Florida teen Kaitlyn Hunt, who has been charged with a felony for having a sexual relationship with her younger girlfriend, has rejected a plea deal that would have included two years of house arrest and having to register as a sex offender. A statement released by her lawyers argued that she is being selectively prosecuted for having been in a same-sex relationship when she turned 18:
Our client is a courageous teenager who is choosing not to accept the current plea offer by the State of Florida.
This is a situation of two teenagers who happen to be of the same sex involved in a relationship. If this case involved a boy and girl, there would be no media attention to this case. [...]
If this incident occurred 108 days earlier when she was 17, we wouldn’t even be here. [...]
Along with Kaitlyn and her family, we are going to fight to have the law changed so no other teenager finds themselves in this same position created by the State of Florida and prosecuted unfairly.
Over 270,000 people have signed a Change.org petition started by Hunt calling on Assistant State Attorney Brian Workman to stop Kaitlyn’s prosecution. The ACLU of Florida has condemned the prosecution, pointing out that it’s “a life sentence for behavior by teenagers that is all too common” and that “one cannot seriously maintain that Kaitlyn’s behavior was predatory.”
Conflicting reports, including an investigation by the Windy City Times (WCT), suggest that Kaitlyn was 18 before her relationship began. State Attorney Bruce Colton also suggested that the offered plea deal would have spared her from registering as a sex offender, a detail which does not correspond with previous reporting on the story from various outlets.