Florida Teen Rejects Deal in Sex-Abuse Case

18-year-old was dating a younger girl
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 24, 2013 3:20 PM CDT
Florida Teen Rejects Deal in Sex-Abuse Case
This photo made available by the Hunt family shows Kaitlyn Hunt and her father, Steve, in Vero Beach, Fla.   (AP Photo/Hunt Family, HO)

Kaitlyn Hunt has decided that she's taking her fight to court. The Florida 18-year-old has rejected a plea deal in a high-profile case in which she is charged with having sex with her 14-year-old girlfriend, reports the Miami Herald. Prosecutors offered Hunt a chance to plead guilty to lesser child-abuse charges, a move that would have kept her name off the state's sex-offender list and resulted in no jail time. No dice, says Hunt. "This is a situation of two teenagers who happen to be of the same sex involved in a relationship," explains one of her attorneys. "If this case involved a boy and girl, there would be no media attention to this case."

More than 270,000 people have signed an online petition at Change.org calling for the charges against Hunt to be dropped. At Slate, Emily Bazelon assesses the "confusion" surrounding the case. "I can see why a 14-year-old’s parents would be wary of her 18-year-old boyfriend," she writes. "But if the law treats that boy as a criminal, then why not the 18-year-old girlfriend? Maybe the better answer is that parental wariness just shouldn’t translate into criminal charges in a case involving two high school students and a three or four-year age gap." Click for the full post. (Read more Kaitlyn Hunt stories.)

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