As Steve reported last weekend, Florida’s Sebastian River High School senior Kaitlyn Hunt began a relationship earlier this year with a fellow classmate, a 15-year old girl. This past February, soon after her 18th birthday, she was arrested and charged with two felony counts of lewd and lascivious battery on a child 12–16 years of age. Hunt's parents claim the the family of their daughter's girlfriend has never approved of the same-sex relationship and has since made Hunt a target.
Chris Hayes last night spoke with Hunt, her mother, and lawyer about the case.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
Hunt's family has started a petition on Change.org (which has so far netted over 160,000 signatures) as well as a Free Kate Facebook page.
While some of the 150,000 people signing an online petition asking prosecutors to drop the case have suggested that it's being handled differently because it involves a same-sex relationship, Indian River County Sheriff Deryl Loar said that has nothing to do with it.
"If this was an 18-year-old male and that was a 14-year-old girl, it would have been prosecuted the same way," he said. CNN legal analyst Sunny Hostin concurs, saying whether the people involved are same-sex or opposite-sex, the legal issues are the same.
"A kid, a child under the age of 16, cannot consent to having sexual relations with an 18-year-old, an adult under the eyes of the law," she said. "And that really is all this case comes down to when you look at it legally."