not paying attention to age? What if it were your grandchild? Would it be fine with you if the court offered your 18 year old child 2 years probation and child abuse charges that would follow for the rest of his/her life? Some how, I think not.

    My daughter wasn’t “looking” for a 14 year old, and neither was Kate. To use the word predator or pedophile or any of the other horrendous insulting words I have seen associated with Kate’s case makes me physically ill. Lynch mob mentality will get us nowhere. We have to be able to look at this with common sense and apply same.

    • A couple of points for your consideration…

      As you may have noticed nowhere on our site and nowhere in my comments here do we use the word predator, pedophile or any other such label to describe Kate. In fact, nowhere on our site and nowhere in my comments will you find us advocating for stronger punishment for Kate. No lynch mob mentality for teenagers here.

      There is discussion about the legal case itself and specific terms of the plea offer, along with analysis of the consequences of rejection. I don’t know Kate’s mind (and neither does anybody else here) so I won’t attempt to speak to what degree of harm she did or didn’t intend. Likewise, I won’t attempt to speak to whether the rejection of the plea offer was wise; I only note that it is risky, and it is, because ultimately:

      – The law is clear.
      – Kaitlyn Hunt confessed.

      It seems more likely than not, based on what we’ve learned from press conferences, there’s documented evidence she knew what she was doing had the risk of these consequences and proceeded anyway. And even if she didn’t, we all know that ignorance of the law is not recognized as a legal defense. Simply as a legal matter, based on the information we know so far I don’t see how she will possibly avoid a guilty charge. That makes the rejection of the plea and the possibility for a stiffer sentence certainly a risky move. Is it the wrong move? Not for me to say. Is it the principled stand? Maybe, maybe not… it’s not for me to say.

      As far as the law goes, many seem to want to take the law completely out of the context of what it was designed to do and evaluate it only in the context of Kate’s case, or Paige’s case. It’s understandable if you’re a parent of the accused, or if you just happen to be sympathetic to an individual facing the consequences of their mistakes. But that kind of tunnel vision doesn’t serve the greater good. To have a conversation about the justness of the law itself, you necessarily have to consider it outside the context of an individual case.

      And outside the context of these particular cases, teenagers manipulate other teenagers for sex. This is simply a reality. They don’t have to be in love… they don’t even have to be in like that much, and quite often they’re not. To most 18 year olds, particularly males, getting what you want physically is important… and being honest and wise about getting what you want usually isn’t. Considering the consequences usually isn’t. Maybe it’s biology, maybe culture is failing them.

      It’s also a reality that an 18 year old is much more capable of manipulating a 14 year old into sex than another 18 year old. Kids are in a hurry to grow up, so freshman look up to seniors as older, cooler models for what they want to be. At 14, getting attention from an 18 year old is far more powerful than getting attention from another 14 year old. This is a power imbalance. That power differential is exploited by older people to manipulate and pressure younger people into sex, without anyone involved having a fully developed maturity or sense of the potential emotional or physical consequences that come along with sex. And even well intentioned teens, given the yet-developing maturity that continues into our twenties, are prone to make mistakes. Mistakes are mistakes, but mistakes have consequences too.

      So it’s a problem. It’s a tough problem and problems like this don’t always have perfect answers. Sometimes the answers are less than ideal. Sometimes they’re messy. Age of consent laws are there to protect the youngest, most impressionable, most manipulatable children from finding themselves dealing with consequences much much larger than they should be faced when mistakes are made. They’re there to protect children from the potentially lifelong consequences of mistakes that may involve well-intentioned but still-maturing older teenagers. They’re there to protect children from the potentially lifelong consequences of the manipulations by older teens with far less noble intentions.

      Laws are messy. Life is messy. We discuss and we debate, we vote and we legislate. We do the best we can to build a set of laws that will do the most good with the least amount of harm. In a big messy world, there will always be cases where the law seems less than ideal for a particular set of circumstances. That’s unavoidable. But the only way a system of justice to work at all is for laws to attempt to serve the greater good. Protecting the youngest, most vulnerable among us from the potentially HUGE and irreversible consequences of sex at a young age is a noble goal. Providing parents with a set of tools that enable them to protect their children from manipulation by ill-intentioned young adults is a noble goal.

      The potential harm that would come from reducing these protections is greater than most here seem willing to admit, but it can not be overstated.

      Anyways…

      None of that was really what inspired my involvement in this case or in comments in this blog. My particular are of concern has little to do with Kate or her legal situation. I’m extremely concerned about the dishonesty from Kate’s parents and the consequences from that. As you might have seen on our site, that’s where we focus our energy. As far as this blog was concerned, I arrived interested in correcting the record on some of the factual inaccuracies in the account posted here. It’s important to start with a fair, honest assessment of the facts of the case before conversation about the relative degree of justice being applied to the case can begin in earnest.

  30. Jewels permalink

    I’m kind of appalled that in Florida you can be charged as an adult at 14. The law states both that you’re capable of understanding the consequences of murder, and incapable of understanding the consequences of sex.
    “Kate Hunt supporter wrote this comment and I thought I would share with all of you. So, someone please explain to me how at 14 years old you can be held accountable AS AN ADULT when it comes to being tried as an adult but yet that 14 isn’t old enough to consent to sex. Sounds crazy to me because at 14 years old you know all about sex and can consent to sex. You know exactly what your doing at that age. My Daughter just finished High School and she told me that most teenagers are having sex at 12 and 13 there first time. Is this young, yes but it is the teenagers choice as to when they feel ready to have sex, not the parents. Our kids are going to have sex when they are ready and there isn’t much we can do to stop them. We do NOT magically turn into an adult at 18 years old!! At that age we are just finishing high school and are still growing and maturing, which is why an 18, 19 or 20 year old isn’t allowed to have alcohol! This does not sound like an adult to me. The ONLY reason they have deemed 18 to be considered an adult, was so that they could recruit kids into the military as soon as they could. If 18 is considered a mature adult, a full adult, then why can they not drink?! That is not an adult. When we are adults, we can make all choices in our lives, including going out and having a drink with friends. Government calls an 18 year old an adult so that they can manipulate more people into voting for them and so that they can talk and groom kids into joining the military. Case and point; Military recruiters actually go to High schools and try convincing kids to join the military when they turn 18, promising them this and that, they are actually grooming kids. So, in my opinion, an 18 year is NOT an adult, because they are not mature enough to be considered a full on adult.

  31. Support Honesty, I have a question. At what age do you think that kids, tweens, teens, or whatever, should be held (at least partially) for their own actions? Unlike one of your supporters from earlier, I am hoping you will hear me out before responding. In no way am I ‘blaming the victim’, simply asking a question. But all the time I was growing up, I was told that it was me that was responsible for my actions. And as such, I was held responsible. Whether it was washing the dishes or flushing Mom’s chemo port, I was held accountable for my actions. But at the same time, until I turned 17 (legal/contractual age in this state), I was reliant on my parents for everything legally. So I guess my point is more along the lines of if we continue to teach children responsibility, and to be accountable for their actions, why do we then (largely) silence them when it comes to matters of the law? And by the way, I wasn’t kidding about the age question. I’d actually appreciate your opinion.

    • The transfer of accountability between a child and her parents is a gradual shift that takes place over the course of about 15 years. There is no one single point, single line that could be identified as an answer to your question.

      I might encourage my 3 year old to sit still and be calm when receiving instruction, but I recognize at 3 years old a child isn’t yet developed to a point where they can be held accountable for behaving otherwise. I encourage my 8 year old to sit still and be calm when in her classroom, and if she misbehaves she is held accountable for her actions and some form of punishment may occur. Maybe when I get a call from a teacher she has to go to her room instead of watching television.

      I might encourage my 8 year old to act mature with her peers, but I recognize that 8 year old children sometimes act decidedly immature and shouldn’t be punished for acting like an 8 year old. I encourage my 15 year old to be more mature and responsible than my 8 year old, and when she disobeys and act with the maturity of an 8 year old she is held accountable for her actions.

      So I guess the answer to your question is… starting at a Very Young age kids should be held, at least partially, for their own actions. But different types of behaviors require different levels of maturity, and different types misbehavior have different relative level of accountable at different ages.

      • Rachael Carson Zerbe permalink

        So you are still not answering the question of why can a 14 year old be tried as an adult for murder but not have any choice to consent to sex? I think by freshman year in high school we have to start letting kids make decisions and be accountable for their own actions. The younger gf in this case was in honors classes with juniors and seniors and on the basketball team (in the locker room) with the Varsity team. VERY mature for her age. How does she feel about all of this? She is treated like a 2 year old with no rights or power to choose on filing these charges. Now her sex life is exposed for the world to see thanks to the Sherriffs Dept. she will probably have to testify. Now a fun summer for a 15 and 18 year old girl has become a nightmare for both. For what???

  32. I didn’t write the law re: trying a 14 year old as an adult for murder… I’m not advocating for trying 14 year old for murder, and whether or not a 14 year old can be tried for murder has no relevance to this case. I don’t know why you’re hung up on me explaining something that has nothing to anything here.

    Psychologists (and common sense) tell us there’s not just one single metric that accounts for maturity or intelligence. We’ve all met people who are advanced in understanding of one field but lag behind their peers in another. We’ve all met people who are extremely adept with “book smarts” but have an unfortunate lack of “street smarts.” A gifted student who participates in honors classes is not necessarily any more impervious to manipulation in social situations; in fact, often these students are *less* adept than their 14 year old peers at fending off manipulation from older students.

    You’re making assumptions about the young girl’s capacity for handling the circumstances involved in this case in a healthy way, but none of us really know. What little we DO know about her reaction to circumstances actually suggests just the opposite; running away without your legal guardians knowing where you are or whether you’re safe to spend the night with an 18 year old is, however you feel about that, a decidedly immature way to handle whatever the circumstances might be and suggests she isn’t able to deal with the situation in a healthy way.

    Moreover, the law cannot possibly apply to each person individually. It has to be applied consistently to everyone in order to be fair. The law cannot possibly be written specific to this particular 14 year old; it must be written to take into account the broad developmental norms for children of that age. At 14 years old, children are broadly open to manipulation by people more powerful than them; the age and social status differential between a senior and a freshman provides that power to older teens.

    Of course, all of this discussion is outside the scope of what brought me here. Confusion and misinformation was fostered and spread by Kaitlyn Hunt’s family in order to generate an emotional response to this story in the form of hatred of the victim’s parents. That they lied is clearly documented (as those who have seen my site know) and is irrefutable, as different versions of the same story have been told by the Hunts themselves… and the most supposedly damning narrative (that the victim’s parents waited until Kaitlyn’s 18th birthday to report the crime as an act of apparent vengeance) was a blatant lie.

    There is simply no defense for this manipulation and demonization, and the damage from their effort cannot now be undone. But at the very least we should all aspire to support honesty, look at the evidence and appreciate the truth of the case in its original context to be sure we’re reacting fairly instead of clouded with the emotional misdirection that the Hunt family designed.

  33. Kate’s story also inspired me to write a piece, too…
    http://www.bilerico.com/2013/05/mark_and_kate.php

    • I don’t want to take anything away from Kate’s struggle, of course, but Patrick does bring up a good point. Kate’s battle is only part of the LGBT fight.

  34. Hail Brad!

    I am not fully up-to-date on this case, nor have I followed it as hotly and passionately as I have the cases in Stubenville, here in Halifax, BC or California. I’ve areas AP releases, heard your summary and now read this particular entry (not the answers yet, sorry)

    As a whole, this much can be said, -many- laws in the United States are antiquated and in desperate need of change. I can say this as both an American citizen and a Canadian immigrant. They represent views driven by opinion rather than what is right and just.true justice is not derived by personal bias, it comes from a myriad of compassion, recognition of human basic rights and social responsibility. The very best basic idea ever derived in our justice system is the concept of a separation of church and state.

    I agree with the idea that his case should compel change. Caveats exist in the law elsewhere for consent for teenagers and those no longer considered teenagers in situations such as these. Ruining the life of any person who clearly does not pursue such relationships with malicious intent, and I think we can agree this relationship was without malice. These caveats should not only exist everywhere, but be constantly and universally enforced. One of the key things I have the most distaste for are state by state laws..especially life altering, possibly ending, ones just like these. These laws clearly vary dramatically by how conservative or liberal a state is. Let’s call a cigar for what it is, these conservative interpretations are not rooted in justice, but are rooted in a faith no differently than Sharia Law. It is completely hypocritical for any Christian to decry the inhumane writ of Sharia law in other countries, yet demand laws that serve their own faith. It is not justice, it is simply a Christian answer to Sharia Law.

    I can’t agree with many other parts. I would turn to the police if an eighteen year old refused to stop seeing my fourteen year old. I simply do not trust adults to behave like….well…adults. Far too many parents have a ‘not my baby’ mentality that is the bane of school systems, businesses and police forces through all of North America. If a teacher says your kid is acting like a jerk to other kids, pay attention…we might not be having so much of this bullying people to their deaths going on.

    I definitely cannot agree with anyone completing a sexual education course being able to consent. As you, yourself pointed out even most adults can’t handle sex responsibly. Besides, this is effectively opening the door for real pedophiles, rather than simply avoiding the damage children (and that is what both of these girls are, by their actions -and- their age in my book.) who run afoul of those far too committed to either the letter of the law or the rules as dictated by fundamentalism.

    Since I have little idea on the reality of some of the he said/she said portions of this case, I can say this, were I the girlfriend’s parents, I would have gone to the police. However, I would not pursue a sentence, conviction and explicitly have demanded there be no inclusion of the sexual predator registry -unless- the 18 year old on the other end had a history of targeting other young teens, had forced themselves on my child (then, hunny, I’ll tell you, the gloves are -off-.) or repeatedly broke protection orders, got them addicted or involved in illegal activities.

    As a parent I am responsible for my child. As an adult, I am a member of my community. By actively destroying the children of my community, I destroy my village. I am as much a detriment to my community as any criminal. I feel here the parents of both families have a responsibility to act as adults should and protect not just their children, but one another’s.

    Regardless of the intention of the gf’s parents, there is clearly a fundamentalist overtone to these legal proceedings. By catering to it they do not serve themselves, their community or their child’s future. Likewise, Kate’s family have a similar responsibility, and they should continue to fight against the imposition of faith thinly veiled beneath the guise of justice. Every move they make is under the harshest scrutiny, so I hope the conduct themselves as honestly and openly as possible.

    And remember, even Exodus International closed its doors with an apology. It came a the cos of hundreds if not thousands of ruined lives, but it came. In that we should rejoice.

    (Holy tarnation that was long)

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