The Huffington Post has an article titled, “Kaitlyn Hunt, Florida Teen, Faces Felony Charges Over Same-Sex Relationship”; Opposing Views picks it up as, “Florida Teen Kaitlyn Hunt Arrested, Expelled Over Same-Sex Relationship”; Examiner.com, which is linked to by the Huffington Post piece, has the headline, “Florida teen fights expulsion and criminal charges for same sex relationship”; Think Progress has the headline, “What’s Next For Kaitlyn Hunt, The Teen Charged With A Felony For Same-Sex Relationship With Classmate.”
Except that, as the bodies of the articles indicate, the charge isn’t “same-sex relationship” — it’s the non-sexual-orientation-specific statutory rape statute, Fla. Stats. § 800.04, which says, in relevant part,
A person who:
(a) Engages in sexual activity with a person 12 years of age or older but less than 16 years of age …
commits lewd or lascivious battery, a felony of the second degree ….
Kaitlyn Hunt, who is now 18, is continuing a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl; that seems to me to be a pretty clear violation of the statute. And while statutory rape laws are notoriously underenforced, I would imagine that it would be hardly unheard of for an 18-year-old boy in Florida to be arrested and expelled for having sex with a 15-year-old girl. The ThinkProgress article states, “Kaitlyn’s father suggests his daughters arrest — and the substantial sentence sought by the prosecutor — are motivated by anti-gay bias.” (The proposed deal from the prosecutor was, “She could plead guilty to child abuse, a felony, and spend two years under house arrest. The judge would determine if she would have to register as a sex offender.”) But are Florida prosecutors really materially more lenient when the parents of 15-year-old girls complain about 18-year-old men having sex with those girls? I’ve heard nothing suggesting that this [...]