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She Got A Golden Ticket & Squandered It[/caption]
Here’s a lesson everyone needs to learn. Don’t violate a court order. It will only make your problems worse. There is never an acceptable excuse for going against what a judge has ordered. Not even if you think it is unfair. Not even if it’s a matter of the heart.
Not long ago I wrote a column – actually, a rather sympathetic column
– about the plight of Florida teenager Kaitlyn Hunt. At 18, Hunt’s high school sweetheart was just 14 and female. Because Florida’s statutory rape law stipulates that no one under 16 can legally consent to sexual contact – Hunt was expelled from her high school where she had been an excellent student and athlete.
In mid-February, Hunt was charged with two felony counts of lewd and lascivious behavior with a minor. Circuit Court Judge Robert Pegg issued a no-contact order instructing Kaitlyn to have no further contact with the younger girl.
I felt badly for the young sweethearts, remembering that awkward teen-time when I first thought I was “in love.” I suggested we might want to re-think current laws given the inevitability of teens experimenting with sex. Yes, even same sex relationships.
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Kaitlyn and her Parents Launched Major PR Push[/caption]
Now, I realize I've been had. Along with the rest of the media I believed Kaitlyn Hunt’s parents and their assertion that Kaitlyn was just 17 and simply going where her wholesome little love-sick heart took her. Turns out she was actually 18 when she first had sexual contact with the 14 year old.
I finally got my hands on the actual arrest affidavit and there was Kaitlyn’s date of birth: 8-14-1994 and she is clearly described as being 18 years old when she took the younger girl into a stall inside a school restroom and engaged in sexual activity. (Most of the report includes language and descriptions not fit for a family newspaper.) Kaitlyn even told the arresting officer that the relationship had begun nearly three months after her last birthday.
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Among the PR head-shots Hunts Released[/caption]
So, why would Kaitlyn’s parents lie about the age difference? They must have realized the legal implications of 17 versus 18.
Maybe that’s why they launched a distracting PR blitz after Kaitlyn’s arrest that stressed she was a sort of poster-person hero of gay discrimination. They exclaimed to reporters that Kaitlyn was actually a victim of the other girl’s “bigoted” parents who had maliciously reported Kaitlyn to police for, “turning their daughter gay.” That wasn't true either. Those parents denied the charge in TV interviews saying Kaitlyn had twice been warned to stay away and they had contacted police as a “last resort.”
No one realized that all the while the controversy bubbled around her Kaitlyn was hiding a monumental secret.
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Those Who Mentioned the Law Were "Anti-Gay"[/caption]
The Hunts kept up the drum beat that every adult involved was ill-informed, insensitive and politically incorrect in their handling of the case. They appealed to gay activists to join their fight.
The ACLU agreed to help the Hunts. A “SaveKate” Facebook page cropped up. More than 300 thousand supporters signed an on-line petition urging prosecutors to drop the charges. No one talked much about that Florida law which declared a 14 year old is unable to consent to sex.
Now we know that all the while the Hunts were flooding the media with pretty, posed head-shots of their wide-eyed and smiling daughter the innocent looking Kaitlyn was busy thumbing her nose at Judge Pegg’s no-contact order.
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Petition Drive Photo to "Stop the Hate"[/caption]
Just two weeks after that order was issued Kaitlyn had secretly slipped the younger girl an IPod and began sending her an almost constant stream of e-messages and lewd, nude photographs of herself.
Prosecutors say they discovered that since March 1st Kaitlyn had sent 20,000 text messages to the “child victim” including some that arranged secret face-to-face meetings. Court documents said the pair had sexual relations as recently as the end of July.
But that’s not all. It turns out that Kaitlyn’s mother, Kelley Hunt Smith, part of the brain-trust that decided it was smarter to play the gay discrimination card instead of advising her daughter to throw herself on the mercy of the court, was on record giving cover-up advice to her daughter’s companion.
"Delete EVERYTHING," Smith wrote in a text message to the younger girl. “PLEASE delete everything and make sure NO ONE finds out you've spoken to Kate at all."
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Judge Pegg Tossed Kaitlyn Back in Jail[/caption]
When all this new evidence was presented to Judge Pegg he was not amused. At a special hearing this week he ordered the now 19-year-old Kaitlyn to be held in jail until her unscheduled trial. He also added another new felony charge – transmitting material harmful to a minor by electronic equipment.
Too bad the Hunt’s never counseled their daughter to take the prosecutor’s generous plea offer which, in return for Kaitlyn’s admission of guilt, insured she would not serve jail time and waived the state’s requirement that she register as a lifelong sex offender. She had a golden ticket in her grasp and through her reckless actions she has now lost any chance at leniency.
If you’ve got a teen in trouble with the law do them a favor. Tell them to wipe the smirk off their face and take court proceedings very, very seriously. Tell them the story about Kaitlyn Hunt and end with the fact that in addition to missing out on college and every other young adult pursuit, she now faces more than 15 years in prison.