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Mon May 20, 2013, 08:03 PM

Anonymous on the case of lesbian girl charged with statutory rape.

"When Florida high school student Kaitlyn Hunt was 17, she began dating a 15-year-old teammate on her school's girls' basketball team. Kaitlyn's parents say the parents of the 15-year-old never complained to them about the (consensual) relationship. But a few months after Kaitlyn turned 18, the younger girl's parents had her arrested. She was charged with a felony—"sexual battery on a person 12-16 years old." The girl's parents also succeeded in getting her expelled from school by appealing to the school board after the school and a judge refused to grant their request, according to Kaitlyn's mother, Kelly Hunt Smith. . . .

Enter Anonymous, the global hacker collective, which recently has raised eyebrows by pursuing justice for rape victims. In this case, some of the same Anonymous members are rallying behind a girl they feel has been wrongly accused of sexual misconduct. On Sunday, they launched the twitter hashtag #OPJustice4Kaitlyn, and a press release that begins: "Greetings, bigots." . . .

By this afternoon, protestors had already gathered outside of the office of the Indian River County Sheriff's Department. In a hastily assembled press conference, County Sheriff Deryle Loar claimed that the case had nothing to do with the fact that Kaitlyn had been dating a girl. "If this was an 18-year-old male and a 14-year-old girl," he said, "it would be prosecuted in the same way." . . .

Anonymous has a complicated relationship with sex and gender issues. Historically, the group has embraced homophobic language, most often by appending the term "fag" to anything that it dislikes—i.e., a "moral fag" is someone who takes his causes too seriously. On the other hand, Anonymous has significant number of gay members, according to McGill University anthropologist Gabriella Coleman, who is writing a book about the group. "It is kind of an extreme commitment to free speech," she says. "And it is also a way of being open to anyone."

http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/05/anynonymous-defends-teen-charged-felony-lesbian-relationship


So is this really just applying statutory rape cases evenly? The relationship was legal the day before Kaitlyn's 18th birthday. What prompted the younger girl's parents to go to authorities after Kaitlyn turned 18, yet never raise the issue with Kaitlyn's parents prior to that point? Is this really what statutory rape laws are meant to enforce?

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Reply Anonymous on the case of lesbian girl charged with statutory rape. (Original post)
BainsBane May 2013 OP
Initech May 2013 #1
BainsBane May 2013 #2
Initech May 2013 #13
LadyHawkAZ May 2013 #3
BainsBane May 2013 #4
LadyHawkAZ May 2013 #5
BainsBane May 2013 #6
davidn3600 May 2013 #7
BainsBane May 2013 #8
LadyHawkAZ May 2013 #10
BainsBane May 2013 #17
LadyHawkAZ May 2013 #22
BainsBane May 2013 #23
LadyHawkAZ May 2013 #25
BainsBane May 2013 #26
LadyHawkAZ May 2013 #28
rebecca_herman May 2013 #30
LadyHawkAZ May 2013 #31
rebecca_herman May 2013 #32
LadyHawkAZ May 2013 #44
Throckmorton May 2013 #38
rebecca_herman May 2013 #40
BainsBane May 2013 #41
rebecca_herman May 2013 #42
BainsBane May 2013 #43
Egalitarian Thug May 2013 #46
Ms. Toad May 2013 #9
backscatter712 May 2013 #65
Ms. Toad May 2013 #11
Xithras May 2013 #14
Ms. Toad May 2013 #15
BainsBane May 2013 #18
rebecca_herman May 2013 #20
Ms. Toad May 2013 #27
rebecca_herman May 2013 #29
Ms. Toad May 2013 #33
Spike89 May 2013 #64
Xithras May 2013 #12
BainsBane May 2013 #19
Ms. Toad May 2013 #37
Xithras May 2013 #53
Ms. Toad May 2013 #54
Xithras May 2013 #55
Ms. Toad May 2013 #57
Xithras May 2013 #58
rebecca_herman May 2013 #16
BainsBane May 2013 #21
rebecca_herman May 2013 #24
Name removed May 2013 #34
LittleBlue May 2013 #35
BainsBane May 2013 #36
LittleBlue May 2013 #39
davidn3600 May 2013 #45
BainsBane May 2013 #48
Ms. Toad May 2013 #49
BainsBane May 2013 #50
Ms. Toad May 2013 #51
BainsBane May 2013 #59
Ms. Toad May 2013 #61
BainsBane May 2013 #62
roughrider101 May 2013 #67
Ms. Toad May 2013 #68
Donald Ian Rankin May 2013 #69
AverageJoe90 May 2013 #47
shawn703 May 2013 #52
davidn3600 May 2013 #56
shawn703 May 2013 #60
KamaAina May 2013 #63
Spike89 May 2013 #66
cali May 2013 #70

Response to BainsBane (Original post)

Mon May 20, 2013, 08:17 PM

1. I really wonder if the parents were stalking this woman.

Cause the more I read about this case the more I'm presuming the parents have something to do with this. Did they hire a lawyer before hand? Did they know the exact day this woman turned 18? Did they look for any and all loopholes to purposefully find something to charge her with?

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Response to Initech (Reply #1)

Mon May 20, 2013, 08:20 PM

2. the parents went to the police

a couple of months after Kaitlyn turned 18, according to the article above. I don't know more than that at this point.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #2)

Mon May 20, 2013, 09:13 PM

13. Yeah. What I'm getting at is that something stinks in this story.

And I can't put my finger on it.

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Response to BainsBane (Original post)

Mon May 20, 2013, 08:30 PM

3. What they were *meant* for was to legally enforce virgin purity

because if Daddy's little angel broke her hymen or Heaven forbid got pregnant, she was useless for sale marriage to the man of his choice. Florida's just expanded it in modern times for use as an attack tool against teh awful horrible gayness. Pretty effective, eh?

In the broad sense, yes, that was exactly what they were meant to enforce- no sex for girls before marriage or majority. They are following the law as written. The fact that it's an idiotic law that badly needs updating is another issue.

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Response to LadyHawkAZ (Reply #3)

Mon May 20, 2013, 08:31 PM

4. FFS

So grown men should have sex with boys and girls at will?

Not all sex is good. Some is rape. Some is pedophilia. People have a right to decide with whom they have sex, and children cannot consent. The concept is basic.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #4)

Mon May 20, 2013, 08:33 PM

5. WTF?

How did you get that from my post?

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Response to LadyHawkAZ (Reply #5)

Mon May 20, 2013, 08:41 PM

6. You said statutory rape laws were about enforcing virgin purity

I say they are about prosecuting pedophiles and rapists. You seem to take exception to the fact that children and teenagers might not want to have sex all the time. Statutory rape laws are meant to protect young boys and girls from predators since they are too young to consent to sexual relations. That may mean those children reach age 14 without having sex with an adult, God forbid.

Statutory rape laws are not meant to keep teens from dating. Enforcement of laws in this particular way is, as I understand it, fairly recent, so your assertion that they were about protecting traditional family notions of virginity is not accurate.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #6)

Mon May 20, 2013, 08:54 PM

7. It is true that these laws seem to be focused on the female

DOJ stats say that in 95% of statutory rape cases, the "victim" is female.

In our society, women are pressured to remain virgins. Men do not have such pressure. In fact, men are shamed if they remain a virgin well into adulthood.

This law is very unequally applied. If the male is 16 and has sex with an older female..its not looked down upon as much as if the genders were reversed.

The double standards America has towards sex and sexuality is astounding.

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Response to davidn3600 (Reply #7)

Mon May 20, 2013, 08:59 PM

8. I agree

and the earliest laws in England and the US only applied to underage girls, only then the age of consent was 10. It was raised to 16 in the 20th century.

I have often commented on the societal difference between how adult female predators are treated as opposed to men is unconscionable. The Florida school teacher, for example. Her beauty was held up to indicate the boy couldn't possibly have minded her sexual advances. This is despite the fact that, from what I have read, boys experience the same trauma that girls do from assaults from adults. Obviously the pubic reaction is entirely different when the adult assaulting the boy is male, which also points to the double standard.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #6)

Mon May 20, 2013, 09:09 PM

10. 1) you asked what they were for, I answered

Is this really what statutory rape laws are meant to enforce?


Originally they were gender specific- male offender, female victim, because female virginity was marriage bait and destroying it ruined the girl's future chances, leaving her a potential burden on her family for life. The same-sex angle is a more modern twist. Nevada, for example, has separate ages of consent for hetero couples and same-sex couples, 16 and 18 respectively. As I said, effective, is it not? The principle is exactly the same, only the gendered basis has changed. The historical context is, I'm sure, readily available on Google- if not, it certainly was at the local library when I was a teen. Enjoy.

2) I said nothing whatsoever about pedophiles or rapists, and neither did the article. That's where your mind went, mine didn't. Obviously all people don't want to have sex all the time, but just as obviously these two young women DID at least some of the time, or there wouldn't be a case to debate. Stat rape laws as a general rule do not cover the same territory as rape laws. They are more for prosecuting consensual acts with teens. Kids under 12 or 13 (14 in some states iirc) are generally covered under child molestation laws, rape is covered by rape laws. Stat rape laws mainly cover consensual but underage acts, exactly like the one in the OP. They are not meant to keep teens from dating, they are meant to keep them from fucking. That's what the law is for. So yes, the law was intended to cover cases exactly like hers, and is being enforced exactly as written. Since I presume you're not trying to call Kaitlyn a pedophile rapist at the exact same time you're trying to call her prosecution an unfair one, this was a very bizarre and creepy red herring.

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Response to LadyHawkAZ (Reply #10)

Mon May 20, 2013, 10:28 PM

17. the earliest laws set 10 as the age of consent

Laws of 16 and 18 are recent, from the twentieth century. There was no distinction between laws regarding statutory rape and child molestation. With ten as an age of consent, a man could evade prosecution by marrying the girl, since laws specified unmarried girls. Yes, they were gender specific. They also protected children against rape. A girl over age ten could consent to sex under British common law even if unmarried.

Certainly that's where my mind went. I care about child rape. Everyone should.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #17)

Mon May 20, 2013, 10:44 PM

22. Of course they should

but that wasn't the subject of the OP, or the subject of my post. It was something that had nothing to do with the subject at hand.

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Response to LadyHawkAZ (Reply #22)

Mon May 20, 2013, 10:47 PM

23. I disagree

The age of consent governs where the age at which a person can legally have sex. Separate pedophilia laws are a relatively recent phenomenon. Since you connected the issue to traditional family relations, that begs the question of historical evolution of these laws. In general, the further one goes back, the more traditional gender relations were. The statutory rape laws with about 16 as an age of consent as distinct from child rape is a 20th century phenomenon, mid-20th, I believe.

Just to let you know, I have personal experiences that make me particularly sensitive to this subject matter.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #23)

Mon May 20, 2013, 11:22 PM

25. Everyone has one or two of those experiences

My defining moment happened to be watching the local DA refuse to prosecute a molestation case for a 5 year old, then tout his "wonderful conviction rate against sex offenders" on the TV news while celebrating the 10 year sentence he'd just given a 19 year old for having sex with his 17 year old girlfriend. These two incidents took place within months of each other.

What has happened to those girls shouldn't happen to anyone. I'm OK with laws preventing predatory behavior, but all states should have a Juliet exemption. Across the board. Period.

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Response to LadyHawkAZ (Reply #25)

Mon May 20, 2013, 11:27 PM

26. Did you see the affidavit?

It turns out there is a four year difference between the two women. The story appears different from how Mother Jones and some other news sources have reported it. http://www.scribd.com/doc/142642135/Kaitlyn-Hunt-Redacted-Affidavit-Redacted

Some posters elsewhere in the thread provide additional info.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #26)

Mon May 20, 2013, 11:35 PM

28. Juliet laws cover teens within a certain age range of each other

which would have covered a situation like this. Standard is within a 3-4 year age range of each other.

I read the affidavit. It sounds like two teenagers having sex. It doesn't change my thoughts on the subject at all.

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Response to LadyHawkAZ (Reply #28)

Mon May 20, 2013, 11:56 PM

30. it's not always 3-4 years

I live in Connecticut, the age of consent is 16, and outside of that a 2 year gap is legal for younger teens (so 14 and 16, or 15 and 17). So here, it would not be legal. It's not always a 3-4 gap that's ok.

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Response to rebecca_herman (Reply #30)

Tue May 21, 2013, 12:31 AM

31. I think it will be eventually

3-4 years covers the age gap you find between freshmen and senior students in high school who are likely to be dating. It's a reasonable gap.

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Response to LadyHawkAZ (Reply #31)

Tue May 21, 2013, 12:34 AM

32. I disagree

Four years is huge when we are talking about teenagers. There is a huge developmental difference and maturity gap, so much brain development is still happening at that age. I would not be at all be okay with an eighteen year old ADULT having sex with my fourteen year old child and would end the relationship no matter what extremes it required, and I would not support my own eighteen year old having sex with a much younger teenager and would throw them out of the house if it persisted.

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Response to rebecca_herman (Reply #32)

Tue May 21, 2013, 01:22 AM

44. I'm not going to snark.

I'm not going to explain how I raised my girls either. Those two things were my first reactions to your post, but I'm not going to go there. I didn't intend to get caught up in this conversation at all; I logged in to read the OK news. The only thing I am going to say in response to this is thank you. I've just had the most profound moment of gratitude towards the non-judgemental and understanding people my parents were to me, as a teen, that I've ever had in my life.

I think I will go write to my mother, and just get out of this thread.

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Response to rebecca_herman (Reply #30)

Tue May 21, 2013, 01:01 AM

38. Connecticut's law changed last year to allow a three year difference

State of Connecticut Penal Code, Chapter 952, Sec. 53a-71. Sexual assault in the second degree:

(a)A person is guilty of sexual assault in the second degree when such person engages in sexual intercourse with another person and: (1) Such other person is thirteen years of age or older but under sixteen years of age and the actor is more than three years older than such other person....

The statute goes on from there to add numerous exceptions to the 16 year age of general consent.

As a Foster Parent, I get updated every year on such things during my formal retraining.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #23)

Tue May 21, 2013, 01:07 AM

40. Well, darn

Two was good. They should have kept it there.

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Response to rebecca_herman (Reply #40)

Tue May 21, 2013, 01:09 AM

41. You mean 10? Sarcastically?

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #41)

Tue May 21, 2013, 01:13 AM

42. Post got stuck as a reply to wrong post

I am disappointed that my state recently changed the allowed age gap to 3 years for a 13-16 year old - I think the previous allowed age gap of two years only should have been kept. A 16 year old has no business having sex with a 13 year old.

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Response to rebecca_herman (Reply #42)

Tue May 21, 2013, 01:15 AM

43. Oh, I see

Yes, that sounds reasonable to me. You can imagine your other post startled me when I didn't understand the context!

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Response to LadyHawkAZ (Reply #10)

Tue May 21, 2013, 01:55 AM

46. "I answered". And that's where it all went sideways. n/t

 

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Response to LadyHawkAZ (Reply #3)

Mon May 20, 2013, 09:04 PM

9. No - you are thinking of age of consent laws.

These laws were designed to make it easier to convict older individuals (or people in power) who raped children without so much trauma to the survivor.

They are no fault laws. If an older person has sex with a younger one (including daddy, for that matter), all that had to be proven was that intercourse (or in this case a lesser engagement) occurred. Force or coercion did not have to be proven.

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Response to LadyHawkAZ (Reply #3)

Tue May 21, 2013, 07:10 PM

65. Attacks against GLBT people is just one of the recent uses.

It's also be used when the younger girl was caught dating a *GASP* black guy, or a Jew, or a poor guy, or someone into rock & roll.

You don't see it used against rich white guys, do you? Or the captain of the football team?

This law is never enforced even-handedly. There's always something under the surface beyond "They're too far apart in age!"

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Response to BainsBane (Original post)

Mon May 20, 2013, 09:11 PM

11. The story has gotten somewhat distorted

According to the family members, the physical relationship did not start until after age 18 (of the older young woman). The police taped a phone call sometime after the older young woman's 18th birthday in which they apparently discussed their physical relationship in enough detail to provide the evidence that the physical relationship happened, and she was arrested a few months after her 18th birthday. Her parents are not complaining specifically about the use of the law based on applying it against a same gender relationship - they believe it is inappropriate and should not be used to punishment any teenage couple for a consensual relationship.

I'll try to find a link to the FB group later - but the summary is taken from the family's official page.

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #11)

Mon May 20, 2013, 09:22 PM

14. There's a problem with that.

Where do you establish the floor? Should a 19 year old guy be able to sleep with a girl the day after her 13th birthday? After all...that could be consensual intercourse between two teenagers. And if you're going to allow a gap of that size, why not 15 and 21? It's the same six years.

I agree with Romeo & Juliet laws, but there has to be a limit to the difference in ages.

The big screwup here was on the part of the parents of the older girl IMHO. They should have made it clear to her, once she turned 18, that sleeping with a minor was a crime and that she needed to break it off. My son will be 18 soon enough, and I'd have a serious problem with him dating a girl who was only 14 or 15 once he crossed that threshold. He'll KNOW that.

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Response to Xithras (Reply #14)

Mon May 20, 2013, 09:30 PM

15. Another piece of the story -

is that this 14 (now 15) year old girl was in the same classes with the older one acting as a peer to the older one - it isn't clear to me, but she may possibly have been the more mature of the two.

The laws aren't perfect, and many of them do have age differences (which is actually not the Romeo & Juliet laws - which only keeps the older one from having to register as a sex offender) as well as - which at least avoids the problem of relationships being legal on one day (the scenario in the article), illegal the next (when the older one hits the magic age), then legal again just a short time later.

I don't know what the ideals solution is - in some instances the statutory rape provisions save a lot of trauma and make it crystal clear that someone who does not have the ability to say no (because of power or age) cannot (of her own free will) say yes - so there is no consent. Where it gets muddy is this situation, with the different rates of maturity, with relationships between kids where there is no clear power difference.

At any rate - I was just clarifying the story, not making a commentary on the law.

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #15)

Mon May 20, 2013, 10:33 PM

18. I appreciate your clarification

It does change the situation if the sexual relationship did not begin until the older girl was 18. The unusual thing, it seems to be, is for a girl to be prosecuted in this situation. I suspect if the younger person was a boy, there would be no prosecution. Heterosexual relationships like these are prosecuted often, providing the older party is male. This again is part of a double standard that sees males as always wanting sex and doesn't take seriously attacks against them. I think about some of the teacher cases, like the one in Florida where the press spent much of their time talking about the beatify of the offender.

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #11)

Mon May 20, 2013, 10:34 PM

20. yes, that's correct

Yes, that is confirmed in the affidavit I linked below. Technically, the 18 year old could have even been in college. Her birthday was before the school year started so she was 18 her entire senior year - a lot of parents hold back summer birthday kids so maybe that's what happened (I suppose this is another possible consequence of the trend towards holding kids back - a bigger high school age range). The younger girl was 14 when they met and must have been a freshman since she didn't turn 15 until sometime after January or February. Personally I agree with the law in this case, 4 years is a big age gap, the relationship was illegal from the start as they met at 14 and 18, and the older girl was old enough to have been in college.

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Response to rebecca_herman (Reply #20)

Mon May 20, 2013, 11:30 PM

27. Actually -

They didn't meet at 14 and 18. They met at 14 and 17. It is just that they did not begin a romantic relationship until after the older young woman turned 18 (and it is not clear whether the younger one was 14 or 15 at that point). The younger one was apparently taking classes with older students (making her at least intellectually more advanced than the typical freshman).

I know plenty of seniors who date freshmen. I think criminalizing that behavior per se is unreasonable. That kind if age difference is not always (probably not often) the kind of power differential that exists between a teacher and student, parent and child, or high school student and middle school student, and if such behavior is inappropriate based on the relatively maturity of the kids involved it should be addressed by the parents putting limits on their freshman daughter's ability to date - for example - than it is by convicting the older teen of a felony and labeling her a sex offender. Perhaps, even, a 14 year old shouldn't be dating under conditions where sexual activity is likely to occur.

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #27)

Mon May 20, 2013, 11:54 PM

29. did you look at the affidavit?

Kaitlyn turned 18 on August 14, 2012 (DOB 8/14/94). So she was 18 when she started her senior year. She said she met the girl at school, and since the girl was still 14 as late as January 2013, she had to be a freshman. So they couldn't have met before Kaitlyn was 18. A couple of the alleged sex acts occurred in the bathroom at school during school hours, so I am not sure how the parents were supposed to police that.

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Response to rebecca_herman (Reply #29)

Tue May 21, 2013, 12:40 AM

33. I was going by the parents' statement,

which referred to her as a 17 year old senior "As the summer of 2012 came to an end." Her 18th birthday would have been a few days before school started. The "14-year-old freshmen girl in Sebastian River High's IB program who played varsity sports and took classes with upper classmen."

Kaitlyn, on the other hand, was "a medical assistant training to join the nursing program." Kaitlyn's mother, from the narrative, I have read does not seem to me to be incredibly well educated.

The reason I mention these details is because they suggest to me that the 14 year old was more mature than average and the 18 year old less mature. In the high school years, there is a tremendous variation in maturity. As a general rule I'm not generally in favor of freshmen dating seniors and, as a general rule, I'm not in favor of at least high schools students being sexually active. But it happens, and I don't think it is a criminal matter unless there was force or coercion involved - which is a matter that ought to be sorted out in response to allegations by the one being forced, not something which is presumed as a matter of law because the older one happens to be 18. (And, it would not be presumed as a matter of law if the older one was 17 and the younger 13.)

Not all of the sex acts occurred at school, and the fact that the younger girl ran away from home at least once (from the affidavit) makes me wonder what was going on at home that she was running away from - and makes me wonder whether they were not using the parents to enforce control they were unable to impose.

My concern is not whether the relationship (or even all of the relationships) were ideal, but whether a relationship between two kids who were on the same sports team, in the same classes, and in the same peer groups, was coerced (those are the charges - statutory rape presumes coercion) and should be criminalized. I don't think those circumstances should result in an irrebuttable presumption of force (which is what the statute creates).

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #33)

Tue May 21, 2013, 06:50 PM

64. Does not presume coercion

Actually, statutory rape doesn't concern coercion. By statute, a minor is not legally capable of providing consent. Coercion would move it beyond statutory and into straightforward rape.

Although I'm not terribly outraged by the relationship and believe it shouldn't be prosecuted, I too am uncomfortable with the efforts of Kaitlyn's supporters to minimize or slightly alter the facts. At the time of the "crime" the victim was 14 and Kaitlyn was 18. Their ages are slightly more than 3 years apart, they are 4 years apart in grade level. If Kaitlyn was actually a 17-year-old senior, it was for only a matter of days as she turned 18 in August (don't know exactly when school started).

An 18-year-old with a 14-year-old (as they obviously were for at least a few months) is a bit sketchy IMO. Both sets of parents could and should have gotten more involved before the issue became a legal one. The power differential is pretty great at that age...a very young girl trying to fit into the social circle of a very popular senior is a potential problem.

I hate that sexual orientation is an issue here, and I also hate that these borderline "Romeo and Juliette" cases have such high-stakes. There is no benefit to society in branding Kaitlyn (or any teen in a similar situation) as a sexual predator or even a felon. Should there be a lesser criminal designation/penalty? I think so.

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Response to BainsBane (Original post)

Mon May 20, 2013, 09:12 PM

12. There's only one way to answer that.

"So is this really just applying statutory rape cases evenly?" The only way to answer that would be to examine the county's history of statutory rape prosecutions. If this is a selective enforcement of a blue law, then it's clearly discriminatory. If they regularly enforce it, then it's probably not. The relationship was clearly illegal under Florida law, and the only real question here is whether they are treating this woman the same way they treat all others, or whether she's being singled out because of her sexual orientation. She shouldn't be discriminated against because of her orientation, but she also shouldn't receive special treatment (in other words, lesbians shouldn't get a pass on this if they're actively prosecuting heterosexuals for the same thing).

And the age thing does make a bit of sense. Juries are less likely to convict two minors of having consensual sex than they are to convict an adult having sex with a minor. By waiting until she was 18, it moved the case into adult court and increased the probability of a successful prosecution. That has little to do with her gender or sexual orientation, and everything to do with a prosecutor not wanting to waste time on an unwinnable case.


It should be pointed out that this relationship would be illegal in most states. Even in states with Romeo & Juliet laws or lower ages of consent, the minimum age for the partner of an 18 year old would be 16. There are only a handful of states where an 18 year old can consensually sleep with a 15 year old.

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Response to Xithras (Reply #12)

Mon May 20, 2013, 10:34 PM

19. I posted this to someone else

but will repeat it here. The unusual thing, it seems to be, is for a girl to be prosecuted in this situation. I suspect if the younger person was a boy, there would be no prosecution. Heterosexual relationships like these are prosecuted often, providing the older party is male. This again is part of a double standard that sees males as always wanting sex and doesn't take seriously attacks against them.

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Response to Xithras (Reply #12)

Tue May 21, 2013, 01:00 AM

37. Actually that is not correct

"There are only a handful of states where an 18 year old can consensually sleep with a 15 year old. "

In most states these girl's relationship would be legal.

Most statutory rape laws protect girls 14 or under, and/or have an age difference of between 4 and 10 (or more) years, and a few more required the defendant to be at least 19 (or no longer in high school).

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #37)

Tue May 21, 2013, 12:24 PM

53. Cite?

I just browsed an online list summarizing the age of consent laws for all 50 states. While there were more states than I expected that actually applied a 3 year rule (making 15 & 18 legal), they were still a distinct minority. I did not see any states that offered a 10 year (or more) window. The majority of states DO have laws setting their general age of consent to 16 or 17 (meaning 16 and 40 is perfectly legal), but that doesn't apply to this case. NONE have a general age of consent set to 15.

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Response to Xithras (Reply #53)

Tue May 21, 2013, 03:05 PM

54. Colorado and Utah are both 10

One dependent on age, the other not. Of the statutes with a general age of consent of 16 or older, 21 include circumstances under which someone as young as 10 can give consent based (most often) on the situation being teen romances.

And, as a general matter, being sexually active below the age of consent does not necessarily mean that the older participant is guilty of statutory rape; more typically either or both participants would be adjudicated delinquent by reason of underage sexual intercourse (there may be slightly different language). (Although the older, depending on the state statutes, constitute contributing to the delinquency of a minor.)

http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/08/sr/statelaws/summary.shtml
(I have not verified how up to date this listing is)

The bottom line is - do you really think it is appropriate to classify all teenage sexual activity between peers as rape, and impose sexual offender labels and criminal penalties on one participant without taking into consideration the circumstances?

I'm a prude - and I really don't believe high school kids are ready for sex, regardless of the reality that many of them are sexually active. But there is a vast difference between kids in the same peer group consensually engaging in behavior I don't think they are ready for & criminal activity.

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #54)

Tue May 21, 2013, 03:21 PM

55. Honestly no.

I personally believe that the age of consent should simply be 16 everywhere, as it already is in the largest group of states. I've long found it odd that a 30 year old and 16 year old can hook up in a hotel in Stateline, Nevada without breaking a single law, but the same act a few blocks away in South Lake Tahoe, California will get you 15 years in prison and a lifetime registration as a sex offender. The laws, and penalties, are long overdue for standardization.

For kids under 16, I prefer a simple 3-year rule, with a floor of 13. 16 and 13 is OK. 18 and 15 is OK. 19 and 13? There's something wrong with that. An 18 or 19 year old is not a "peer" to a 13 or 14 year old (you're talking about adults hooking up with kids barely out of middle school) and yes, I do believe that they should be punished if they cross that line. Probably not with lifetime sex offender registration, but certainly with some jail time.

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Response to Xithras (Reply #55)

Tue May 21, 2013, 04:22 PM

57. I don't think you spend much time around high school students.

Particularly in this case, the 14 year old was in an IB program and taking classes with the upper class students, participating in varsity sports and other school activities together. That makes her a peer. And, since it appears the 18 year old was not in advanced classes, their intellectual levels were likely less than 4 years apart. I don't have a way to judge emotional levels - but having taught high school students for 11 years, and having raised a daughter who is now 22, I can tell you that the intellectual and emotional maturity levels (and the ability of an older student to coerce a younger one) vary tremendously from person to person. There are many 18 year old students who were less mature than some 14 year old students. I don't have to look outside my own family for that - I was far more emotionally mature at 12 than my daughter was at 19. She was more intellectually mature by the time she hit high school than I was through most of college.

What makes the most difference in the school years are the groupings. If 9th grade students are grouped with 10-12, they typically rise to the occasion. If they are left with the middle school students they typically don't mature quite as quickly. And - a similar dramatic change happens with 18 year olds in college - they rise to that level of maturity and a relationship between an 18 year old who has graduated and 14 year old (that is just starting) is a very different matter. But once you make the decision to put 9th graders with seniors, it is not realistic to impose criminal penalties for the pretty inevitable consequences of encouraging them to fraternize with each other.

"Hooking up" by the way, has specific connotations not applicable here. This was a romantic relationship between the two which involved sexual activity.

I know I'm out of touch with modern morals in believing that most high school students are not ready to engage in sexual activity - but even I don't believe it should be criminalized. I am shocked that anyone (particularly anyone on DU) believes that sexual activity between kids we have thrown together and told to socialize with each other ought to be criminal.

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #57)

Tue May 21, 2013, 04:36 PM

58. I have two teenagers.

And my 16 year old son is currently dating an 18 year old woman. I also spent many, many years teaching introductory math and CS to first and second year college students (17-19 years old). So yeah, I do spend a bit of time around that age group.

It sounds to me like you and I do agree on 90% of this, but I think that teaching limits is an important part of parenting. I don't think you can apply a blanket "when this teen sleeps with that teen, it should never be a crime". It simply leads to too many questions. While there are EXCEPTIONS to every case, we'll destroy our society if we base all of our laws on the exceptions. Your typical 14 year old is NOT social peers with your typical 18 year old, and the two should not be connecting sexually.

Understand that, as a bisexual man, if I found out that my daughter were dating an 18 year old woman when she was only 14, I wouldn't have hesitated to call the police and have her arrested and charged. By 18 years old a person SHOULD have the knowledge and self control to stop themselves from interacting sexually with such a young minor. Yes, 18 is still young, but an 18 year should at least nominally be acting like an adult. An adult should not be having sex with someone fresh out of middle school.

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Response to BainsBane (Original post)

Mon May 20, 2013, 10:24 PM

16. Affidavit was released

http://www.scribd.com/doc/142642135/Kaitlyn-Hunt-Redacted-Affidavit-Redacted

According to this, Kaitlyn was already 18 when the relationship began, and the younger girl was still 14. Kaitlyn was 18 the entire school year (born in August, Florida has a very early cutoff, guess the parents held her back since she barely made it) and the girl was a freshman who turned 15 during the winter/spring. So it did not become illegal overnight, it would always have been illegal as Kaitlyn was already over 18 when they met. The legal complaint was less than two months after the relationship began.

18 and 14 is a HUGE maturity gap IMO. 4 years is a big difference at those ages. I personally don't think it should be legal regardless of gender. 1-2 year difference is one thing but 4 is just too big IMO.

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Response to rebecca_herman (Reply #16)

Mon May 20, 2013, 10:44 PM

21. Oh dear

I see what you mean. I thought it was 18 to 16. 14 is very different.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #21)

Mon May 20, 2013, 11:09 PM

24. Indeed

Certainly seems a lot less sympathetic than the story going around where they were 15 and 17, dated a long time, and then it became illegal overnight and the younger girl's parents filed charges on her birthday, doesn't it?

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Response to BainsBane (Original post)


Response to BainsBane (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2013, 12:51 AM

35. Outrageous

I hope Anon can sort this out. This is unjust.

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Response to LittleBlue (Reply #35)

Tue May 21, 2013, 12:52 AM

36. Read through the responses

It's more complicated than the Mother Jones story presents. See the affidavit in particular.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #36)

Tue May 21, 2013, 01:02 AM

39. Even if it's an 18-year-old

and a 14-year-old, I don't think she should be prosecuted.

Then again, the Anglophone obsession with sexual etiquette never appealed to me. They were high schoolers, it was consensual, no big deal.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #36)

Tue May 21, 2013, 01:47 AM

45. That's not the point people are making

The point is that the law is garbage and that's selectively enforced. And therefore many dont think she should be charged.

If we are going to charge her, then in the spirit of fairness, we need to charge every high school senior (male or female) that dates an underclassman (male or female) and force them to register as a sex offender their whole life.

Because right now...that's what the law demands. So all these people who keep saying "the law is the law." Fine... then lets enforce that law for EVERYBODY!

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Response to davidn3600 (Reply #45)

Tue May 21, 2013, 02:08 AM

48. There are different points of view expressed here

The four year age gap makes it different for me.

I think men typically are charged in these circumstances. I thought it was you who pointed that out. What's unusual here appears to be that a woman is being charged.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #48)

Tue May 21, 2013, 02:18 AM

49. Not in a high school dating situation.

Charges in those circumstances are rare - at least compared to how common freshman-senior relationships are.

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #49)

Tue May 21, 2013, 02:22 AM

50. I certainly don't think the law should be applied unfairly

to gay people. I also think it's wrong that so many men are prosecuted for statutory rape while older women of the same age are not.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #50)

Tue May 21, 2013, 08:58 AM

51. I just don't see high school kids dating each other

as criminal - regardless of the genders of the parties. So my issue isn't with the unfair application of the law - it is with the law itself.

Regardless of whether I think it is a good idea for seniors to have sex with freshmen with whom they have a romantic relationship, I don't believe those relations are inherently forced. Statutory rape laws declare - as a matter of law - that the younger person was always forced into the sexual activity; that all sexual activity between the two is rape.

I agree that it may be, and that sometimes seniors have enough power over freshmen that it could be coercive. But not always - and I would go so far as to say not most times. So those cases should be evaluated on an individual basis (as all other non-statutory rape charges are).

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #51)

Tue May 21, 2013, 05:34 PM

59. It's hard for me to say

I don't have children. I remember myself at that age, and while I was intellectually advanced I was not at all advanced emotionally. I started college at age 16, and while I was academically prepared I was less emotionally prepared for everything that went along with college life and living away from home. I think of myself at 14 and there is no way I would have been prepared for a relationship with an 18 yr old.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #59)

Tue May 21, 2013, 06:01 PM

61. Which is precisely why I don't think it should be a crime

Kids and circumstances are so different.

I would have been perfectly fine with an 18 year old (of either gender) at 14. I probably could have run circles around most of them by that age. My other siblings, not so much - and probably all of them were much more likely to actually have a sexual relationship with someone their age or older than I was.

In my case, being the target of a few bullies from 4th grade (or perhaps younger) through 7th grade - and figuring out how to move out of their sphere and be happy with myself despite their repeated attempts to bully me whenever our paths crossed - meant that by age 14 I was not likely to be coerced into a relationship I didn't want with a senior. My sister, on the other hand, had attachment issues because of her early childhood experiences before she was adopted by my parents. She has never in her adult life (until the last 6 months or so at 50+) not attached herself to the new man before the old was gone. At 14, 16, or even older, she could easily have been in a relationship by coercion rather than choice. But unless that relationship was with someone out of high school while she was still a high school student, criminalizing the behavior of one of the parties seems to me the wrong way to go about it.

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #61)

Tue May 21, 2013, 06:06 PM

62. I see your point

It's really having police take over the responsibility of parents. If they believe the child unprepared for such a relationship, they should put a stop to it themselves.

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #49)

Sun May 26, 2013, 11:35 PM

67. How common are they?

freshman-senior relationships?
Much less ones where one party is 18 and the other 14?

I dont recall this being remotely common, and from what I remember of being in high school that would be very frowned upon and creepy. I recall a recent 17 year old who was with a 14 who turned 15 year old, and we all thought it was creepy.

I just dont think these relationships between 18 and 14 year olds are common as you are stating

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Response to roughrider101 (Reply #67)

Mon May 27, 2013, 02:46 AM

68. They were quite common in the high school I taught in for 11 years. n/t

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Response to davidn3600 (Reply #45)

Mon May 27, 2013, 04:22 AM

69. I think you have at least two overgeneralisations and an implicit error there.

If we are going to charge her, then in the spirit of fairness, we need to charge every high school senior (male or female) that dates an underclassman (male or female) and force them to register as a sex offender their whole life.

Try "every 18-year-old that has sex with a 14-year-old".

And I believe (although I'm not certain) that Hunt was offered a plea deal that would involve not having to register as a sex offender.

I think that registering at least some form of legal charge against most 18-year-olds who knowingly has sex with a 14-year-old is probably a good idea.

There should be a little room for prosecutorial discretion. But I have no reason to suppose that Hunt should receive the benefit of such discretion.

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Response to BainsBane (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2013, 01:58 AM

47. Very true, and thank goodness for the good people in Anonymous. n/t

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Response to BainsBane (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2013, 11:51 AM

52. I don't really have sympathy for the older girl

If I find out my 14 year old daughter is in a sexual relationship with an adult, that adult is going to face legal consequences. And like the sheriff stated, I wouldn't care one bit whether the adult is male or female.

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Response to shawn703 (Reply #52)

Tue May 21, 2013, 04:08 PM

56. You realize that in 31 states, the age of consent is at age 16?

Depending on where you live, your daughter can consent to sex in 2 years.

Which highlights another problem, every state is different with this. Not only with how they set the age of consent, but every state has different Romeo and Juliet laws. So each state is applying a different standard. Then you got the federal laws that make it even more confusing. And kids dont understand any of these laws at all.

If this girl broke the law, fine. There needs to be some punishment. But making a high school senior register as a sex offender for their entire life because they dated an underclassman, that's insane.... That's outrageous. Especially considering the fact that I remember many such relationships when I was in school that were never prosecuted. You are going to destroy this kid's life because she had a high school romance?

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Response to davidn3600 (Reply #56)

Tue May 21, 2013, 05:54 PM

60. The 18yo would be destroying his/her own life

if he or she chooses to take advantage of my 14 year old child. I have to wonder what the older girl's parents were thinking - they knew about the relationship and they didn't think there was a problem with if? Her father is a former police officer and didn't counsel her that being involved with someone that young is a problem?

Just because they didn't prosecute these relationships at your school, it doesn't mean they shouldn't have. The parents probably didn't know what their kids were doing and with whom.

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Response to BainsBane (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2013, 06:08 PM

63. "If this was an 18-year-old male and a 14-year-old girl... it would be prosecuted in the same way."

Caca de toro. For one thing, the younger girl is 15, not 14.

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Response to KamaAina (Reply #63)

Wed May 22, 2013, 12:15 AM

66. She was 14 at the time of the "crime"

The affidavit is clear, the victim was 14, the older girl was 18. Their age difference is 3 years and about 4 or 5 months. The older girl turned 18 last August, the younger girl turned 15 after the charges were filed.

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Response to KamaAina (Reply #63)

Mon May 27, 2013, 05:27 AM

70. Nope. the younger girl was 14 the entire time and the older

one was 18 the entire time. read the affidavit.

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