Main | Friday, May 24, 2013

Florida Teen Rejects Plea Deal On Charge Of Sexual Assault On Another Girl

Kaitlyn Hunt, 18, today rejected a plea offer from Florida prosecutors and will go to trial on charges that her consensual relationship with a younger female schoolmate constituted sexual assault.
Hunt was romantically involved with a high school basketball teammate who was 14 when they began dating last year. The other teen's parents moved to press charges against the 18-year-old Hunt, and she was arrested in February and eventually expelled from Sebastian River High School. A conviction could land Hunt in prison for 15 years. A plea deal would have kept her on probation for two years but still could have potentially derailed her future goals to be a nurse. Julia Graves, the attorney for the Hunt family, read a statement shortly before noon Friday following Hunt's decision: "Our client is a courageous teenager who is choosing not to accept the current plea offer by the state of Florida," Graves said. "It's a situation of two teenagers who happen to be of the same sex involved in a relationship. If this case involved a boy and a girl, we don't believe there'd be the media attention to this case."
The prosecutor's offer had included two years of house arrest and a guilty plea to child abuse. Florida's age of consent is 18, but "close age" relationships are exempt if the older party is under 24 and the younger is 16 or older.  Hunt's case has garnered international attention and over 100,000 signatures on a supportive petition.

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