Florida lawmaker wants to adjust laws used to prosecute teens for consensual sex

State Sen. Thad Altman may introduce a measure to adjust the law in cases like 18-year-old Kaitlyn Hunt's

Published May 28, 2013 3:10PM (EDT)

Kaitlyn Hunt
Kaitlyn Hunt

Florida state Sen. Thad Altman would like to adjust the laws being used to prosecute teens for consensual sexual relationships, according to a report from Florida's TCPalm News: "State Sen. Thad Altman thinks the law should provide more forgiveness for teenagers who risk criminal charges by having consensual sexual relationships, like the case pending against 18-year-old Sebastian high school student Kaitlyn Hunt."

Critics of Florida State Attorney Bruce Colton's handling of Hunt's case argue that the felony charges against the high school senior over a same-sex relationship with a 14-year-old freshman classmate are based on laws intended to prosecute adult offenders against minor children, not two high school students in a consensual relationship.

On Friday, Hunt refused a plea deal that would have labeled her a sex offender and placed her under house arrest for two years.

Hunt’s lawyer Julia Graves explained the decision to go to court in a statement: “This is a situation of two teenagers who happen to be of the same sex involved in a relationship. If this case involved a boy and girl, there would be no media attention to this case … If this incident occurred 108 days earlier when she was 17, we wouldn’t even be here.”

The first hearing in the trial is scheduled for June 20.

By Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at kmcdonough@salon.com.

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Consent Florida High School Kaitlyn Hunt Lgbt Rights Relationships Sex Teens