Florida teen pleads guilty in lesbian under-age sex case

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The Florida woman whose arrest for having a lesbian sexual relationship with an underage girl became a cause celebre for gay rights activists pleaded guilty Thursday to sex crimes and was sentenced to was sentenced Thursday to four months  in jail and three years’ probation under a deal with prosecutors.

kaitlynhunt1003Kaitlyn Hunt, 19, of Sebastian pleaded guilty to two counts of lewd and lascivious battery among other charges, according to TCPalm.com. The hearing brings an end to a case that attracted national attention, including appearances by Hunt and her mother on MSNBC’s “All In” with Chris Hayes and a Hunt appearance at New York City’s Gay Pride Parade.

The case started last year when Hunt and the girl began what Hunt calls a consensual relationship. Because Florida law does not recognize sexual relationships as consensual for those under 16, Hunt was arrested when the girl’s parents learned about it.

National attention to the Indian River County case followed, fueled by Hunt’s parents, who started a “Free Kaitlyn Hunt” Facebook page to chronicle the twists of the case.

One of those twists came in August, when prosecutors filed court documents accusing Hunt of continuing the relationship with the girl, including meeting with her to have sex in Hunt’s car and exchanging sexually charged texts and emails, including a video of Hunt masturbating.

Hunt has been jailed since Aug. 20 for violating a court order not to have contact with the victim. Thursday’s sentence includes time served, so she is scheduled for release Dec. 20.

Throughout negotiations between Hunt and prosecutors, a major sticking point has been whether Hunt would have to register as a sexual offender.

Under Thursday’s deal, she will not. However, she will be held in jail until Dec. 20, followed by three years of probation – most of it with an ankle monitoring bracelet.

In a statement issued through their attorney, the parents of Hunt’s girlfriend said their sole motive was protecting their daughter from a sexual relationship with an adult. The sex of the adult was not the issue, they said.

“It was never the intent of the [victim’s family] to harm the defendant and this case was never about gender or sexual orientation,” the statement said, according to TCPalm. “It was about age-appropriate relationships and following the rules and laws of our society.”

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