Kate Hunt – Honor Student And Star Athlete – Expelled And Facing Felony Charges Because Her Girlfriend Is Younger Than Her

Kate Hunt facing felony charges for same sex high school relationshipThis is every parent’s worst nightmare and although I’m sure you will all be as enraged as I am by the end of reading this, there are two excellent aspects of this horror story. One is that we can help, and I will post a link to a petition at the end of this article, and two is that Kaitlyn Hunt has parents who seem wonderful and supportive, and in a case like this, this poor girl sure as hell needs them.

Kate Hunt is facing felony charges and has been expelled from high school for engaging in a “mutually consensual” relationship with a girl who is three years younger than her. The girls were both players on Sebastian River’s high school basketball team in Palm Bay, Florida and according to a Facebook page set up to support Kate, both sets of parents were aware of the girl’s relationship.

Kate is an 18 year old senior about to graduate from SRHS. She has an exemplary record at school and home. She has always been a wonderful student, respected and well liked. She has cheered on the varsity cheer team all throughout high school, shes sung in chorus and was voted most school spirited. She has never been in trouble, ever, she truly is the model student and child. At the beginning of this school year, she started dating a fellow student, who happened to be another female. This girl also played varsity sports, was in the IB program, so she was in classes with upperclassman. There was an age difference between my daughter and the other girl, of 3 years, my daughter was older, however you would have thought it was the opposite by just looking at the girls. My daughter is tiny, looks very young, and the other girl looks much older and is much taller, either way there was a 3 year age gap. They were both students in the same high school, it was a mutual consenting relationship on both parts. This was unusual for Kate, she has always dated boys, but being the kind of mother I am, I didn’t want to make it a big deal. I talked to her about it, and figured it was just a social thing, times have changed and a lot of kids are experimenting, so I didn’t make much of it. This girl came to my home, hang out with our family before sporting events at the school, etc. The girls would hang out together at after school activities, I was there, I saw the other girls father there several times, he saw them together as well, so I assumed her family was aware of it and didn’t have any issues either. On Saturday February 16th our families world was shattered and our daughters nightmare begun.

 

On February 16th police came to the Hunt home and arrested Kaitlyn for sexual battery on a person aged 12-16, and she is being charged with “lewd and lascivious” battery on a child. She can face up to 15 years in prison, and she has to register as a sex offender. if Kate takes a plea deal, she will receive two years of house arrest and one year of probation. The other girl’s family petitioned the school in order to have Kate expelled, weeks before her graduation.

They are out to destroy my daughter, because they feel like she ‘made’ their daughter gay. They see being gay as wrong and they blame my daughter. Of course, I see it 100% differently. I don’t see or label these girls as gay. They are teenagers in high school experimenting with their sexuality – with mutual consent. And even if their daughter is gay, who cares? She is still their daughter.

 

I’m the first person who will be enraged when I feel like a child is being sexually exploited by an adult. I have written extensively on child predators and I think child abuse is a very serious crime, and those of you familiar with this know exactly how I feel about child sexual abuse. In this case, there is a three year age difference between two girls who had the same peer group and who started dating because they met at school. If it was an older boy who was dating a younger girl I seriously doubt this relationship would have been an issue. Now a young girl’s life is in danger of being destroyed because of bigotry. This isn’t sexual abuse. This isn’t a crime. This is a case of two teen girls who embarked on a relationship together who have a small age difference and who happen to be of the same gender. I’ll be following this story closely and keeping my fingers crossed that the charges are dropped. I can understand parents forbidding the girls to have contact, I can see it but I can’t understand it because I think there is enough hatred in this world and love is something that should be celebrated, but if the other girl’s parents don’t want her in this relationship that is there perogative. But to have Kate Hunt face criminal charges or a jail sentence because of this is absurd and horrific. I really hope the parents reconsider.

You can sign a petition for Kate here and there is now a website for Kate here.

(UPDATE: The Sheriff’s office has released Kate’s affidavit)

(Image: Facebook)

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    • Blueathena623

      I was wondering when this story would break here on mommyish. Maybe someone can answer — what is covered by lewd and la vacuous behaviour? Do they need to have sex, or is kissing enough?

      • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

        I wish I still worked on weekends! That I am not sure about. But I shall hit the interwebs and scooby doo this

      • chickadee

        According to Florida statutes, engaging in sexual activity includes “the oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ of another or the anal or vaginal penetration of another by any other object,” which would result in a charge of lewd or lascivious battery. A charge of lewd or lascivious molestation would be “[a] person who intentionally touches in a lewd or lascivious manner the breasts, genitals, genital area, or buttocks, or the clothing covering them, of a person less than 16 years of age, or forces or entices a person under 16 years of age to so touch the perpetrator,” which is a second-degree felony if the minor is between the ages of 12 and 16. Lewd or lascivious conduct, also a second-degree felony, is frighteningly vague, which is defined as someone who “[i]ntentionally touches a person under 16 years of age in a lewd or lascivious manner.”

      • Justme

        I like the “la vacuous” auto correct. :)

    • Blueathena623

      Oh, and as much as I feel bad for Kate (and I do), I also feel for that poor girl she was dating. What a great message that girls parents are sending — being gay means you should go to jail.

      • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

        Totally, I also read that the younger sister is seeing horrific graffiti at school and being subjected to bullying because of this :(

      • Psych Student

        The parents of the younger girl are *clearly* homophobic. It is dreadfully unfortunate for that poor girl. I really hope she’s got other friends and family memebers who are accepting and can support her regardless of who she goes on to date in the future.

      • honestyalways

        How are they clearly homophobic? Only Kate’s mother and their supporters have said that. There is no record of the childs parents saying that at all.

      • Earthking

        You are clearly psychotic. A phobia is a medical term for having an unfounded, irrational fear of something. Disdaining perversion has absolutely ZERO to do with having a phobia, you uneducated, complete pervert loving, morons.

      • Psych Student

        1. Phobia is a psychological term. Though we use the term “homophobia” colloquially to mean someone who does not like homosexuals.
        2. Homosexuality is not a perversion.
        3. I am quite well educated, thanks. I have a BS in Zoology, a BS in Psychology, an MA in Psychology an in another couple of years a doctorate in Psychology (Psy.D.). So, I am actually very well educated. Are you?
        4. If by “pervet loving” you mean I am a woman with a woman then yes, I am. And I’ve never been happier. If you mean that I am accepting of those around me regardless of their sexual activites, then yes, I am.

      • Erica

        I LOVE IT! =)

    • chickadee

      This sort of situation — where a teenager is having a sexual relationship that is technically illegal — happens all the time with heterosexual couples, and is usually only prosecuted when a parent objects to the relationship for whatever reason. These cases usually don’t get much media attention, but I am glad that this one is. I think it’s very likely the fact that the parents object to a same-sex relationship and not to the age difference, but the laws put in place to protect girls from older, possibly predatory boys can be and are used by angry parents to prosecute teenagers who are not guilty of sexual predation.

      The Florida statues are pretty strict: http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0800-0899/0800/Sections/0800.04.html

      The sections regarding lewd or lascivious conduct and lewd or lascivious molestation consider sexual touching that includes the fabric covering the breasts or buttocks and any touching that can be considered lascivious or lewd to be a second-degree felony. I suppose someone would have to prove that Hunt did indeed violate this statute, but as they’re teenagers, I would not be surprised if such touching occurred in front of others.

      I hope the parents of the girls involved come to their senses and drop the charges. This is absolutely ridiculous, and almost certainly rooted in homophobia alone. Had the girl been seeing a boy of that age, no charges would have been filed for a similar relationship.

      • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

        Chick you rock thank you for that info

      • chickadee

        This story scares the hell out of me, since you can see how easily it can be manipulated against any teenager in this type of relationship.

      • Armchair Observer

        I dunno. Here in the South it isn’t all that unusual for consentual relationships like these to be prosecuted when heterosexual–if, usually only if, the older male is also of a different race than the younger female (particularly African American male dating a Caucasian female). As disgusting as this is, it really isn’t unheard of. I have to assume Florida is similar.

      • chickadee

        Oh exactly. It’s when the parents get upset about the older partner that this becomes a crime. I have only seen it happen in my community because the parents of the girl (the younger party) were super-Christian and decided that the girl was coerced by her boyfriend (whom they had previously liked until the sex happened) despite the girl’s assertions that it was mutual and non-coercive. He is now a registered sex offender.

      • http://www.facebook.com/caitlynjade Jade Cahoon

        That is incredibly sick. Wow.

    • kims

      I feel so bad that this poor girl is just starting her life & is going through this. its definitely time these laws are re-examined & some changes made, to protect the kids from bitter, malicious parents. hopefully friends of the girls can testify that there was no manipulation or pressure from kate’s side, & this could put the odds in kate’s favor.

      • Psych Student

        Unfortunately (read: why does this country suck so hard sometimes), all the character witnesses in the world probably won’t help. As stated by tohers, when it’s an older boy, regardless of what the girlfriend says about consent, it won’t save the guy. Which is a load of horse shit.

    • Annie

      This is awful. What the fuck is wrong with you, Florida?

      • CrazyFor Kate

        What the fuck is wrong with everyone? Sigh. For the last time, parents, if you wouldn’t be against your daughter dating a guy this age (and maybe they would be), you can’t be against your daughter dating a girl this age.

      • Psych Student

        What is wrong with people (not in this case but in cases of the same charges against hetero couples) is that parents think that everyone else’s child is having sex but their own. And when they find out their precious snowflake (who is obviously female) is actually having sex, their world comes to an end and *clearly* a boy made her do it. Because it’s not like girls have any sexual desires at all. /sarcasm.

      • honestyalways

        I am completely against my 14 (not yet, she is 8) year old daughter having sex with anyone. I would have done what these parents did. Which was FIRST ask Kate TWICE to leave their daughter alone. If that failed then yes, i would go to the police. And for the record, i dont give a darn if my daughter turns out to be a lesbian.

    • Scott in Canada

      In Canada this relationship would be completely legal. Those under 16 can consent to sex as long as their partner is not more than three years their senior. I hope this gets resolved in both girls’ favour.

      • chickadee

        In the US, the laws vary by state, ranging from (I believe) 14 to 18, with about a dozen lowering the age of consent to 16. In addition to that, the states are allowed to determine what gap of years between those of consenting age but not necessary of majority (over 18) and a partner who is below the consenting age is legal. For example, if a state permits a gap of 2 years between those under the age of consent, it would be legal for a 15-year-old to have sex with a 17-year-old, but not an 18-year-old. It can get very confusing.

      • Spiderpigmom

        It would be completely legal in France too –the age of legal consent is 15 there– and in a bunch of other countries (just too lazy too google “age of legal consent”). Perhaps it is illegal in the US but I can’t see in which universe it is immoral.

      • Makabit

        They’d be fine in California as well. Florida seems to have an odd set-up.

    • http://twitter.com/Kevaroo Kevaroo

      I”m confused, a 18 year old is having sex with a 15 year old. Isn’t that against the law? I’ve heard plenty of situations where 18 year old men have been arrested for having sex with their 15 year old girlfriends. Why exactly does she get a pass for being gay?

      • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

        The girls knew each other for a long time, I believe they meet a few years prior and the parents waited until Kate was 18 to press charges. This isn’t some case of someone preying on someone younger, they had mutual friends, belonged to the same peer group, etc. They were DATING.

      • Cee

        Yep we live in a country where we twiddle our thumbs over rape yet have no problem punishing consentual teenage sex. Proves to you how this country deals with sexuality..

      • http://twitter.com/TwAlexLee Alex Lee

        Why do basketball and football coaches and players get passes for patting each other on the butt after a good play? By definition, that qualifies as lewd and lascivious battery.

        Context here is very important.

        I’d be fine with Kaitlyn doing a PSA about underage dating – but this increased scrutiny because of her sexual-orientation is unjustified.

      • Psych Student

        18 year olds who are dating 15 year olds shouldn’t be arrested either! And in this case, the gay thing is relevant because the younger girl’s parents are openly homophobic, thus making it about the gay thing.

    • Andrea

      I think about this constantly. My oldest son has a summer birthday, so we held him back before he started kindergartner and therefore will be 18 throughout his entire senior year of high school. It terrifies me that he could have a girlfriend who is 15, which wouldn’t be such a big deal, but the possibility is there that the girl’s parents (or the girl herself) could make this a crime and ruin my kid for life.

      I have talked about this with my kids, but I am still so scared of this. I don’t, for reason, worry about a whole lot of things in this big scary world, but this one is my worry stone. Reading this story filled me with dread.

      • Not a parent. MockMyInsights.

        This might sound callous–and please believe me it’s not meant to—just because they’re dating doesn’t mean they have to be (or are) having sex. When I was 15-16 I was dating a guy who was 18-19 and nothing about our relationship was illegal–because we weren’t having sex. As someone who didn’t have sex in high school (or in point of fact until I was married) I have always resented the idea that teenagers dating means sexy behavior of some kind is happening.
        I’m sure that your son will make smart decisions and I hope that you don’t worry too much–it sounds like you’re a wonderful parent who is looking after their kids.

    • Mary

      Gay or straight, i’ve always thought this law was wrong. It’s CONCENTUAL.

      • Psych Student

        Close – consensual. Sorry about that, I write the word a lot and always want to spell it with “sent,” so you’re not alone. :) Please forgive me.

    • TngldBlue

      So, lemme get this straight-the Stuebenville rapists weren’t tried as adults and received less than the maximum sentence for raping a 16 year old girl and the various adults that covered it up received no punishment yet this young girl has a consensual relationship and is looking at 15 years hard time and being labeled a sex offender the rest of her life? In what world does this make sense?

      • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

        BINGO.

      • honestyalways

        It makes sense because 1) the younger girls was 14 while kate was 18. 2) kate refused the plea deal that would have given her 2 years house arrest and 3 years probation. and a lesser charge of child abuse. 3) Due to FL’s romeo and juliet law Kate qualifies to petition the judge to never have to register as a sex offender.

      • Earthking

        My nephew was charged and convicted of exactly the same age and circumstances, of course he was straight, so that’s okay. If they are perverts, well they need to get off (pun intended). The parents of the girl told prosecutors they had no problem with the two doing what they were, but the state picked up the charges anyway. I know of 3 circumstances just like that. This perverted pedo gets at least the same treatment.

    • Melissa T

      I dunno…I live in a pretty progressive area and I had friends in a hetero relationship that were prosecuted similarly. One boy I knew was strong armed into basically giving up his rights to the child he fathered at 18 with his 15 year old girlfriend over threats of pressing charges. Another couple I know were together from 16 and 13, and when he turned 18 a teacher turned them in, it wasn’t even the parents. I agree that in this case age isn’t the motivating factor, but it does happen all the time. And sometimes it’s a good thing, because there IS a big difference in maturity generally between a 15 year old and an 18 year old, and intentionally or not there can be a predatory situation there. It doesn’t sound like this is the case for these girls at all, so I hope that common sense is found.

      • Psych Student

        I’d prefer to error on the side of caution and say that all those cases are bullshit and (this next statement is going to be *filled* with holes, problems, and exceptions) that provided everyone is in high school, the age difference shouldn’t be illegal. If it was fine when someone was 17:11:29 (years:months:days), then it should be fine when the older rolls over to 18.

    • Cee

      Im so sick over this. This is clearly a disgusting persecution by the younger girl’s parents and the school district.
      And for all those people that say shes no more special than any 18 year old boy. Youre right. She is not. While its clear that the parents went after her over having a gay relationship, many young PEOPLE have their lives ruined by shitty parents who hate the person their child dates because of their race, sex and other petty things that will haunt this person for the rest of their lives in many ways such as schools, buying a home, employment, when they have kids and can’t be anywhere near their activities. There needs to be something that protects these teenagers, who are most likely classmates, from being persecuted this way. There needs to be a way to question parents’ motives. When these parents have long forgotten what theyve done, this young person will continue to live with the consequence.

    • http://www.facebook.com/RetiredSceneQueen Emmali Lucia

      Statutory rape is statutory rape.

      Honestly the reason it happens all the time without police getting involved is because no one gets the police involved.

      The police are a lot like those wacky school districts that ban books that you hear about. Unfortunately whoever yells the loudest and threatens to get the media involved gets the most attention and has their problems answered to quicker.

    • ljreynolds

      The people who pressed charges are disgusting!!!!!!! This poor girl’s life is ruined due to stupidity.

    • http://www.facebook.com/courtney.wooten Courtney Lynn

      I don’t know for sure, none of us do, that she was prosecuted because it was same-sex and I want to believe that it wasn’t, but I don’t and I strongly suspect it was. I agree with another comment, that here in the south a LOT of teen hetero relationships get busted as well so it’s hard to say for sure but I just feel like somehow this girl is being targeted for being gay. It does blow my mind that in cases like the Steubenville trial and Rehtaeh’s case, it’s such a “gray area” (bullshit), yet, in this one it’s SO cut and dry. Please.

    • http://twitter.com/witavorr AE Vorro

      It appears as though a Romeo and Juliet law was passed in 2007 for problems specifically like this (Section 943.04354, F.S.). If this is still on the books, Ms. Hunt may be able to petition for removal from the sex offender registry, as for the felony charges… here’s hoping. A quick and dirty Google search seems to suggest this happens pretty often in FL, across orientation.

    • Flmom

      Would there be the same amount of outrage for this case if the 18 year old was a boy? The BOY an honor student who knew the girl from classes. The BOY looked younger and they were dating for some time before the BOY turned 18 and then the girl’s parents turned him into the authorities. This happens all the time. Her parents should have spent less time “being cool with her having a relationship with a girl” and instead informed her of the legal ramifications of engaging in sexual activity with someone who was legally a minor when she was legally an adult.

      I do believe however that the other girl’s parents did notify the authorities because she was involved with a girl, but who’s to say that they wouldn’t have done it if she was involved in a sexual relationship with a boy who was 18, or a different race or someone from the “wrong side of the tracks”.

      Not everyone who has a relationship with someone younger then them gets prosecuted for it, the police cannot possibly know when it is happening all the time, and unfortunately for her, she got caught for doing something illegal. Because what she did was illegal.

      • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

        There should be the same level of outrage. The girls had a relationship , meaning they knew each other, for years. they were peers. I am the FIRST person to yell rape or sex abuse, trust me. This is NOT the case in this case. I just read the police report and if anything, it shows how consensual this case is. The girls were dating. If a boy and a girl both in high school with this same age diff were dating and this happened it would also be outrageous.

      • Flmom

        I completely agree with you. I don’t think this girl is a predator, or should have to register as a sex offender for the rest of her life because of one set of vindictive parents. But, I’m not the law and my opinion doesn’t matter in the justice system. I hope her life isn’t ruined, but it doesn’t change the fact that, technically, what she was doing was illegal.

      • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

        I hear you. It just makes me crazy when we have REAL cases of rape and child sexual predators and people are going insane about two high school kids in the same age bracket having a relationship.

      • Psych Student

        It’s time to change the laws. Perhaps this outrage will help with that. That’s often how laws get changed.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1165875627 Jennifer Ives O’Meara

      This case has no legal merit. The relationship began when the oldest was 17, the youngest was 14, both girls celebrated birthdays during the school year, and the parents of the younger waited until the oldest was 18, to go to the school principal (wanted to expell her, they said no) then to the school board, then to the police. The youngest refused to make a statement, but legally the parents still filed anyways on her behalf. How the state of florida is going to prove their case, (evidence of sexual relationship) without a statement or medical proof is BEYOND me. Now because of bigotry, everyone involved is suffering. Again, I fail to see how this is making a real or legal impact upon the minds & actions of Florida teenagers!?

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    • jessica

      Statutory rape laws applied in this context make me pretty uncomfortable and confused. Clearly a 25 year old should not be engaged in an intimate relationship with a 15 year old so these laws need to exist. But an 18 year old and a 15 year old? That could be a high school senior and a high school freshman- peers. And if that were illegal back in my day than my high school boyfriend (who is now my husband) would now be a registered sex offender.. or at least he would be if my parents hadn’t liked him so much and approved of our teenage romance. It does seem that these laws can be pretty easily abused in cases like this where there appears to be something else going on, like a general disapproval of same-sex relationships.

      • Justme

        My husband is ten years older than me. He could have been my high school basketball coach seeing as how he was out of college and coaching when I was still in high school and playing ball. Our relationship would have been uber creepy back then, but now the age difference is kind of funny. He couldn’t understand why I had never watched The Goonies growing up. Well, duh…I was playing with My Little Ponies at that time. Anyways. Totally off topic, but age difference is such a funny thing.

    • http://twitter.com/HollysHere Holly Briley

      For as much as I feel badly and to some point disagree with the charges, I cant get on board with saying this is because she is gay. Parents have used this and similar laws to end relationships since the laws have been on the books. How many times have we rallied around these young men? Would we even know about this if it had been a male female thing? I doubt it… this happens all the time.
      Regardless of all the 15 year old’s parents pressure, if the laws were not on the books.. no charges would have been made.
      To me while this may be an injustice on some levels.. its not a “gay thing” its an “illegal thing.”

      • Psych Student

        This may happen all the time, but in *this* case, it is a gay thing. I’m pretty sure that the younger girl’s parents have mentioned that the problem is that Kate is a girl. And these stupid laws *shouldn’t* be on the books – they are unreasonable.

    • Kay

      Hmm. I dated someone who was three years my senior at 16. The age of consent where I lived was 17. I turned 17 a while after and we eventually broke up, but no one got prosecuted and no one went to jail because it was consensual. This is horrible. These horrible parents need to understand they’re ruining two lives. I know they never will, but my heart breaks for both of these girls.

      It’s sad that in our society we can protect rapists and give them minimum sentences, but when a girl has a relationship with someone three years younger that is agreed upon by both parties and isn’t abusive/negative/bad in any way, shape or form we make them a sex offender and send them to jail.

    • Not a parent. MockMyInsights.

      it’s possible that everyone is going to throw virtual stones at me by the end of this but:

      While I *don’t* think that she should be charged for ““lewd and lascivious” battery on a child. ” or register as a sex offender…if she is overage and the girl is underage and they were having sex…depending on the age of consent in that particular state…it’s a crime.

      Gay, straight, or bisexual…that’s statutory rape. Now most cases don’t get prosecuted for a whole variety of reasons (parents don’t want to, parents don’t know about, parent’s don’t see it as a crime etc.) but the fact remains If you are 18 or over and you are having sex (I believe of any kind, but I’m not positive) it’s statutory rape, and that is in fact a crime.
      Do I think that this is being blown out of proportion because this other girl’s parents are livid and lashing out? Of course. But to say that what this girl didn’t isn’t a crime is (likely…again I have no idea what the age of consent in this state is) not correct.

      I think that all parents need to talk to their kids not just about safe sex and safe sex practices, but about the laws surrounding sex in their state. Most kids don’t know that it’s a crime to have sex with someone under 18 if you’re over the age of 18 and get themselves in a lot of terrible situations because of it.

      I am NOT defending these parents. I am not saying that I believe what these girls did is wrong or right. I am saying that whether you like it or not, statutory rape is a crime.

      • A-nony-mous

        I agree with this. I too think it’s being blown way out of proportion due to the parents denial and rage but at the same time I’ve seen 18 year old boys get completely crucified online for this very behaviour so I feel in the spirit of equality that if it’s not ok for most 18 year old boys to date 15 year old girls then it’s not ok for 18 year old girls to date 15 year olds either.

        They can be peers but there’s also a large age gap. Three years isn’t anything to adults but I do think it’s a lot when dealing with teenagers. Think of the difference between an infant and a three year old. I think there’s just as much difference between most 15 year olds and most 18 year olds.

        I think the 18 year olds, regardless of their gender, need to be aware of that and aware that they can’t date underage children when they’re legally considered of-age/overage adults.

        On a personal level, I find it a bit creepy. At 18 you’re graduating high school or potentially even shifting to college. At 15 you’re in middle school in the US so most of them aren’t even school peers as they wouldn’t often be in the same building as most places in the US seem to split middle school and high school campuses apart. So you basically have an adult college student going after a middle school child.

      • Alex

        A 15 year old is usually grade 9, which is high school in most of the United States.

      • Psych Student

        “Going after” makes it sound like a relationship is starting. These girls had been dating for a time before Kate turned 18. And I think it’s ok for 18 year old boys to date 15 year old girls, just as I think it’s ok for for 18 year old girls to date 15 year old girls.

    • Muggle

      I get so tired of “statutory rape is statutory rape” comments, because the people making them only follow the letter of the law and think it’s the spirit. It is not. Age of consent laws exist to protect high-schoolers from grown adults, and nobody can argue that a classmate who just turned 18 is really an adult (legally, yes, but only in a few ways until he or she graduates high school). By grown adults I mean teachers, coaches, people who are 20+ wanting to mack on 14-year-old girls. And then people take these laws, and get carried away prosecuting innocent high school students for daring to have sex with classmates. This is why the “Romeo and Juliet” laws exist in some states.

      This is not sexual abuse, and it should not be a crime. Period. Prosecuting two high school students is a waste of court time and distracts law enforcement from ACTUAL rape and sexual abuse… like 22-year-olds trying to get into 15-year-olds’ pants. That’s what the laws were made for.

      • Not a parent. MockMyInsights.

        While a 15—or even 17–year old can be pressured by someone their own age to have sex, I think you’re forgetting how much weight being pursued by someone older has in high school. An 18 year old guy is…god like to a lot of freshmen. And they think they *have* to have sex with them because this guy is dating little old them.
        I have no idea what the percent of these cases is where that’s the case or where it’s parent’s wigging out and reporting statutory rape even when it was a consensual relationship.
        And while these laws do exist to protect 22 year olds from pressuring 15 year olds to have sex, they also exist to protect 15 year olds from 18 year olds pressuring them to have sex. A 15 year old can have consensual sex with a 22 year old just as easily as an 18 year old. Where do you draw the line?

      • A-nony-mous

        But isn’t a 15 year old feeling the need to ‘keep up with the [older] joneses’ all the more reason 15 year olds should probably not be dating 18 year olds (or older) adults? Too many are not ready and do feel the need to be more adult than their age because they’re trying to date an adult. Sometimes you have to protect kids from themselves, no matter how ‘fun’ or ‘cool’ something is to them or their peers.

      • Psych Student

        Because most (all?) of the cases that go to trial are with older boys and younger girls, but suggesting that the 15 year old (who is old enough to make sexual decisions) is often pressured to have sex (ok, I feel like I’m putting words in that you didn’t type – sorry) by the 18 year old implies that girls don’t have sexual desires. 15 is not an unreasonable age for a girl to want to explore sexually.
        I *think* most of the times, when you’ve got the just-over-the-line case, the sex is consensual and parents just don’t want their precious daughter being a sexual person *rolls eyes*.

      • Not a parent. MockMyInsights.

        I’m not suggesting that 15 year olds (of either gender) don’t have sexual desires. Mainly, cause that’s insane. What I am saying is that in high school 3 or 4 years older is a lot different then in your twenties. The social structure of high school puts the older kids “on top”. I.e. the older you are the more social standing you have. And in high school–social standing is everything. So whether it’s a conscious thing or not, these girls feel like they have to go along with what these guys want–because they’re older and if they don’t this guy could “ruin their life”. I’m not saying it’s the case in every relationship I hope that most teenage girls are strong enough to recognize it for what it is–crap. I’m saying it’s there and you can’t ignore that just because the relationship was “consensual”.

    • Hannah

      Oh come on. This isn’t happening because she’s gay. It’s attracting media attention because she’s gay. This happens to heterosexual couples as well. Hell, I knew of two guys in high school who got charged with the exact same thing. I’m glad it’s getting media coverage, because it’s a tragic issue that needs addressing. But all of the “ZOMG they would never charge her if she weren’t a homosexual!!!” comments are just not true.

    • Alexandra

      Wait, the states don’t have “age gap” laws for statutory rape, etc?
      In canada, Although the age of consent is 16, a person between the ages of 14 and 15 can be in a relationship with someone within a 4 year age gap (ex: 14 and 18 is ok), and a person between 12 and 13 can be with someone within a 2 year age gap.

      This makes much more sense to me than someone being arrested because their significant other is under the age of 18…

      • http://www.facebook.com/RetiredSceneQueen Emmali Lucia

        The age gap law in most of the US is 3-4 years. I think Florida is a three year state. So if she’s even a day over three years it’s illegal

      • Psych Student

        Oh, Canada; you are so much more awesome that we are. *sigh* (That wasn’t sarcasm, I really do think that!)

    • http://www.facebook.com/jon.frideres Jon Frideres

      Deliberate manipulation and misuse of laws in order to harm another person is wrong regardless if it is motivated by greed, hatred, bigotry, religion, politics or abject stupidity.

    • Amber

      You’re mad because she’s being treated the same way an 18 year old boy would be in the same situation?

      That’s called equality. I could introduce you to several men who had their lives ruined because they did EXACTLY what this girl is doing. This is not a new thing.

      Making good grades does not cancel out statutory rape.

      • Psych Student

        And it is equally bullshit when it happens to boys. People keep saying that she’d be treated the same way if she were a boy as if that justifies what’s happening. It’s not right when it happens to anyone! Just because straight boys experience it without working so hard to get media attention doesn’t make this case acceptable (nor does it make bringing charges against 18 year olds who have sex with their consensenting girlfriends acceptable).

    • Lindsey Sweet

      That is disgusting! It literally makes me sick to my stomach….

    • Arglacius

      The parents’ homophobia doesn’t really matter since parents should have the right to intervene in their child’s relationships at anytime for whatever reason using methods within the law. I see many people defending Ms.Hunt are trying to undermine the authority and power the parent has with regards to their minor. Ms.Hunt should have considered the future of her relationship as her birthday approached. Teens have to start thinking a little bit more consciously with regards to their sexual activities being that there are very harsh punishments awaiting them and that have already struck their age group.

      • Psych Student

        Teens are actually incapable of thinking into the future like adults due to lack of frontal lobe development. That’s why we expect parents to help them and to make reasonable decisions – such as not trying to prosecute consensual sex.

    • Vikky

      If Kate was male, all these excuses would sound like so much mansplaining.

      These cases are only prosecuted if the parents complain…so if your girlfriend’s parents hate you, why would you risk it?

      Lesbian sex is real sex. Women can also be predators and abuse laws
      should apply to them too. If she loved her, she should have waited for
      her.

      • Psych Student

        “Lesbian sex is real sex”. I agree. Though there are some law makers in other states (sorry, don’t know who said it off the top of my head) who said that becauses gay sex can’t produce children, it’s not real sex.

      • http://www.facebook.com/RetiredSceneQueen Emmali Lucia

        THANK YOU.

        That’s what I’ve been thinking this whole time. It sounds JUST like mansplaining or even rape apology. We don’t actually know what the hell was going on, for all we know Kate could have taken advantage of her and she got her parents help. All we’re hearing about is from Kate and her parent’s POV.

    • banjonyc

      So, you would be comfortable with an 18 year old senior male having consensual sex with 15 year old female? A 12th grader (18) having sex with a 9th grader (15). I think not. What I do know is that law enforcement/judges need discretion to look at different situations and make proper legal decisions. No matter how good this girl did in school, the parent knowing this relationship was going on should have immediately stepped in and stopped it. That is what parents do. I read a comparison on here of the stubenville rapists. You do realize they were charged and convicted. Now there is a tremendous difference there and this was “consensual” but the reason statutory rape laws are on the books is that we have all agreed that 14 year olds dont have the capacity or the foresight to make correct decisions concerning sex. That is a pretty broad statement, but again, if this were a male having sex with a young female, everyone would be saying throw him in jail

      • Psych Student

        If the 18 year old and 15 year old had been dating for a while and this was only a problem the moment he turned 18, then yes, I am perfectly comfortable with it. Though I’m a bad example, because I think that 15 is old enough to make sexual decisions (though not with this country’s idea of sex ed) and wouldn’t be bothered if they were having a one night stand either. And it’s one thing to step in and stop a relationship and another thing to bring charges against one party.

    • Teal

      I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. If this was a straight relationship, especially if the guy was older, people would be saying lock him up and throw away the key. Double standard much?

      • Psych Student

        Are you sure that’s true? If the two kids had been in the same circles for a while (including the same higher level classes), and had been dating for a while and were having consensual sex? Sounds just fine to me!

    • Teal

      I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, if this was a straight relationship, especially if the guy was older, people would be saying to lock him up and throw away the key. Double standard much?

      • Teal

        Although it does seem like if the girl is the older one in a straight relationship, people seem to make less of a fuss. Maybe because of the stereotype that girls can’t be predators?

      • Psych Student

        That is true, I can’t think of (though that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exsist) of a case in which an older girl was charged with having sex with a younger boy. Though that’s probably less about the predator thing (though that myth is part of it) and more about the assumption that girls can’t *possibly* have sexual desires or agency.

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    • jlo1965

      Bottom line she admitted to doing this. The law was broken. She refused to accept a plea deal. The prosecutor is prosecuting.She should of taken the plea. She will now end up in prison and that should of never happened.

    • Bryce Jones

      what’s the writers stance on the situation if it was a man that did this? he would go jail and noone would have written an article

    • Mdiddy

      Shocking. You mean youre not allowed to molest 14 year olds even if youre a lesbian!!!!! Those evil puritans.

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