The latest legal hijinks to come out of the Sunshine State involves a classic Juliet and Juliet love story with a bit of an age twist:
(CBS) SEBASTIAN, Fla. - A Florida state attorney says the charges against Kaitlyn Hunt, an 18-year-old high school student who engaged in a same-sex relationship with a 15-year-old classmate, will not be dropped, despite petitions from the public, CBS affiliate WTSP reports.
The Indian River County Sheriff's Office held a press conference Monday in response to the public's uproar.
"If this was an 18-year-old male and that was a 14-year-old girl, it would have been prosecuted the same way," Indian River County Sheriff Deryl Loar said.
According to the station, Florida's law says any person who engages in sexual activity with a minor between the ages of 12 and 16 commits the crime of lewd and lascivious battery.
According to an arrest affidavit obtained by WTSP, Kaitlyn and her girlfriend began dating in November 2012. The victim reportedly told police they began a sexual relationship and according to the report, the victim was 14 and Kaitlyn was 18.
It would be interesting to know whether it would be significant if the relationship started when Kaitlin was 17. My guess is not, but it is wild to think that the relationship could have been legal at the outset but became illegal at the older girl's 18th birthday. This tidbit hangs over the proposed plea deal:
If she is found guilty, it's also possible that Hunt could apply to not have to register as a sex offender under a "Romeo and Juliet" law [more] because the girls were no more than four years apart in age, Colton said.
It would also be interesting to know the history of this law. I can't escape the suspicion that once upon a time the point of the law was to protect underage girls from predatory guys with pregnancy as the feared outcome (I didn't grow up hearing anyone refer to me as "jailbait" in my youth, although my mom assures all and sundry I was a handsome lad. Well, moms... Still, I never heard any other guys referred to as jailbait either. Hmm, Justin Bieber? Not any more!
Friday will be a big day for this case apparently. Hey, why not a pardon from thre Governor?