By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
A female 18-year-old was arrested on two felony charges for her same-sex relationship with a 15-year-old classmate and expelled from high school, and now her family wants the charges dropped as she faces life as a convicted sex offender. Kaitlyn Hunt of Palm Bay, Florida is charged with two counts of lewd and lascivious battery on a child ages 12 to 16 for having an ‘intimate’ relationship with the unnamed girl. Hunt and the girl began dating at the start of the school year while Hunt . They played on the basketball team together and Hunt’s mother, Kelley Hunt-Smith says that both she and the girl’s parents knew about the relationship.
But then Hunt turned 18 and, according to Hunt-Smith, the girl’s family decided to press charges against Hunt for her ‘intimate’ relationship with their 15-year-old daughter. In Florida, the age of consent is 18. First, says Hunt’s father Steven, Kaitlyn was dropped from the basketball team because of her relationship. Then, on February 16, Hunt was arrested at her family’s home for ‘lewd and lascivious battery.’ The girl’s parents also petitioned to have Hunt expelled from school.
At first they were unsuccessful, but eventually Hunt sent to a separate school. ‘After two separate judges ruled that Kaitlyn could finish her senior year with her peers, her girlfriend's parents appealed to the Indian River County School Board, who expelled Kaitlyn sent her to the alternative school,’ writes Hunt-Smith in a Facebook post. Hunt remains allowed to officially graduate with her Sebastian River High School classmates, however. Hunt has been offered a plea deal from the Florida state’s attorney’s office. If she takes it, she'll receive two years of house arrest and a year probation.
Without the deal, Florida law says Hunt could receive 15 years in jail and must register as a sex offender.All, says Hunt’s mother, because of her daughter’s ‘mutual consenting relationship.’
‘They are out to destroy my daughter,’ Hunt Smith told the Examiner. ‘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.’ Hunt’s family is now desperate to get the charges against her, which they say will limit her future employment options, dropped.
‘Kaitlyn's girlfriend denies that Kaitlyn ever pressured her and is adamant that their relationship is entirely consensual,’ writes Hunt-Smith. Hunt has received an outpouring of support in recent days. Her story has been told on news sites across the Web and, in addition to the Facebook page dedicated to her plight, Hunt’s family has posted a petition to Change.org urging the Assistant State Attorney Brian Workman to ‘Stop the prosecution of an 18 year old girl in a same-sex relationship.’
‘Kaitlyn was a highly respected student,’ reads the petition, ‘with good grades and participation in cheer leading, basketball and chorus. She was even voted “most school spirit.” Now she’s been expelled from school and is facing serious felonies - all because she is in love.’