Kaitlyn Hunt is an 18-year-old high school student facing felony charges over her relationship with a 15-year-old classmate.
Kaitlyn’s girlfriend’s parents are accusing her of “lewd and lascivious battery on a child 12 to 16.”
Instead of doing the right thing here and telling these vindictive parents to deal with their daughter’s sexuality without state involvement, the state attorney’s office is offering Kaitlyn a plea deal which will put her under house arrest for two years, with a year of probation. All this would stay on her adult record, limiting her career choices.
There is no way in hell an 18-year-old dating a 15-year-old should involve handcuffs, unless both parties have consented of course.
The media is up in arms about this, mostly because it involves the novelty of two girls, at least one of whom is cute. But the truth is that vindictive parents slap teenagers with life-ruining labels like “sex offender” for consensual sex every day.
The criminal justice system is supposed to protect citizens from people who pose an imminent threat. Older teens who have sex with younger teens do not fit into that category. Laws around sex abuse really need to be specific enough to prevent this kind of prosecutorial misconduct.
One huge problem with the latitude judges have in prosecuting sex crimes is that now tons of non-dangerous offenses can earn you the label “sex offender,” such as public nudity and public urination. And demonstrating that Kaityn is not as big an exception as we might think, Billtrack has reported, “juveniles comprise about a quarter of registered sex offenders, and commit more than a third of sex crimes against minors.”
There’s currently a movement to protect Kaitlyn from this ridiculous prosecution:
A Change.org petition urging the Indian River County State Attorney’s Office to stop prosecution of Kaitlyn Hunt had drawn more than 30,000 signatures at time of writing. “Free Kate,” a Facebook group supporting the girl had amassed more than 10,000 followers.
Internet activist group Anonymous launched #OpJustice4Kaitlyn on May 19, releasing a statement addressed to the Indian River County State Attorney’s Office.
And this is great. But saving Kaitlyn isn’t enough. We need to change these laws to protect the next victim.
These laws are there to protect the victim. STOP PEDOPHILIA NOW !!!
Huh? What are you talking about? This is not pedophilia. Idiot.
ignorant statement, Nicholas. Please tell me you are trolling…
All caps and multiple exclamation points do not make the “victim” prepubescent.
Mark Read Pickens
Homosexuality is fine and dandy, but the age gap between the girls is a tad too much for comfort.
That’s a Senior in High School dating a Freshman.
Now, that 3 year difference would be fine if they were older and the gap was marginally smaller, but they’re still pretty young.
Sure, perhaps. But your discomfort doesn’t justify state involvement, IMO.
What does, then?
Answering “yes” to these questions:
Did the younger person understand consequences of her actions?
Was she harmed by the experience?
Did the older person realize (or should have realized) that harm would (or could reasonably be expected to) result?
Mark Read Pickens
No victim, No crime.
3 year difference? age gap? We are talking about 2 consenting high schoolers, get a grip!
“We are talking about two consenting high schoolers” There is so much wrong with that statement.
If it was an 18 year old guy doing this to a 15 year old girl people would be upset. The sexual preference is not concern here….she broke the law and should be punished for it. When it comes to these laws it has to be black and white to protect children.
You’re right. People should be punished for breaking the law.
Let’s start with the Coke-head and war-criminal George W. Bush, and then move on to the current pot-head President Obama who uses the IRS as a personal police force to harass his enemies.
Also, I guess I fall under the category: I made love with my current wife back when I was 18 and she was still 16. We also made love when I was 17 and she was 15.
This law is unjust and you’re a despicable human being for claiming that laws have to be upheld when they are unjust.
NO VICTIM NO CRIME.
thank you Evan!!!! cheers!
The fact that you used the word despicable human to describe
a person you don’t know…probably means facts and reason are not what you use
to come to your conclusions. I would assume you’re more of an emotional
Comparing Presidents to this case just further illustrates
the fact you’re pretty irrational.
Regardless if you like the law or not it is the law. When I am driving home today and I say screw that 35 MPH speed limit, it should be 45 and then follow it with some irrational remarks in regards to the President. That won’t work with the cop who pulls me over or the court system. Now if I believe the 35MPH is outrageous there are avenues in place to change it, if is seen valid. The same goes for this law majority of people understand the age of 18 is where we draw the line. I am sure no father out there would be ok with his 16 year old daughter having sex with an 18 year old guy or be pleased his 15 year old daughter is sexually active. The laws are in place because children
(17 and younger) can be taken advantage of by adults (18 and older)…..kind of
like the case of your unfortunate wife.
Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!
His wife (clearly old enough to understand consequences of her actions) is “unfortunate” because the “majority of people” consider what they did to be a crime?
On what basis should we assume assume she was harmed by having consensual sex at such a “tender” age?
Mark Read Pickens
Given the post I have seen by you I don’t believe reason is going to work with you. I will still give it a shot. We as a society protect our children. So we have laws that don’t allow “adults” to have sex with “children”. Since I would assume most people agree with that we then come up with age limits and restrictions. Now you as an individual may not agree with it and think it is ok for your 15 year old to have sex with an 18 year old. Which by all means is your right to opinion. However, the legal system doesn’t rule based on individual opinions but by the laws put in place by our elected officials. In this case the law was broken and she will now pay the consequences.
Evan’s ridiculous counter point of him bedding his wife at a young age is just ludicrous. The teacher in Seattle who slept with her student and spent 7 years in prison for it, married her “victim” and they are still together. Should we now allow teachers to have sex with their students? It worked for Mary Kay Letourneau and they are happy? Which means it will work for everyone right……try logic and not emotion!!!
If someone disagrees with me I don’t assume he must be thinking emotionally, rather than logically. I would expect him to take that as an insult and it’s been my experience that this is ineffective at bringing him around to my way of thinking.
Age correlates with maturity, but does not cause it. Several years ago, I spent time assisting in caring for a retarded woman. She was 37 years old, with the mind of a three-year-old.
Clearly, she was incapable of understanding consequences of her actions. It was appropriate for an outside agency to make that (and numerous other decisions) for her.
just as clearly, the fifteen year old “victim” was capable of understanding what was in her own interest. It was inappropriate for an outside agency to interfere.
If the principle you follow is that you accept as legitimate any edict made
by government, by that logic (not emotion), no law is too extreme. For example, forcing U.S. citizens of Japanese ancestry into concentration camps is justified, because it was authorized by government.
For that matter, forcing Jews into concentration camps and forcing black people into slavery was also authorized by government.
If on a jury, would you vote to convict someone for violating those laws, or resist because those laws are wrong?
This is where you and I part company. I believe if someone has sex, and the older person knew (or should have known) this would (or even could) cause harm, the older person is responsible for that harm.
In contrast, you believe that the older person is automatically guilty of a crime, regardless of the fact that no one is alleging that the younger person was harmed by the experience.
Mark Read Pickens
“If it was an 18 year old guy doing this to a 15 year old girl people would be upset.”…. not so much. Happens all the time, and only through parental involvement do authorities get involved. Remember, there are states that let 15 year olds marry with parental consent…why do parents get to decide if their teen-ager is allowed to be a sexual being? How twisted is that?
There is no state that allows a 15 year old to consent to sex.
It’s the parents job to guide and direct their children until they become adults. Now as you mentioned parents are allowed to let their children marry but not have sex. Is that twisted yes but you have to remember these laws were put in place in a different world. However, the main point is the law is the law and you either follow it, pay the consequences for not, or try to change it.
William Arthur Storer Jr.
Actually, you’re wrong. There are a number of states with what are referred to as “Romeo and Juliet” laws that do consider consent of a 14 or 15 year old if the age gap is less than four years as in this case. Of course, in this case we’d have to refer to it as a Juliet and Juliet law but …
The “offender” wasn’t 18 when the “offense” happened. The “victim” wasn’t a child! She was old enough to understand the consequences of her actions.
The only harm the “victim” suffered was caused by her parents and the legal system.
Mark Read Pickens
Protecting children? Hunh?
Look I don’t want 18 and 15 year olds fooling around, but felony charges? Give me a break. Felonies at common law were heinous forcible crimes, not consensual adolescent nonsense.
Quick question – which would be a worse offense against a 15 year old girl – that her girlfriend have sex with her consensually or that she steal her purse? The penalty for the sex is worse than for petty larceny. Even if you want to make it illegal – I don’t – it should be an infraction like littering, not a felony like arson or burglary. Christ on a crutch.
I’m starting to think this article is a pedophile haven! Protect our children….that is silly why would we do that when adults want to have sex with them. Some of you should think twice about what you post before you end up having an uncomfortable conversation with Chris Hansen.
In what universe is a fifteen year old a prepubescent child? Was she too immature to understand consequences of her actions? Was she harmed by the experience?
Mark Read Pickens
How about we leave 2 people who have consensual sex alone? Funny how freshman girls are brought to JR/Senior Prom by older guys all the time…and the parents are taking pictures of them before they leave…making a big deal out of it; its joyous moment. What in the hell do you think is happening in a great deal of these dates?
This is just an attack on two girls who decided on having consensual sex. Mommy and daddy cant accept that their little girl is a sexual being- and OH MY GAWD she is attracted to the same sex! It “Must be the other girls fault- Not my innocent daughter!” I suspect “pray the gay away” will be next on the agenda.
The only victim is the 18 year old who will reside on a sex offender registry and be haunted with a felony all her life. Her career choices, ability to choose where she lives, and where she can go to college is now limited. This is America’s fascination with punishment, and performing a “witch-hunt” against all “sex offenders” at its finest. Sick of over zealous fools ruining the lives of harmless people!
This falls on the parents. Sorry parents, but up until age 18 you are responsible for your kid. If my daughter grows up and is hanging out with older kids I’d have alarm bells going off in my head…just saying…
Just curious – to the ‘no victim-no crime’ crowd. If she’d been 40 instead of 18…and the 15 year old consented…still feel the same way? How about a 50 year old man and 15 year old girl..again..the 15 year old is consenting? The problem with your choice, I think, is that 18 is either adult or not. It’s pretty black and white. In that regard, sex-crime laws are to prevent the predation of minors by those legally of age, for one example. In the court, minors aren’t generally given the OPTION to consent – hence numerous adults being prosecuted as a sex criminal despite the relationship being consensual. That she should be charged is really black and white. What is grey, is the degree of punishment that should be meted out. 2 year house arrest as a felon with a life time on a sex offender list for THIS instance is, I think, too much. If the 15 year old sent her adult gf naked pictures, its still child pornography, consensual or not. Do you REALLY want to weaken some of those laws. It WILL allow the truly dangerous to seep through as well… When it comes to adults and minors, I think, as far as what I know personally, the law is black and white and should remain so. Extenuating circumstances should follow into play when it comes to punishment, like consent, love, relationship, etc. Just my .02c
William Arthur Storer Jr.
Your hypotheticals are pretty out there, Chuck.
The two reasons used to justify the argument that someone under 16 can’t consent is that they are mentally and emotionally incapable of making an informed choice because of the risks from pregnancy and STD/STI’s. Pregnancy is impossible and the risk from STI/STD’s without penetration are either zero or close to it. This prosecution serves no purpose and only makes a mockery of the law as it was intended.
(I think that if it was penetrative sex it’s still wrong to prosecute but that’s a different argument based on the arbitrary decision by a rule and not the circumstances of when someone can be said to consent. You can’t have justice like that, especially when the consequences are as severe as having a felony sex offence conviction)
I’m glad there is a movement. It’s worth pointing out though, that if she were a boy, nobody would care. People only care when a girl is targeted by the state. Boy and men are disposable.
This is silly. If an 18 year old man did the same thing he’d face the same consequences. How many men have had their lives ruined for this exact reason? What’s the difference here? Either the law protects children, or it incarcerates people unfairly. Either way painting this as some sort of anti-gay witch hunt is not the solution. This IS equality. Don’t like it? Take all of those 18 year old dudes off the sex offender list and then maybe you’d have an argument – otherwise, she got caught, the parents pressed charges, she has to face the penalty. Simple.
To all the commenters actually defending the law and its application, to get some perspective on “the law is the law”, let me just remind you that in several States across the world, such as Iran, both the girls would have been sentenced to stoning, not due to their age, but either for homosexuality or for sex outside of marriage (the law is the law!). In the various countries of Europe, on the other hand, age of consent is usually 15 or lower, so it would have been perfectly legal.
The law is the law, but if the law is unjust then the law is unjust. You have no moral duty to obey unjust laws, and you have a moral duty to nullify them if you get on a jury. Laws are merely text written on paper by some people at some time in some place for some reason. They may, or may not, be related to justice. And the reason may, or may not, be still valid, and may or may not apply to a given case. The reason of the law in this case was most likely to prevent a 50 year old man from having sex with a prepubescent child, NOT to prevent a 18 minus one day to have sex with a 18 plus one day, or to make a legal relationship between two girls magically illegal on a birthday.
The reason behind the law being that a prepubescent child cannot reasonably consent to sex with a 50 year old. But in the present case, does anyone even claim that the younger girl didn’t consent, or is unable to consent? Is anyone really seriously going to claim that a 15 year old girl can consent to sex with a 17 year old girl, but not with sex with an 18 year old girl? If no, then the law should obviously not apply.
Age restrictions on sexual activity exist to state at what age a child is not able to give consent. If you want to argue if the age of consent should be lowered, fine, but in terms of the law I feel that she got off lightly, much lighter than a male in the same situation.
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