Florida Teen – Criminal Charges – Same Sex Relationship – Sex Offender?

I doubt this high school romance would ever have been reported if the teens involved were of the opposite sex. This is an outraggeous charge, and the defendant could face 15 years imprisonment or a plea deal, read details below.

Kaitlyn Hunt and her father Steve, who said: ‘For my daughter’s sexual preferences, she’s getting two felony charges.’ Photograph: AP

Please sign the petition to stop the prosecution: http://www.change.org/petitions/assistant-state-attorney-brian-workman-stop-the-prosecution-of-an-18-year-old-girl-in-a-same-sex-relationship 

Excerpts from article in the Guardian

Prosecutors have offered a plea deal to Hunt that would allow her to avoid registering as a sex offender if she pleads guilty to lesser charges of child abuse. The state attorney Bruce Colton said he would recommend two years of house arrest followed by one year of probation if she took the deal.

If she is found guilty, it is also possible that Hunt could apply not to have to register as a sex offender under a “Romeo and Juliet” law because the girls were no more than four years apart in age, Colton said.

Colton said the victim’s family was not pushing for prison but wanted Hunt to be held responsible in some way. However, the Hunt family said they would accept a plea deal only if the charges were dropped to a lower-level misdemeanour.

“One of the reasons this case has gotten people’s attention is because it’s being publicised as a person being persecuted because she’s gay, and that has nothing to do with the case, nothing to do with the law, nothing to do with the sheriff’s office filing the charges,” Colton said. He said the law was designed to protect younger children from older children who might be more aggressive in starting a relationship.

“The law doesn’t make any differentiation. It doesn’t matter if it’s two girls or two boys, or an older boy and a younger girl or an older girl and a younger boy. Whatever the combination, it doesn’t matter.”

The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida said Hunt was being criminalised for behaviour that “occurs every day in tens of thousands of high schools across the country, yet those other students are not facing felony convictions … and potential lifelong branding as sex offenders”.

Prosecutors have offered a plea deal to Hunt that would allow her to avoid registering as a sex offender if she pleads guilty to lesser charges of child abuse. The state attorney Bruce Colton said he would recommend two years of house arrest followed by one year of probation if she took the deal.

If she is found guilty, it is also possible that Hunt could apply not to have to register as a sex offender under a “Romeo and Juliet” law because the girls were no more than four years apart in age, Colton said.

Colton said the victim’s family was not pushing for prison but wanted Hunt to be held responsible in some way. However, the Hunt family said they would accept a plea deal only if the charges were dropped to a lower-level misdemeanour.

“One of the reasons this case has gotten people’s attention is because it’s being publicised as a person being persecuted because she’s gay, and that has nothing to do with the case, nothing to do with the law, nothing to do with the sheriff’s office filing the charges,” Colton said. He said the law was designed to protect younger children from older children who might be more aggressive in starting a relationship.

“The law doesn’t make any differentiation. It doesn’t matter if it’s two girls or two boys, or an older boy and a younger girl or an older girl and a younger boy. Whatever the combination, it doesn’t matter.”

The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida said Hunt was being criminalised for behaviour that “occurs every day in tens of thousands of high schools across the country, yet those other students are not facing felony convictions … and potential lifelong branding as sex offenders”.

Read entire article:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/may/22/gay-teenager-charges-relationship-girlfriend

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