News & Politics

Teen Girl Faces Felony Charge Over Lesbian Relationship, Mom Blames "Religious Zealot Parents"

Kaitlyn Hunt is facing felony charges of sexual “battery” after the parents of her 15-year-old girlfriend pressed charges.

Photo Credit: rSnapshotPhotos/ Shutterstock.com

The case of a Florida teenager being prosecuted after she was in a same-sex relationship with a girl three years younger is generating outrage. Kaitlyn Hunt, an 18-year-old student, is facing felony charges of sexual “battery” after the parents of her 15-year-old girlfriend pressed charges. The case has sparked Internet petitions and and a statement from Anonymous.

Hunt began dating her girlfriend when she was 17. The relationship was reportedly well-known to both sets of parents. When Hunt turned 18, her girlfriend’s parents went to the police and she was arrested on felony charges of “sexual battery on a person 12-16 years old,” according to Think Progress.

Hunt’s mother says the charges are motivated by  anti-gay bias on the part of the girlfriends’ parents. “They were out to destroy my daughter, they feel like my daughter ‘made’ their daughter gay. They are bigoted, religious zeolites [sic] that see being gay as a sin and wrong, and they blame my daughter,” Hunt’s mother wrote on Facebook.

Hunt has also run into trouble at the school she attends alongside her girlfriend. The girlfriends’ parents had her expelled, according to Hunt’s mother, despite the fact that a judge refused to order the expulsion. The school board made the decision to keep Hunt out of school for the remaining weeks of her senior year. Hunt is now forced to attend an alternative school for the remainder of the year, though she can attend special senior events at Sebastian River High School.

The state attorney’s office has offered the 18-year-old a plea deal. The deal would result in two years of house arrest and a year of probation, charges that would stay on her adult record. But Think Progress reports that Hunt’s father said his daughter is only willing to plead to a misdemeanor, and that if the State Attorney’s position doesn’t change, “Kaitlyn and her family are prepared to go to trial.”

Facebook groups and Change.org petitions have sprouted up in response to the case. The hacker group Anonymous has also spoken out. They sent a statement to the State Attorney’s office that reads: “Kaitlyn Hunt is a bright young girl who was involved in a consensual, same-sex relationship while both she and her partner were minors. She has a big future ahead of her and there are people, thousands of people in fact, that have no intention of allowing you to ruin it with your rotten selective enforcement.”

Hunt’s mother told a local ABC affiliate that she hopes the outrage will increase the pressure on the State Attorney’s office to drop the charges.

“She's scared to death, she can't sleep,” the mother told the news outlet.

 

Alex Kane is former World editor at AlterNet. His work has appeared in Mondoweiss, Salon, VICE, the Los Angeles Review of Books and more. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

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