ACLU condemns prosecution of Florida teen over lesbian relationship
In a statement released Tuesday, the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida condemned the statutory rape prosecution of 18-year-old Kaitlyn Hunt.
“The facts as we understand them suggest that the state is prosecuting Kaitlyn for engaging in behavior that is both fairly innocuous and extremely common,” the organization said.
Kaitlyn Ashley Hunt of Sebastian, Florida was arrested in February on two counts of lewd or lascivious battery on child because of her lesbian relationship with a 15-year-old classmate. Kaitlyn’s parents have admitted the two teens “had ONE mutual consenting sexual experience,” but blamed the arrest on the younger girl’s “bigoted” parents.
Despite a public outcry, a Florida state attorney said he would not drop the case.
“Such behavior occurs every day in tens of thousands of high schools across the country, yet those other students are not facing felony convictions (and, in Florida, the lifetime consequences of a felony conviction) and potential lifelong branding as sex offenders,” the ACLU said.
“This is a life sentence for behavior by teenagers that is all too common, whether they are male or female, gay or straight. High-school relationships may be fleeting, but felony convictions are not.”