Kaitlyn Hunt, the Florida teen charged with committing lewd and lascivious acts on her younger girlfriend, declined a plea deal on Friday, opting for a trial by jury next month. According to a May 26 New York Daily News report, the younger girl’s parents, James and Laurie Smith, finally addressed the media, saying they warned the 18-year-old to stay away from their daughter. The Hunt family, especially Kate’s mother, Kelley Hunt Smith, are now being called liars.
Hunt-Smith went public with Kaitlyn’s legal troubles on May 17, one week before a decision on the plea deal was due. The Facebook group “Free Kate” was formed, which now has over 50K members, and the case got international attention.
Kate Hunt was an 18-year-old senior. Her girlfriend was a 14-year-old freshman at her high school. Misreporting in the case initially had the girls at 15 and 17, stating that the Smiths waited until Hunt was 18 to go to the police.
Kaitlyn’s mom first explained the situation as:
“Kate is an 18-year-old senior about to graduate from Sebastian River High School. At the beginning of this school year, she started dating a fellow student, who happened to be another female. There was an age difference between my daughter and the other girl, of 3 years. They were both students in the same high school. It was a mutually consenting relationship on both parts.”
Bloggers, such as The Other McCain have attacked Hunt-Smith, saying she’s a liar who misrepresented the age difference between Kaitlyn and her girlfriend. She said there is a three year age difference. They are three years and seven months apart.
McCain and other bloggers have found inconsistent information provided by the Hunt family. This combined with a contradicting account of events provided by the Smith family has many doubting the “Free Kate” story.
The Hunt family has accused the Smith’s of going to the police because they didn’t want their daughter in a lesbian relationship. Kate’s mom has said she wishes they would have come to her first with their concerns. The Smith’s have a different story, claiming they warned Kaitlyn to stay away from their daughter twice and that their actions have nothing to do with sexual orientation and everything to do with the age difference.
This is a case of “he said, she said.” The fact remains that a lack of research by the media helped widely spread incorrect information about this case around the world.
Kate’s attorney, Julia Graves, said in a press release Friday,
“If this incident occurred 108 days earlier when Kate Hunt was 17, we wouldn’t even be here. The State is willing to take this teenager’s life away over 108 days.”
If you agree with Graves and want to show your support for Kaitlyn Hunt , sign the petition to get the felony charges reduced, join “Free Kate” on Facebook or donate to her legal fund.
Follow Rachael Moshman on Twitter @rachaelmoshman,Facebook and www.rachaelmoshman.com.