WASHINGTON — Kaitlyn Hunt, 19, was booked into Indian River County Jail in Florida on Monday night, charged with two felony counts of lewd and lascivious battery for having sex with a 14-year-old girl when she was 18.
The case has made headlines because Hunt's family has suggested that the younger girl's parents only brought the matter to police because Hunt, who went to the same high school as the girl, was gay.
Although Hunt's family and lawyers have maintained that the relationship was consensual, Florida law states that no one younger than 16 can consent to sex.
As recently as last week, a new plea deal was under discussion, according to CNN.
The prosecutor, Bruce Colton, told CNN that, under the plea's terms, Hunt would have pleaded guilty "to two misdemeanor battery counts and one felony count for interference of child custody — a charge that could be expunged later from her record."
But, according to the booking record provided by the Indian River County Sheriff's Office, Hunt was to have been arraigned on the two felony charges Monday morning. Hunt turned herself in at 9 p.m. Monday, with a bond set at $5,000. The news was first reported by Micah Grimes.
In May, University of Florida law professor Darren Hutchinson wrote about the complexity of the issues raised by the case — and the prosecutor's pursuit of the case.
"Colton portrays the matter in very simplistic terms: the defendant violated the statute; actual consent is irrelevant; that they attend the same high school does not matter. But this reductionist position overlooks the important issues of sexuality, sexual orientation and fairness that this case implicates," Hutchinson wrote.
Chris Geidner is a Supreme Court correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC.
Contact Chris Geidner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.