My Daughter Was Arrested, Expelled and Charged With a Felony for a Same-Sex Relationship She Had as a Minor

Kaitlyn Hunt with her father Steven Hunt Jr.

Kaitlyn Hunt with her father Steven Hunt Jr.

The nightmare began in February when the cops came to arrest my daughter, who had just turned 18, and took her away without telling us what was happening.

On Saturday, February 16, our family’s world was torn apart and our daughter’s life turned upside down.

xojanelogoThe police came and arrested my daughter, put her in handcuffs and no reason was given at all.

They refused to tell her mother anything at first because she had turned 18.

My daughter was ripped out of her mother’s arms, hysterical. The police finally told us she was being arrested on “probable cause.” When they said sexual battery on a person 12-16 years old, it was clear what was going on.

It had to have been my daughter’s girlfriend’s parents.

My daughter, Kaitlyn, was in a romantic relationship with a student at her school who was also a teammate on the basketball team.

She is a high school senior living in Indian River County, Florida.

Kaitlyn on the cheerleading team.

Kaitlyn on the cheerleading team.

Until halfway through the school year, she was a student at Indian River High School, where she had been a cheerleader, a varsity basketball player and was busy preparing for a career serving others in the nursing field.

Kate was a popular student who was voted as the student with “most school spirit.” Kate’s girlfriend was a freshman student enrolled in international baccalaureate courses with upperclassmen and a fellow player on the basketball team with Kate.

While Kate was three years older than her girlfriend, they were peers. But when Kate’s girlfriend’s parents learned of their relationship, they went directly to the police to press charges without sharing their objections with Kate or her family.

The police taped a conversation between Kate and her girlfriend, which led to Kate’s arrest. Kate was interrogated extensively without a lawyer present. I am a former police officer, so she trusted the police and didn’t feel she had anything to hide. Kate was eventually charged with two counts of felony lewd and lascivious battery on a child 12-16.

The prosecutor later offered a plea deal of felony child abuse, with two years house arrest followed by one year probation. Today, the girls are 18 and 15.

Kate’s girlfriend has taken no part in her prosecution and adamantly denies she is a victim, but the law grants her no rights in this matter. Kate has offered to permanently cease contact and leave the state if charges are dropped, but that offer has been rejected by the prosecutor and the girlfriend’s parents.

Before the legal trouble began, Kate was already a target at her school.

Kaitlyn at a school dance.

Kaitlyn at a school dance.

After the relationship started, the basketball coach approached her and said, “Kaitlyn, can I talk to you? I heard you have something going on with another female player on our team, and I can’t have that kind of drama on my team, I don’t allow it and I wouldn’t ever. So, I’m sorry, but playing on our team won’t work out for you.”

Yes, that’s right, my own daughter was removed from a sport she loves simply because she was in a relationship with another “student.”

Now, it didn’t stop there. The girl’s mother found out about the relationship, and, as several people told me, the girl’s mother said that there’s no way her daughter could be gay.

Anyone who knows my daughter Kate knows how wonderful she is.

Kate is an 18-year-old senior about to graduate with an exemplary record at school and home. She has always been a wonderful student, respected and well liked. She has cheered on the varsity cheer team all throughout high school, sung in chorus and was voted most school spirited. She has never been in trouble, ever. She truly is the model student and child.

This relationship occurred when they were both minors, and my daughter’s girlfriend’s parents waited until she turned 18 to arrest her.

These people never came to us, never tried to speak to us, didn’t try to get the school involved to speak to us and tell us they had a problem with the girls dating, not one single word.

Instead, they set out their vengeance and had Kate arrested on felony charges.

Kaitlyn was voted "most school spirit."

Kaitlyn was voted “most school spirit.”

It was Kate’s senior year — she only had a few months until graduation and we wanted her to finish. But the parents petitioned the court and asked the judge to remove Kate from school, even though the judge already ruled Kate could continue school. But this other student’s parents feel like my daughter “made” their daughter gay.

My daughter’s girlfriend has said from day one, she cares about my daughter, she never wanted her parents to do this, she was 100% consenting and it was by her own choice that she was with my daughter.

She doesn’t want Kate to be punished.

My daughter’s life is being destroyed. Kate is deeply depressed, crying all the time and suffering night terrors.

I will do whatever it takes to fight for my daughter.

And I’m finding out that I am not alone.

Internet activist group Anonymous launched #OpJustice4Kaitlyn on May 19 and released a statement addressed to the Indian River County State Attorney’s Office that reads in part: “Kaitlyn Hunt is a bright young girl who was involved in a consensual, same-sex relationship while both she and her partner were minors. She has a big future ahead of her and there are people, thousands of people in fact, that have no intention of allowing you to ruin it with your rotten selective enforcement.”

How can you help?

First, sign this petition.

Second, if you would like to help with the considerable legal fees, you can purchase a bracelet that says “STOP THE HATE, FREE KATE.”

Third, if you’re a resident of Florida, please contact your state legislators and tell them the law needs to protect high school peers from prosecution.

Find your state legislators here.

Fourth, share this story!

Share with everyone. If you know a high school student, make sure he or she knows the law.

Please — let’s stop the hate. Free Kate.


My daughter means the world to me.



Originally appeared at xoJane.

More from our partners at

Premium Membership, The Good Men Project

About xoJane, Jane Pratt's lifestyle site for women, is not about changing yourself to fit any mold of what others think you should be. It is about celebrating who you are. Like Sassy and Jane before it, is written by a group of women (and some token males) with strong voices, identities and opinions, many in direct opposition to each other, who are living what they are writing about.


  1. Mr Supertypo says:

    ok this is quite tragic, at teen age people tend easily to fall in love. I dont know how to place this. But I dont think she (or a boy in the same situation) should be placed in the sex offenders list at that age. We are not talking about a 30+y old person but a 18. Maybe a slap on the hand, but no more. IMO the law need to be changed…asap


    Kaitlyn Hunt, the 18-year-old high school senior facing felony charges over a same-sex relationship with a 14-year-old freshman classmate, has refused a plea deal that would have labeled her a sex offender and placed her under house arrest for two years. Hunt’s parents, citing that the relationship was consensual, had requested Florida prosecutors reduce the charges to a misdemeanor, but their request was denied by the state.

  3. Alastair says:

    The Daily Kos has withdrawn its petition in support of Kaitlyn Hunt. They write:

    Thu May 23, 2013 at 10:29 AM PT: The public scrutiny of this case has brought to light problems with the initial reporting, and with the original story coming from the Hunt family. Previously, Hunt’s parents said that the younger girl was 15, and Hunt 17 when the relationship began. The release of the arrest warrant made clear, as subsequent news stories report, that the younger girl was 14 and Hunt was indeed 18 when the relationship began.

    These corrections, and the initial dishonesty of Hunt’s parents, make this story much more problematic, and our original petition moot.”

  4. Will Best says:

    She didn’t get kicked from the team for being homosexual. She got kicked from the team for dating another teammate. That is a big difference. I have consulted for plenty of companies that will and have terminated employees over office relationship.

    As for the law, its a dumb law, but hundreds of boys in FL have suffered its fate and she shouldn’t get off because she is a girl or in a homosexual relationship.

  5. Megalodon says:

    These people never came to us, never tried to speak to us, didn’t try to get the school involved to speak to us and tell us they had a problem with the girls dating, not one single word.

    The parents of the younger party now claim that they twice attempted to cease the relationship informally.

    The Smiths are portrayed by the Hunt Family as going to the law first.

    “It’s not the way it was. It was quite different. We had actually told Miss Hunt that this was wrong,” Laurie told CBS12’s Jana Eschbach.

    But, according to the Smiths Kate was warned, not once, but twice to stop.

    “Another adult, a mother, came to me and said ‘Ms. Smith you need to know this…we told Miss Hunt to leave your daughter alone. But they are in a relationship, and she’s 18.’ 18? My daughter is only 14,” Laure said.

    They call all be lying, of course. But Mr. Hunt could be lying too. We will see.

  6. Some have asked the question if this would be such a stink if this were an 18 year old man and a 14 year old boy. The real question you should be asking is “Would this be such a stink if this were a 18 year old man with a 14 year old boy”. Personally I doubt the world would care, it wouldn’t be called homophobic, people wouldn’t be outraged and ANONYMOUS sure would not have gotten involved.

  7. I’m sure that I am going to get crucified for this, but I have to point out a couple of things…after reading the details of this case from various media sources, I tend to agree with the notion that these parents are pushing these charges due to anger and probably homophobia. However I have to ask the readers on here who are parents….are you ok with your freshman daughter having sex with a senior guy? Because I wouldn’t be….nor would I be ok with my freshman son having sex with a senior girl….I teach and coach high school, and if you don’t think a senior can really influence a freshman to do something that they wouldn’t otherwise do, then you don’t know young people very well….I know the age difference varies between 3 and 4 years but in high school the grade level is a more defining indicator of maturity…..a freshman usually has just arrived at high school coming up from the middle school, is nervous about fitting in, etc. Ask people you know who are teachers and I bet they will tell you that the biggest maturity difference between grades is between freshmen and sophomores. And as a high school football coach, if I found out 2 members of my team were involved in a sexual relationship, I would also dismiss them for many of the same reasons the BB coach told the young lady’s father.

    • KC Krupp says:

      The section where the father asserted the basketball coach had discriminated against his daughter put me off a bit. Granted there may be much more to it than indicated in the article, but the father claims his daughter was removed from the team “simply because she was in a relationship with another “student.”’

      The previous paragraph makes it pretty clear that the coach didn’t remove her from the team for being gay or for having a relationship with another student; he removed her from the team because she was in a relationship with her teammate: “I can’t have that kind of drama on my team.”

      If I had been him, I would have done the same thing. The last thing a coach needs to worry about in addition to the usual tension and drama of trying to coach a bunch of high school girls is to have the additional potential strain of a lover’s spat involved.

      Now there may be more to the coach’s motivations, but going purely off of the father’s framing of the story I don’t see any discrimination from the coach.

  8. I do wonder if people would crack such a stink if it was an 18 year old boy. Either way Romeo n Juliet laws need to take this into account. 14 and 18 are sweet fuck all difference in maturity, it’s not great but it’s nothing as bad as say 30 and 14.

    • KC Krupp says:

      What’s really crazy, Archy, is that a current legal precedent states that if a 30+ year old woman gets pregnant though sex with a 15 year old boy the boy has to pay child support once he turns 18, and because it is considered “unlawful sexual intercourse” the boy doesn’t even get the rights to adopt or have custody of the child (the original spirit of the law was supposed to apply to men who had raped women, but it has been now applied the other way around.)

  9. There is something I have to ask. Maybe it was mentioned in the article and I just missed it. Did Kate have any sexual contact with the other girl after Kate turned 18? The reason I ask is because if she did, then the law is pretty much cut and dried, If an 18 year old man was to have sex with a 15 year old girl, he would be guilty of a crime no matter how consenting the girl claims to have been. The parents can still prosecute the perceived offender because their child is a minor. The same, unfortunately, is true even if both participants are of the same sex.

    If Kate did NOT have any sexual contact with her girlfriend after Kate turned 18, then this case should immediately be dismissed. I know that the reality here is that the parents of Kate’s girlfriend are simply too terrified to admit that their daughter is a homosexual. Their homophobia is the root cause of Kate’s suffering…and that’s a damn shame especially when you consider just how valiantly the homosexual has been fighting for it’s rights. The problem here is that the law is the law and it can’t turn it’s head just because two homosexuals rather than two heterosexuals are involved. I only hope that realizes just how ridiculous it is to want to prosecute this girl and dismisses the case altogether.

    • Megalodon says:

      According to the Arrest Affidavit, the relationship did not even start until after Hunt turned 18.

    • Megalodon says:

      If Kate did NOT have any sexual contact with her girlfriend after Kate turned 18, then this case should immediately be dismissed.

      Even if all the sexual contact occurred before Hunt turned 18, the younger person was 14 in this situation. Sexual activity with a person under 16 is still illegal. The charge and the prosecution may have been different because Hunt herself would be a minor at 17. But the sexual activity itself would still have been against the law.

  10. This shatters my faith in humanity.
    I thought these laws were intended to protect minors, not destroy their lives as they turn 18.

  11. Alastair says:

    This case strikes me as a very interesting study in the contradictions and complications of the notion of equality on a number of levels.

    • KC Krupp says:

      How so Alastair? I’m curious what contradictions on the notion of equality you’re referring to.

      • Alastair says:

        In ways such as the following:

        1. The same people who are championing Kate’s cause tend to be those who shout the loudest about ‘equality’ in other contexts. However, this is exactly what ‘equality’ under the law looks like. Strangely, the very thing that people seem to be outraged about here is that Kate hasn’t experienced (positive) discrimination. Of course, people will point to the supposed motives of her girlfriend’s parents, etc. and will claim that the relationship was consensual (apparently missing the point of age of consent laws entirely), but all of these details are red herrings, quite irrelevant to the main point: Kate broke the law and should receive the same punishment as anyone else who did the same thing.

        2. The fact that the same level of outrage doesn’t typically occur in the case of a male with a younger female is illuminating, once again showing that equality, while much trumpeted in theory, is seldom as straightforwardly adhered to in practice. In particular, those areas where higher demands are made of males or heterosexuals are all too typically bypassed when people talk about equality. In a situation with an 18 year-old man and 14 year-old girl, the agency of the male is generally seen as far more pronounced and the agency of the underage female downplayed. As a result, the male bears a far higher level of responsibility for what occurs in a sexual relationship and the idea of a genuinely mutual relationship between an 18 year-old male and 14 year-old female is considered much less plausible. Conversely, the female is seen to have much lower level of agency and culpability.

        3. Reverse the sexes and the inequality is illustrated in other ways. The 18 year-old woman who has relations with the 14 year-old boy is typically seen to be sexually initiating him. Her sexual agency is viewed as much less overpowering than that of the 18 year-old guy with the 14 year-old girl. There is a much lower cultural standard for securing consent when it comes to a female initiating sexual relations with a male.

        4. Further implicit inequalities relate to the connection between rape, sexual relations, and the concept of penetration. As lesbian sex is not characterized by ‘intercourse’ in the same way as gay or heterosexual sex (digital penetration or the use of a sex toy of some variety not being quite the same thing as penetration by a penis), people tend to conceive of it rather differently. The difference between sex happening inside your body and outside your body is by no means an unimportant one, and is one of the reasons for the differences between levels of expected consent for men and women in heterosexual relations, the meaning of virginity for men and women, differing levels of responsibility for sexual action, and differences in the ascription of sexual agency. Lesbian sex has lower risk of STDs than gay sex, for instance, and isn’t potentially procreative, as heterosexual intercourse can be, which makes it somewhat less of a risky or significant action beyond the psychological and emotional impact that it has.

        The problem is that those who push the equality line, whether relating to gender or sexuality, all too often want to have their cake and eat it, desiring equality when it confers privilege, but not when it comes with disadvantages. The asymmetries in behaviours, values, and norms resulting from the different form and consequence of different sexual acts, from the differing relationship that the sexes bear to sexual acts of different forms, from the differing nature of male and female bodies and sexual agency are implicitly presupposed in some areas while being ruled out of consideration in others, the main criteria seeming to be what plays in favour of the group claiming ‘equality’.

        So, for instance, some sort of special treatment seems to be expected for Kate’s relationship with a 14 year-old girl, one which traffics heavily upon cultural instincts that would differentiate between the way to treat a heterosexual and a lesbian relationship under such circumstances, or between females and males who perform sexual acts upon minors, not treating them equally. However, observing the relevance of the significant differences in form between gay and lesbian relationships and heterosexual relationships to the question of gay marriage is not permitted, as we must treat these things equally and are not permitted to reflect carefully upon the marked differences. ‘Equality’ is great until it gets the attractive 18 year-old lesbian cheerleader a jail term. Such inconsistencies and contradictions are illuminating.

        • Megalodon says:

          Thank you for saying all that, Alastair.

          Female sexuality has always been stereotyped as benign and vulnerable. Some persons just refuse to believe that female/female sexual interaction can be anything but benign or good, even when it is non-consensual.

          Remember that one part of the feminist play “The Vagina Monologues” called “The Little Coochie Snorcher That Could”? That monologue tells of how a teenage girl is plied with alcohol by her 24 year old female babysitter. And then the babysitter does sexual things to her. The play depicts this a good thing in which the narrator is initiated into sexuality. It ends with the narrator saying “it was a good rape.” (which she means seriously, not ironically) Subsequent editions of the play raised the age of the narrator from 13 to 16. And I think Ensler took out the “good rape” line. But the plot and theme remain the same.

        • KC Krupp says:

          Thank you for the clarification and for fulfilling my curiousity. I agree with all of the points you raised.

  12. Be glad that your daughter is not your son. House arrest for 2 Felony counts of sexual abuse? You got off light, REALLY light.

  13. I personally don’t care that it took a same sex relationship for the craziness of this law to be noticed. For the sake of lots of kids we need to decriminalize this sort of relationship. I dated a sophmore as a senior… thank goodness her parents didnt decide to prosecute me.

  14. Megalodon says:

    This relationship occurred when they were both minors, and my daughter’s girlfriend’s parents waited until she turned 18 to arrest her.

    According the Arrest Affidavit, Kaitlyn Hunt’s birthday is August 14, 1994. That means she turned 18 in August of 2012 right at the start of the school year. The affidavit also says that the association between the two began in November of 2012. This would mean that Hunt did not turn 18 in the course of the relationship, but was 18 at the start of the relationship.

    Maybe the affidavit is inaccurate or the Sheriff’s Office is lying? But there is a conflict between the Father’s narrative and the police narrative.

  15. Man, this is very distressing. I cannot believe the lengths people will go to hurt others. The fear and outright prejudice exposed here is very horrifying. I’ll be praying for you and your family, this is no way to be a neighbor. Those parents must have some immense shame in their past that they think doing this to your daughter would somehow redeem them. They are so wrong. This kind of callous behavior to a young girl is just horrible. Let her know that people care, and love her regardless of her sexual status. John 8:7 And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”

  16. The way the other her girlfriends parents went about this the worst thing they could have ever done. I think they are cowards and there are true haters of life. They have assured that that when their daughter turns 18 she will leave and never speak with them again. I truly feel sorry for these girls, please hang in there everything will work out.

    • wellokaythen says:

      In some states she could sue to be emancipated from her parents even before the age of 18. Maybe even at 16. Not sure how that works, but it sounds to me like she has some grounds for it. Her parents can’t prevent her from testifying forever.

      • Sure she could, then get a job on the strength of her GED, pay rent, insurance, gas, food, clothing, entertainment, cable & cell phone herself.
        I’ve been advocating this course for my kids for years…

    • Megalodon says:

      They have assured that that when their daughter turns 18 she will leave and never speak with them again.

      Maybe. But if she is presumably living with her parents still, they may be applying pressure to make her repudiate the relationship. And some minors do succumb to that kind of parental pressure.

  17. wellokaythen says:

    It’s pretty clear that one major motive for charging her was the fact that it was a same-sex relationship. It’s horrible that the girlfriend’s parents have used the law in a homophobic way.

    However, the law itself makes no distinctions on that basis. True equality means the law applies to people regardless of sexual orientation. The way the law is written, someone who’s under a certain age cannot really consent. Her girlfriend cannot say that the relationship is innocent because they were both underage AND say that it was consensual. It can’t be both underage and consensual.

    On the basis of the facts of the case as I got them from your article, I don’t see how she can be arrested and tried as an adult, unless there’s proof that she continued the sexual relationship after she turned 18. Someone over the age of consent who has sex with someone under the age of consent is breaking the law. (I’m not a lawyer, but I’m pretty sure that’s the case.)

    I know this will sound insensitive, but the law should be the law no matter what the character or good qualities of the accused. Ideally, it should make absolutely no difference how popular or unpopular the accused person is, what the person’s gender is, or what the gender of the alleged victim is. It should be the same law for cheerleaders and athletes as it is for dropouts and potheads, gay or straight. In my heart, it feels extra tragic because your daughter sounds like a wonderful person. In my head, the rule of law should not make that distinction. (Maybe that’s an issue for the sentencing phase, but it shouldn’t matter in terms of guilt or innocence.) There’s a reason why the father of the accused is not allowed to serve on a jury.

    I think the laws need to be rewritten or a judge needs to step forward and throw out one of these cases. In the meantime, though, the character of the accused should not be a determining factor, nor the gender of the accused or alleged victim.

    • But a bad law is also simply a bad law. Continuing to enforce it or utilise it to prosecute only shows a stark adoration for the most prurient form of fascism. (not that you yourself mentioned supporting this, but you did explain in your secord paragraph the way it is ‘excusable’ and justified most often.)
      And the US puts too much money and power behind its judicial branch, laws which are finally realised to be ‘bad’ never have people sentenced under them retroactively released/commuted to time served or have their records expunged without a terribly lengthy and costly legal battle against the State itself. On the few times bad laws have been overturned, it was only after the accused was let go, or able to free themselves, and then took the fight themselves. A majority of those hit will already be too beaten-down to continue the effort however.

      • Random_Stranger says:

        I tend to think the legislate is the branch rung amok. The power of the judicia, and the opportunity for nuanced judgement made by qualified officials close to the case, appears to be ever fading to a legislate that is increasing driven by mass hysteria and a perpetual ratcheting up of “tough-on-crime”.

      • If it could be proven that the prosecutor’s office had refused to persue the complaints of other parents in similar hetero cases then the charge of homophobia would be appropriate.
        The indignation, to this case, by right minded people is reminiscent at the confusion of Hate Crime charges being brought against minorities assaulting Anglos.
        Break this down to it’s components– an 18 yr old jock having sex with a 14 yr old– an analyse your feelings….
        I’m not sure where I stand on this case, I’m the father of a 14 yr old…
        I also had a terrible argument with an (ex?)- friend, a prosecutor, when I opined that I wasn’t sure that what went on in my HS in the 70s was criminal or especially immoral within that time frame. It was a free-fuck zone featuring innumerable combinations of students, faculty & parents– I don’t believe I was scarred…

  18. What bothers me about this is that in fact there are a lot of teen age boys who had similar intimate relationships are now listed as sexual offenders. If the laws apply to heterosexuals, more specifically males, why should they not apply to any other orientation and gender?

    • I think there is a need for greater discernment and latitude with this type of law, regardless of orientation and gender. Some states (including Florida, I believe) have “Romeo and Juliet” laws that take into account consensual relationships between teens, so long as the younger partner is not younger than 14 (and a few other conditions—age range, affinity, etc). The abuse of the statute in this case doesn’t do anything to protect any minor, which should be the reason for having statutory rape laws in the first place. This is being used as a tool to propagate homophobia and hatred. As a mother, I cannot imagine taking the actions that woman did against my child or someone she felt love and affection for.

      • Megalodon says:

        The age of consent law in Florida says that if the older participant in the relationship is younger than 24, then that personally may legally engage in consensual sexual activity with a person who is at least 16.

        As for Florida’s version of a “Romeo & Juliet” law, that law allows some persons who were convicted of having consensual sexual relations with an underage person to remove their names from the sexual offender registry, provided that the relationship was within a certain age range difference and they meet other qualifications. However, it does not legalize those kinds of sexual relations. It only lessens the penalty for some people. They are still subject to arrest and prosecution.

        Florida’s “Romeo and Juliet” law does not make it legal for an 18 year-old to have a sexual relationship with a 15 year-old; however, it does provide a mechanism for the offender to petition or make a motion to the court to remove the requirement to register as a sexual offender if certain criteria are met.

      • KC Krupp says:

        Regardless of the underlying reason the parents used the law in this case what Kaitlyn did was still illegal according to Floriday state law. The law is there to protect young and impressionable minors from being sexually exploited by adults. Now I do agree that the law needs adjusting (the best Romeo and Juliette law I’d heard of says that it’s okay as long as the minor is at least fourteen and the older partner is within five years of the minor’s age it’s okay; in other words if the minor is 14 the partner could legally be 19 years old, minor 16 – adult up to 21, etc.) and I also think we need to be careful because this story has been spun and shared through social media as though the law is discriminating against Kaitlyn because she’s a lesbian; it’s not, Kaitlyn broke the law, if she’d been a man the verdict would have been the same, it’s the parents that are doing the discriminating.

        What is discriminatory is that some states have Romeo & Juliette laws that only apply to heterosexual couples.

    • Yes, there are scores of young boys who have been charged with statutory rape but there was no outcry until the law was applied equally to a lesbian. Also notice how no one is asking that boys previously convicted under these same circumstances have their records expunged.

      Plenty of mothers have used these laws to stop their daughters from dating an older boy. Equality means equality & now people are causing an uproar asking for an exception because it’s not a boy.

      It’s sad that when this continued to happen to young boys most of society did not care. But apply the law equally to a woman & suddenly it’s unfair.

    • “It’s sad that when this continued to happen to young boys most of society did not care. But apply the law equally to a woman & suddenly it’s unfair.”
      Most of society? Are you basing that on this article alone or on information from similar situations as well? In this particular case, the man is criticizing the law because it affects his child. Not because it affects young women in general.

      Personally, I’ve always thought this law was problematic from the moment I first heard of young men labelled sex offenders for having consensual relationships with their peers. Most people I’ve discussed it with feel the same way. I don’t think there’s a general bias against males on this issue in the public eye. I do think that getting public support for an issue comes down to strategy and the willingness of people to volunteer the time and effort to “shout and beat drums” until the world starts to listen. That’s precisely why the people who feel strongest about an issue should take the initiative to educate others about it. Rather than wait for somebody else to do it, why not do it yourself? And if you have tried and the strategies you used didn’t work well, why not use a story like this one to reach out to a broader demographic? It seems to me that turning this into a male vs female issue does more harm than good.

      • Megalodon says:

        In this particular case, the man is criticizing the law because it affects his child. Not because it affects young women in general.

        I do not question his motives. However, he and his supporters have taken pains to emphasize that Hunt is white, female, young, conventionally attractive, and some “All American” sort of high school student. They are not attacking the law because it affects “young women in general” but they are certainly employing and manipulating the kind of gendered sympathy that people pay to “young women in general.”

        I don’t think there’s a general bias against males on this issue in the public eye.

        People are more willing to characterize male sexuality as predatory and violative, even if the acts were consensual. While female sexuality is stereotyped as benign and vulnerable. Droves of young male persons of the same age as Hunt or even younger have stood in her same position, with nary a hint of public outrage. Even if their cause did attract some public or media attention, or was usually only a fraction of the attention whipped up in the current matter. Many of those male persons ended up serving jail or prison time and now find themselves listed as sexual offenders for life.

        Do you remember a case back from 2011 when a Wisconsin prosecutor charged a 6 year old boy with “first degree sexual assault” because he was playing “doctor” with two 5 year olds? The prosecutor in that case said “the Legislature could have put an age restriction in the statute … the legislature did no such thing.”

        I do not know what happened with that 6 year old boy, because despite efforts from his parents to draw attention to his egregious case, it never built up and just fizzled away. I think the 6 year old took a plea or something.

        I do think that getting public support for an issue comes down to strategy and the willingness of people to volunteer the time and effort to “shout and beat drums” until the world starts to listen.

        Yes, and people may only be willing to “shout and beat drums” when they find the particular person to be a sympathetic or attractive focus. However, once the matter is resolved for that particular sympathetic person, most of the people who wanted to “shout and beat drums” drift away because they only cared about the particular person, not about the larger societal issue.

        And if you have tried and the strategies you used didn’t work well, why not use a story like this one to reach out to a broader demographic? It seems to me that turning this into a male vs female issue does more harm than good.

        Some people believe it has to get worse before it gets better. When the Duke lacrosse players were exonerated of false rape charges, maybe it could have been used to bring more attention to the issue of prosecutorial misconduct and due process. One player even suggested that when he said how prosecutors could easily abuse and trample people who do not have the resources to legally defend themselves. However, it did not happen that way. Progressive commentators were incensed and still nurse a grudge over this. They railed and complained that these players were only exonerated so quickly because they were upper-class white males and now that they have been saved from incarceration, nobody would be interested in the legal oppression of minorities and the underclass. And maybe they were right.

        For this case, if Hunt favorably resolves her charges and escapes a bad outcome, people may think that is all that matters and stop paying attention, while other prosecutions of this kind can continue harming undeserving (but less attractive or sympathetic) people. People at large may not care much about this issue when it is only teenage males or young adult males being prosecuted and condemned by these policies. Maybe it is only when young, attractive white females start suffering and being harmed in larger numbers under these policies that the wider public will start to care more.

Speak Your Mind