Kaitlyn Hunt PHOTOS, Florida Teen Arrested, Expelled: Faces Felony Charges for Same-Sex Relationship with Younger Female Student, 'Free Kate' Facebook Campaign Goes Viral

By Danica Bellini, Mstars Reporter | May 20, 2013 10:56 AM EDT
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Reports confirm that 18-year-old Kaitlyn Hunt was recently expelled from Florida's Sebastian River High School for her involvement in a same-sex relationship with a fellow female student. Hunt's lover was only 15-years-old, so the the popular cheerleader was ultimately arrested and now faces two felony charges involving "lewd and lascivious battery on a child 12 to 16." Hunt's expulsion and arrest have since inspired a viral Facebook campaign to get the criminal charges against her dropped. For now, Hunt must attend an "alternative school" for the remainder of her senior year, although she's still allowed to attend senior events and graduation.

The Florida teen started a romantic relationship with a younger female student when she was 17. Right when Hunt turned 18, the parents of her 15-year-old girlfriend pressed criminal charges against her involving sexual battery of a minor. On February 16, authorities arrived at Hunt's home and handcuffed her for "lewd and lascivious battery."

The other girl's parents then successfully petitioned the school board to have Hunt removed from school just weeks before graduation. Prior to the petition, the Sebastian River High School administration and a judge's order allowed Kaitlyn to remain in school as long as she made no contact with the 15-year-old. Apparently both sets of parents were aware of the relationship before any charges were filed.

Now, Hunt and her parents and friends are fighting back with a "Free Kate" Facebook campaign:

"These people never came to us as parents, never tried to speak to us... and tell us they had a problem with the girls dating," Hunt's mother, Kelley Hunt-Smith, wrote in a lenghty Facebook post. "...They were out to destroy my daughter. [They] feel like my daughter 'made' their daughter gay. They see being gay as wrong and they blame my daughter. Of course, I see it 100% differently. I don't see or label these girls as gay. They are teenagers in high school experimenting with their sexuality - with mutual consent. And even if their daughter is gay, who cares? She is still their daughter."

The Facebook group has close to 20,000 members.

The Huffington Post reached out to the Sebastian River High School administration for comment, but requests weren't returned.

The state attorney's office has offered Kaitlyn Hunt a plea deal - two years' house arrest and a year of probation. Such charges would stay on her adult record for life.

The infamous internet activist group Anonymous launched #OpJustice4Kaitlyn on May 19 - a statement was addressed to the Indian River County State Attorney's Office which reads:

"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."

Which side are Mstars readers on?

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