MIAMI - An 18-year-old Florida cheerleader is facing felony charges that she had sexual contact with her underage, 14-year-old girlfriend, leading gay-rights advocates to say the teen is being unfairly targeted for a common high-school romance because she's gay.
The criminal case against Kaitlyn Hunt is unusual because it involves two females, not an older male and a younger female. But advocates say older high schoolers dating their younger counterparts is an innocuous, everyday occurrence that is not prosecuted - regardless of sexual orientation - and not a crime on par with predatory sex offenses.
Hunt played on the basketball team with her younger girlfriend and shared the same circle of friends, said Hunt's mother, Kelley Hunt Smith. The two had a consenting relationship that began soon after Kaitlyn Hunt turned 18, and Hunt Smith said she assumed the younger girl's parents knew that.
Hunt was charged in February with lewd and lascivious battery on a child 12 to 16. Prosecutors have offered a plea deal that would allow her to avoid registering as a sex offender if she pleads guilty to lesser charges of child abuse. State Attorney Bruce Colton said he would recommend two years of house arrest followed by one year of probation if she takes the deal.