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Kaitlyn Hunt is 18 years old, and is openly lesbian.  She should be gearing up to graduate from Sebastian River High School near Vero Beach.  Instead, she's facing criminal charges brought by the ultra-vindictive parents of her girlfriend.  The reason?  Her partner is 15 years old.

Hunt was arrested on Feb. 16 after her girlfriend’s parents filed a complaint with local police.

“She had a mutual consenting relationship with her girlfriend who is three years younger, and her parents had her arrested,” according to Kaitlyn’s mother, Kelley Hunt Smith.

“This is about two teenage high school girls who were dating, and both consenting,” Smith told LGBTQ Nation on Saturday. “They are out to destroy my daughter, because they feel like she ‘made’ their daughter gay.”

According to Smith, the two girls started dating when her daughter was 17. Hunt turned 18 on August 14, 2012.

Following the arrest, the Indian River School Board expelled Hunt based on the criminal charges, according to Smith, but said she would be able to participate in graduation and senior class events. She is completing her senior year at an alternative school, and has been ordered not to have contact with her former girlfriend.

Calling the parents of Kate's girlfriend petty and vindictive would be putting it extremely mildly.  Rather than go to Kate's parents, they twiddled their thumbs until February--seven months after Kate turned 18--then went to the police.  Now Kate potentially faces 15 years in prison and having to register as a sex offender for the rest of her life.

Last week, Indian River County state's attorney Brian Workman offered a plea deal--two years' house arrest and one year's probation with mandatory sex offender counseling.  However, it would still be on her permanent record, and she could still potentially have to register as a sex offender.  

Kate's parents have no intention of taking the plea, even though they have until next Friday to decide.  They've started a Facebook group, Free Kate, to publicize their cause.  They've also started a petition asking Workman to drop the charges.  They're also taking donations for a legal defense fund in case Workman isn't willing to bend--donate here.

7:13 PM PT: Since this made the rec list, I thought I'd link up some more details.  According to Kate's mom, Kate was expelled from school even though a judge ruled she posed no threat. And according to the "about" section of the Free Kate group, this all came down when the coach of the girls' basketball team found out about the relationship and kicked Kate off the team.  The girlfriend's parents then got her to talk about their relationship with Kate--after Kate turned 18.

7:37 PM PT: Just to clarify--this would be no less outrageous if we were talking about a heterosexual relationship.  While the homophobia adds a grisly dimension, the girl's parents would look every bit as petty if Kate were a boy rather than a girl.


8:34 PM PT: Just got confirmation from Kate's uncle on Facebook--if Kate takes the plea deal, she'd still be a convicted felon.  And that would pretty much screw her out of getting a decent job.  I have to wonder if the girlfriend's parents knew this when they decided to pull this stunt.

Originally posted to Christian Dem in NC on Sat May 18, 2013 at 06:07 PM PDT.

Also republished by Sex, Body, and Gender.

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  •  Tip Jar (159+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, Horace Boothroyd III, Otteray Scribe, blueoasis, swampyankee, Lujane, CwV, sceptical observer, wasatch, mookins, kerflooey, Red Bean, BadKitties, Lilyvt, RonV, weck, YucatanMan, Eddie L, Pandora, CA Nana, quill, defluxion10, eyesoars, Louisiana 1976, thomask, Mathazar, forkush, Flying Goat, yet another liberal, mayim, dmhlt 66, walkshills, celdd, theKgirls, Ginny in CO, blue91, OldSoldier99, bluesheep, stevie avebury, Spirit of Life, FloridaSNMOM, Sychotic1, Aaa T Tudeattack, Farugia, Assaf, petulans, linkage, foresterbob, sawgrass727, susans, basquebob, slowbutsure, jan4insight, gizmo59, Preston S, Thinking Fella, sturunner, bear83, kevinpdx, alguien, kaliope, devtob, bythesea, maxcat06, fixxit, edsbrooklyn, tegrat, eeff, here4tehbeer, NYC Sophia, begone, glitterlust, susakinovember, pragmaticidealist, OllieGarkey, kyril, Massconfusion, pgm 01, mrsgoo, Chaddiwicker, brentbent, wishingwell, jplanner, aitchdee, HarpboyAK, SneakySnu, Woody, jayden, sb, Russ Jarmusch, BYw, DRo, glendaw271, Buckeye54, Tinfoil Hat, artisan, jennyp, teabaggerssuckbalz, anodnhajo, MartyM, Rogneid, howabout, Powered Grace, democracy inaction, joanbrooker, Fe, Dave in AZ, mjbleo, samddobermann, BlueDragon, Dobber, zerelda, Sun Tzu, hubcap, lryer, Mistral Wind, psychodrew, watercarrier4diogenes, Tom Anderson, davehouck, MadEye, Matt Z, gramofsam1, Avilyn, exNYinTX, Alice Venturi, Yellow Canary, GrannyOPhilly, notrouble, showthetaxreturn, DefendOurConstitution, Lipstick Liberal, rapala, psnyder, Knucklehead, kimoconnor, antirove, greycat, banjolele, America Jones, john07801, WisVoter, bleeding blue, doingbusinessas, triplepoint, Vico, TheDuckManCometh, ebohlman, progressivevoice, barkingcat, Scioto, prettygirlxoxoxo, janmtairy, ccasas, PSzymeczek, tecampbell, DarthMeow504, Oh Mary Oh, ZhenRen

    The NRA's response to calls for responsible gun law reform: noun, verb, Second Amendment

    by Christian Dem in NC on Sat May 18, 2013 at 06:07:18 PM PDT

  •  So they basically file suit on the girlfriend's (62+ / 0-)

    18th birthday or thereabouts to create a statutory rape situation. Lovely.

    I'm not advocating for sexual predation here, of course, but these things do happen. This is vindictive on the parts of the younger girl's parents, apparently. But it's nothing new. My maternal grandmother boycotted her own daughter's wedding because she thought our family was "communist" (she was partly right: they were New Deal Democrats and my grandfather HAD more than flirted with Marxism in the 30's and 40's) and frankly, if she had the opportunity to have my father arrested for statutory rape she probably would have: he was barely 18.

    There is nothing to see here but rank bigotry, the kind that can ruin a life.

    I resent that. I demand snark, and overly so -- Markos Moulitsas.

    by commonmass on Sat May 18, 2013 at 06:14:20 PM PDT

  •  Well, this sucks. But ... (60+ / 0-)

    ... if the prosecutors would charge a heterosexual male under the same facts, I've got slightly less of a problem with this. Age disparities do matter, but this is an awful use of criminal laws.

    Also, from the article:

    Under Florida’s “Romeo and Juliet” Law, an “offender” can petition the court to remove the requirement to register as a sex offender if the “victim in the case” is between 14 and 17 years old, “a willing participant in the sexual activity and no more than four years younger than the offender,” but historically the law has only been applied in cases between heterosexuals.
    Folks should ready Caitlyn's mom's account.
  •  People are so effed up. Especially people who (13+ / 0-)

    believe they have the right to tell other people how to live theirs lives. I.e., bigots of any stripe, including most religious fundamentalist "conservatives". Once you believe you are entitled to mess with other people's lives, what's to hold you back from destroying them completely? Truly, bigotry and fundamentalism are a blight on humanity. Look at the wreck list right now - at this moment, there are four rec'ed diaries up there all talking about different cases of bigots anywhere from trying to ruin a person's life to just murdering them physically. And this diary is reporting number five. Truly, some days you can't help but despair at the state of humanity.  

  •  I'm not sure who the target of your outrage... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eddie L, commonmass, jayden

    is; the parents, or the law.

    'If you want to be a hero, well just follow me.' - J. Lennon

    by Clive all hat no horse Rodeo on Sat May 18, 2013 at 06:39:33 PM PDT

  •  The other part of this is that her gf (17+ / 0-)

    may be forced to testify against Kaitlyn, someone she has clearly loved despite her parents wicked and bigoted views.  It also tells her that her parents hate and despise who she is and will destroy anyone she loves.

    "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of the United States of America -9.75 -6.87

    by Uncle Moji on Sat May 18, 2013 at 06:40:36 PM PDT

  •  As a parent, I have to wonder exactly what (25+ / 0-)

    these people hope to accomplish. Embarrassing their daughter and pressing charges against Kate will not "scare her straight," to borrow a phrase. I'm thinking that when their daughter turns 18, she will flee them if she can. And never look back.

    I don't understand how it is possible not to love your child unconditionally. Unless, maybe, perhaps that child was an unwelcome surprise. But even then, she's your CHILD.

    These people are grotesque.

    "...Males are biologically driven to go out and hunt giraffes.” —Newt Gingrich in 1995

    by BadKitties on Sat May 18, 2013 at 06:40:51 PM PDT

    •  lots of parents (9+ / 0-)

      flip out when they find out their 15 year old daughter is sexually active.

      they still keep thinking of the kid as a child...

      •  True. But their daughter was not in danger (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kyril, wishingwell, Mistral Wind

        of getting pregnant.

        "...Males are biologically driven to go out and hunt giraffes.” —Newt Gingrich in 1995

        by BadKitties on Sat May 18, 2013 at 07:13:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I was starting to thing about this. (11+ / 0-)

          Are there arguments that these laws shouldn't apply to same-sex female relationships because the potential harms (pregnancy, STDs) are less than they would be if the older participant is male? Or do we just say "sexual contact is a decision which requires a level of maturity which 14-15 year-olds may not have, and the option of these laws should remain available for when those relationships prove coercive or otherwise injurious"?

          •  I like the way you think! :) (0+ / 0-)

            if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

            by mrsgoo on Sat May 18, 2013 at 07:23:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  And this isn't (8+ / 0-)

            a legal question but what are we doing as a society if we insist on the one hand that 14-15 can't consent because they don't have the necessary level of maturity and at the same they're bombarded with the unrelenting sexual content of music videos which function as advertisements for a certain kind of sexuality? What are we doing, other than trying to make teenagers insane?

            •  Bombarding is 1st Amendment Protected Activity (0+ / 0-)

              for the most part.

              If that's a problem, the solution is at least as drastic as switching to a parliamentary system of government.

              I'm not necessarily denying that such a thing is necessary for the US by the way. Our 1st Amendment could take down planetary civilization given the issues and deadlines we're facing right now.

              We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

              by Gooserock on Sat May 18, 2013 at 07:35:52 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  I could argue those arguments. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            aitchdee

            Kaitlyn's defense probably could use them. Teen pregnancy is a huge problem, life-changing, blah-blah. BUT I imagine that the parents' lawyer would hammer the maturity aspect. With some coerciveness thrown in because of the age difference. And injurious because...the gf has been outed as gay, and the parents' homophobic friends probably think it is THEIR fault, somehow. Meh.

            What WOULDN'T come up, most likely, is the parents' narrow-minded bigotry and homophobia. Or their lack of unconditional love and acceptance for their daughter, or her freedom to be who she is.

            I'm not a lawyer. But I do enjoy a good intellectual argument =)

            "...Males are biologically driven to go out and hunt giraffes.” —Newt Gingrich in 1995

            by BadKitties on Sat May 18, 2013 at 07:27:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  What About Different Gender Related Abilities (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            commonmass

            to coerce or impose on potential partners?

            We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

            by Gooserock on Sat May 18, 2013 at 07:34:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Beyond physical strength, what else? (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              penguins4peace, commonmass, JesseCW

              Would it matter to you if the older student was a senior on a sports team, and the younger one was a freshman/sophomore?

            •  With total respect, can we stop pretending (8+ / 0-)

              that teen agers stop at red lights and that every teenager under the age of consent that has sex is a victim? I CONSENTED (not legally, of course) to gay sex when I was 15 and I have never looked back. Should I be looking for my legal recourse now? I'd do it again, and I suspect both of these young ladies would as well.

              I resent that. I demand snark, and overly so -- Markos Moulitsas.

              by commonmass on Sat May 18, 2013 at 08:42:17 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I think ^ this ^ is a very impt. point (6+ / 0-)

                Nearly everybody fools around in high school, right? Have we forgotten what it was like to be a teenager? Hormones dialed high, desires raging? I dunno, from some of the comments in this diary, I'm starting to wonder if some of us don't have really poor memories.

                When I was a senior in a California public high school (1982), finding couples (straight--I grant you) who were "going steady" was hardly unusual, and it was safe to assume this meant at least some kind of experimentation was going on (and intercourse was not unlikely). But, offsetting the potential hazards involved with that, everyone was required take serious, biology-based sex ed classes, which was tremendously eye-opening and helpful to the sexually active members of the student body (it was to me). And people used condoms, lots and lots of condoms. No doubt there were some unwanted pregnancies (unfortunate but perhaps statistically unavoidable), but I don't remember any hyper-concern about the ages of dating partners, provided they were students at the same high school. And nobody was calling the cops about it. I mean, let's get real. We're talking about teenagers dating--and doing what they do when they do that. It's a fact of life. When I was in high school, parents and teachers pretty much seemed to accept the reality on that score. But times have changed.    

                Today you can't turn around without seeing ads with provocatively posed or half naked young people in them, but apparently that's okay; people don't seem to flip out too much over that. But heaven forfend if the young folks who make up those ads' target audiences take a cue from what they see on TV and YouTube or wherever and, you know, get a little sexy with each other themselves. Because then we want to jail them, put them on lists and call them sex predators. Honestly, what in the world is up with this practice? It's hurtful and unnecessary and unforgivably cruel, and IMHO it's far more abusive than anything teen couples might be doing with each other behind closed doors. The laws are outmoded and unfair, full stop, and the potential punishment in these cases (such as the case detailed in this diary: obviously I'm not talking about statutory rape) are draconian and do not fit the ostensible crimes. Does anybody think that they do? Do we really want to criminalize teen sexuality now?

                I guess some folks do. I say it's madness. These are bad and dangerous laws, and they needed to be overhauled yesterday, especially as more and more LGBT kids come up & come out. Good grief, they have enough scary emotional and psychological hurdles to leap (and judgmental idiots to cope with) at too-tender ages as it is.

                It never ceases to astonish me how insane we still are about sexuality nearly a decade and a half into the 21 century--particularly about expressions of sexuality among minors and youth. And make no mistake--these badly written, life-destroying laws and soul-crushing punishments regarding age of consent among high school kids (of any orientation) and this new rage for blindly enforcing the law when history, biology and psychology, not to mention anything resembling nuance or proportion, as in this case, count for nothing--absolutely reflects and confirms how crazy we are. What, are we spoiling for a second Victorian Age? But, but - I thought we just got done untwisting ourselves to some extent about out poor benighted dangly bits?
                   

                God bless our tinfoil hearts.

                by aitchdee on Sun May 19, 2013 at 04:31:53 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Well (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kyril, mrsgoo

            as I vividly remember from studying for the NY bar - at the time in NY the law only applied if the female was the younger party.

            The central idea here is that the younger party is capable of being misled/coerced.  The argument that this is somehow different for homosexual relationships would strike me as a weak one.

          •  Nope. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mrsgoo, labradog
            Are there arguments that these laws shouldn't apply to same-sex female relationships because the potential harms (pregnancy, STDs) are less than they would be if the older participant is male?
            Really?  You WANT to argue that same-sex female relationships should be considered differently?  Are you kidding?

            I'm just an old straight white guy, but it seems to me that the LGBT community has been fighting off the "you want special privileges" attacks from the beginning - arguing to ADD a special case would legitimize those very attacks.  That doesn't seem very smart to me.  Equality means exactly that - equal treatment.

            Or do we just say "sexual contact is a decision which requires a level of maturity which 14-15 year-olds may not have, and the option of these laws should remain available for when those relationships prove coercive or otherwise injurious"?
            I can't go with that one, either.   Age of consent exists for several reasons, one of which is an acknowledgment of parental rights.  I don't think there's a solid argument for emancipating minors on this particular point...

            The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

            by wesmorgan1 on Sat May 18, 2013 at 11:04:41 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  that means you actually agree on #2. (0+ / 0-)

              And, yeah, I recognize the equality objection on #1, which is why I asked it.

              •  Hmm...not how I read #2. (0+ / 0-)
                "sexual contact is a decision which requires a level of maturity which 14-15 year-olds may not have, and the option of these laws should remain available for when those relationships prove coercive or otherwise injurious"
                It's the "may not" and "available for when those relationships prove coercive or otherwise injurious" that bother me.

                I don't like the idea of adjuticating whether a particular 18-and-14 (or 18-and-15, or whatever) relationship is 'coervice or injurious,' simply because you're really asking a prosecutor/judge/jury to make a three-way judgment call - one on each participant AND one on the relationship itself.

                It may unpopular for me to say so, but I'd rather see a simple across-the-board rule than see that can of worms opened.

                The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

                by wesmorgan1 on Sun May 19, 2013 at 09:11:08 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Are STDs more harmful to heteros? (0+ / 0-)

            And, is pregnancy the only danger of underage sexual activity?

            I'm the plowman in the valley - with my face full of mud

            by labradog on Sun May 19, 2013 at 04:19:16 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  I feel compelled to fix that for you.... (9+ / 0-)
        Most parents flip out when they find out their 15 year old daughter is sexually active.
        I am tempted to say all. I know when my mom snooped through my purse and found my b/c pills at 16 - it wasn't pretty. I am sure she was happy that I was smart enough to get b/c. I do remember my dad looking like he wanted to crawl into a hole. Mom made a family scene out of it. So I ended up marrying the guy at 17. Huge mistake. But that's another story! ;)

        if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

        by mrsgoo on Sat May 18, 2013 at 07:20:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  One of the Biggest Fights (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          aitchdee, triplepoint, JerryNA

          I recall my parents having was when my mother found out (or was forced to admit, really--she was not a stupid woman and I know deep down in my heart she already knew) that I was sexually active at 15 when she found my birth control pills too! My mother, who genuinely had my best interests at heart and I realize only in hindsight having raised children of my own knew that emotionally I was NOT ready for all that active sexuality entails in terms of judgment about both self and others (we act like it's just rubbing bits together a little too much for my liking sometimes on the Left, I admit that), had a fit.  She was ready to ground me until I got married and send some folks to jail.  My father was extremely deeply disappointed in me (one of only 2 times I've ever disappointed my father), for similar reasons, and he made that clear make no mistake. But his view was more pragmatic (I.e. "At least the girl is smart, she knows she has a future and is trying to protect it".)  They went at it for at least a couple of hours as I recall it over what to do.  Dad ultimately won.

          Me, I wisely stayed out of sight in my room............

    •  You're right.. (17+ / 0-)

      I was 16 and my bf was 18... They sought and won a restraining order against him for contributing to the delinquency of a minor... Because he was " turning me gay".

      I never fully forgave them, and I'm 41 now.

    •  Punishment for Guilty Behavior. (4+ / 0-)

      These people are obsessed with punishment.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sat May 18, 2013 at 07:32:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Kaitlyn turned 18 last August (6+ / 0-)

    according to the article, and the parents waited until February to seek her arrest. Did they condone the relationship until then?

    Perhaps it's less a case of them lying in wait until her birthday and more a situation of exacting revenge when it suited them.
    Either way, there seems to be no question that the "Romeo and Juliet" clause of the law should be invoked.

  •  Alright. I'm going to have to ask for permission (9+ / 0-)

    first, but I'm ready to diary about my HS boyfriend and my experience with him from age 15. The reason I have to ask permission is because when I met him--in class--his boyfriend had been his 5th grad math teacher. I'm not advocating for that, but shit happens. The weird relationships that LGBT youths have are not always predatory. They are WEIRD sometimes because we're just not given the room to be who we are as young LGBT persons. At least many were not in the early 80's.

    I resent that. I demand snark, and overly so -- Markos Moulitsas.

    by commonmass on Sat May 18, 2013 at 06:57:34 PM PDT

    •  And just to complicate this story (21+ / 0-)

      A bit more from the FB page, which is slightly different from the started-earlier-and-they-waited-til-18-to-prosecute spin, and which adds a detail on police practice which is just chilling:

      At the beginning of the school year, Kaitlyn made friends with a 14-year-old freshmen girl in Sebastian River High's IB program who played varsity sports and took classes with upper classmen. The girls were peers in the same social circle, and as happens every day high schools across America, their friendship eventually developed into more. In September, shortly after Kaitlyn's 18th birthday, the girls began dating, and they eventually expressed their affection for one another in intimate ways.

      When the girls' basketball coach found out that two of her players were dating, she kicked Kaitlyn off the team and informed her girlfriend's parents that their daughter was in a same-sex relationship. The parents then conspired with police to entrap Kaitlyn and press charges.

      The police recorded a phone conversation between the two girls, now 18 and 15, in which they discussed their relationship. ....

      •  Apparently Rene Portland made (5+ / 0-)

        the wrong impression on the high school girls' basketball coach...  

        "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

        by Ginny in CO on Sat May 18, 2013 at 07:28:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ugh Rene Portland, what a disgusting woman and (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          aitchdee, janmtairy, Ginny in CO

          several of her former players filed lawsuits too.  She was warned repeatedly by the NCAA and ignored the warnings. Then she and the religious community were supposedly shocked when she  was fired.  60 minutes did a story on her and she is truly a homophobic and mean and vindictive person.

          Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

          by wishingwell on Sun May 19, 2013 at 12:10:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I stopped speaking to a friend of my late parents (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          a2nite, janmtairy, Ginny in CO

          who defended Portland and said her firing was a witch hunt by those possessed by Satan. I went ballistic and that was the final straw for me and my sister...with this bigoted woman.

          Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

          by wishingwell on Sun May 19, 2013 at 12:11:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  There are times people just wrap their (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wishingwell

            brains around the most unbelievable, disgusting ideas it is hard not to wonder what was missing from their upbringing.  I always come back to the ones who were raised by parents involved in a religious sect that stressed the sin part and left out non judgmental love most of the time.

            Heavily supported by the large selection of books on the subject.  

            The high school basketball coach is apparently of the same mentality. Too bad the NCAA doesn't do high school. An open letter of discouragement might not change that coach much, could deter others.

            "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

            by Ginny in CO on Sun May 19, 2013 at 05:08:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  In this case, the woman is a right wing (0+ / 0-)

              Evangelical so she hears most of this crap from other church members or her pastor.

              My parents told me that this woman will believe anything and sheis easily swayed.  As long as my parent were alive, they could sit her down and confront her about her bigotry.  But now that they are gone, she leans on her Fundy friends and she is back to being totally nuts again.

              Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

              by wishingwell on Mon May 20, 2013 at 06:19:55 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  That's not entrapment though. (0+ / 0-)

        They're either lying or using the wrong word when they say they "entrapped" her.

  •  Digusting parental homophobia. (6+ / 0-)
  •  Bruce Colton is the State Attorney for the (5+ / 0-)

    19th Judicial Circuit of Florida, Workman's boss; contact info:

    Address:
    Indian River County Courthouse
    2000 16th Ave.
    Suite 329
    Vero Beach, FL 32960

    Main Phone Number:
    (772) 226-3300

    Office Hours:
    Monday - Friday
    8:30 AM - 5:00 PM

    "There's a conceptual zone within which the romanticized historical past and the immanentizing historical future converge in a swamp of misapprehension and misstep. It's called 'the present'." - David Beige

    by Superskepticalman on Sat May 18, 2013 at 06:59:39 PM PDT

  •  quick question, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass

    So the parents waited until she turned 18, right.  Do they know that the two students had sex after that date?

    To you, I'm an atheist. To God, I'm the loyal opposition.” ― Woody Allen

    by soros on Sat May 18, 2013 at 07:47:40 PM PDT

  •  it's cases like this (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, mrsgoo, aitchdee, ebohlman

    that have made me some of the sweeping sex crime standards that have been set.  this is clearly not a case of predation and shouldn't be treated as such.

    it's not the first case of its kind i've read about although, in other stories i've read it's usually a young man who turns 18 while dating a 16 year old and is arrested.

    i don't like it either way and young people shouldn't have their lives destroyed because of it.

    hope springs eternal and DAMN is she getting tired!

    by alguien on Sat May 18, 2013 at 08:39:12 PM PDT

  •  Did the sexual realtionship continue after Kate (0+ / 0-)

    turned 18?  Can't really tell the timing of everything.

    Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

    by thestructureguy on Sat May 18, 2013 at 09:13:05 PM PDT

  •  Homophobia isn't the issue here (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wesmorgan1, mrsgoo, sewaneepat

    I am not a lawyer

    The age of consent in FL is 18, with a Romeo and Juliet exception for couples where the younger is 16 or 17 and the elder not more than 23. (Florida Statute 794.05)

    Any adult, regardless of gender or sexual preference, having sexual intercourse of any kind with a 15 year old in that state is committing a crime.

    Whatever the motivations of the parents in reporting it, the law itself is written in a gender neutral way. It should be applied fairly. And if the allegations made in the diary are accurate, there is every reason to convict.

    For the parents of either participant to know and not report would make them culpable in the abuse (Yes, abuse by the legal definition).

    I don't like the law, but it isn't written in a discriminatory fashion nor does the diary provide evidence that it is being applied in a discriminatory way.

    This is what equality looks like.

    Show and don't tell. Demonstrate your point rather than explaining your point. -Rachael Maddow

    by galvarn on Sat May 18, 2013 at 09:34:54 PM PDT

    •  Wait, what? (3+ / 0-)

      Do you mean that if you were the parent of a high schooler in a situation like this and you found out that your kid was dating and had been intimate with with a (younger or older) classmate, you would take that information and go directly to the police with it? Even if you knew it was consensual, and despite the fact that you "don't like the law?" which I've taken to mean you don't think the law is altogether fair?

      You would destroy your kids' life just because the (blockheaded) law says such pairings are always, always, always abusive? Or is it just because the law is the law and you always follow the law?

      You'd actually bring none of your own judgment or nuanced knowledge of the situation to bear before bringing in the authorities? "Honey, that's a touching story, but I have to call the cops on you now. By law you're not allowed to have a relationship like that at your age. So I have to report you. Sorry!"

      Whatever the motivations of the parents in reporting it, the law itself is written in a gender neutral way. It should be applied fairly. And if the allegations made in the diary are accurate, there is every reason to convict.
      Seriously, would this still be your view if it were your own daughter's future at stake? Can you honestly say you'd want to see her convicted because the letter of the law says she must be guilty? Even if you knew in your heart she was an just an innocent girl who, believing herself "in love," engaged in some sexual experimentation with a classmate, as many of us--perhaps even you--did in high school?

      But never mind that, just call the cops, and throw her in the slammer, and pin a sex offender label on her to boot? You would do that, go that route, no hesitation, no two ways about it--just because you found out about your child's first or early foray into sexual behavior and you didn't want to run afoul of the (idiotic) law?  

      God bless our tinfoil hearts.

      by aitchdee on Sun May 19, 2013 at 01:32:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We don't really know if the parents did in (0+ / 0-)

        fact or not weigh all the points you made and make the decesion to call the cops.  There may circumstances we are not aware of.  We are only getting one side of the story.  I've seen no quotes (been looking for them) by the parents of the 15 year old.

        Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

        by thestructureguy on Sun May 19, 2013 at 06:37:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Could Kaitlyn claim entrapment? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrsgoo, wishingwell, aitchdee

    It's fairly clear that her partner's parents knew about the relationship and did nothing to stop it or indicate disapproval UNTIL they could get her on statutory rape. That adds up to a fairly ugly case of entrapment - rather than make their disapproval clear at the outset, they concealed it until they could abuse criminal charges against her.

    "Violence never requires translation, but it often causes deafness." - Bareesh the Hutt.

    by Australian2 on Sat May 18, 2013 at 11:16:54 PM PDT

    •  No, that's not what entrapment is. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Adam B, gramofsam1

      Entrapment is when a person is manipulated into committing a crime that s/he would not otherwise have contemplated. In this case, the analogy would have been if Kaitlyn had not been in any relationship to begin with, but had been approached by an underage stooge who enticed her into an inappropriate sexual relationship so that she could be busted on a statutory rape charge.

      "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is the first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk. Every state is totalitarian at heart; there are no ends to the cruelty it will go to to protect itself." -- Ian McDonald

      by Geenius at Wrok on Sun May 19, 2013 at 05:07:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I've been trying to figure out the time line and (0+ / 0-)

      can't.  No where does it say, at least I haven't seen it as to when the relationship began and when the parents discovered it.  Though I think I saw they knew each other at 17 and 14.  The parents may not have discovered the sexual relationship until much later than when they started dating.  

      Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

      by thestructureguy on Sun May 19, 2013 at 06:34:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  According to the FB page (0+ / 0-)
        At the beginning of the school year, Kaitlyn made friends with a 14-year-old freshmen girl in Sebastian River High's IB program who played varsity sports and took classes with upper classmen. The girls were peers in the same social circle, and as happens every day high schools across America, their friendship eventually developed into more. In September, shortly after Kaitlyn's 18th birthday, the girls began dating, and they eventually expressed their affection for one another in intimate ways.

        When the girls' basketball coach found out that two of her players were dating, she kicked Kaitlyn off the team and informed her girlfriend's parents that their daughter was in a same-sex relationship. The parents then conspired with police to entrap Kaitlyn and press charges.

        The police recorded a phone conversation between the two girls, now 18 and 15, in which they discussed their relationship. Kaitlyn was arrested and charged with two counts of felony lewd and lascivious battery on a child 12-16. Kaitlyn's girlfriend denies that Kaitlyn ever pressured her and is adamant that their relationship is entirely consensual, but her parents are out to destroy Kaitlyn's life.

  •  ya know what all this is? A grand argument for (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aitchdee, a2nite, JerryNA

    comprehensive sex ed in schools. Beyond Tab A inserts into Slot B. Beyond menstruation and birth control. We need sex ed that talks about all of the human condition and desires and being in control of a situation you may find yourself in. We need sex ed that acknowledges that straight, bi and gay exist. And that education needs to happen while they are youngsters. Because by the time they are 13/14+ they are already capable of sexual thoughts and actions.

    if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

    by mrsgoo on Sat May 18, 2013 at 11:59:15 PM PDT

  •  When does this end? This is evil (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrsgoo, aitchdee, a2nite, JerryNA

    Extra evil. They do do this to boys who are 18 with 15 yr old girlfriends...ruins their life as they are "sex offenders" also. If parents don't like boy or are vindicative or anyone once to get back on him, he's lost.

    So Parents of teenagers Please warn them about Sex with those under 16  (age of consent) when they are older!

    But this one? Parents turned them in because they are Gay.
    Horrendous!

    •  I see above age of consent varies so nix (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mrsgoo, aitchdee

      the 'under 16". Just kids have to know what the law is. Have explained to them how lives are ruined by vindictive people because teens dating eachother falls through the cracks of a law meant to prevent minors from sigificantly older predators.
      Need to change those laws to put in something if kids are within 3-4 yrs of eachother.

      •  So 14 on 10 is ok? I know that is not what you (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        aitchdee

        mean. That is why there is no easy answer. I do agree that kids should be taught to pursue relationships within their own age group. Notice I said kids. If a 60 yr old wants a relationship with a 30 yr old that is a hell of a lot different.

        if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

        by mrsgoo on Sun May 19, 2013 at 12:23:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  teens. Ten is not a teen (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mrsgoo, aitchdee, Pale Jenova, JerryNA

          Teen starts at thirteen. It doesn't have to be four yrs, but that's what many states have. it can be three. they can say for teens 14 and over if you/people like.

          The point is that a senior dating a sophmore who are 2yrs 1 month apart in age...the senior will be 18 the sophmore 15 and the older one if they have sex is breaking the law in some of these states and is open to being prosecuted for rape.

          They can put any restrictions in the law so it makes sense.
          Just like this Lesbian couple here, an almost 16 yr old with a just turned 18 yr old is not a huge disparity. It's pretty normal.

          No need to choose the extremes (10 and 14) to prove a rule. No one should be having sex with prepubescent children. Forteen is too young in my mind to be honest as well if I were a parent of the kid!

          •  That is my gut feeling as well.... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jplanner, aitchdee, Caipirinha
            Forteen is too young in my mind to be honest as well if I were a parent of the kid!
            Fourteen would be the lowest age I would accept. And that is pushing it. I thought I was the smartest thing since sliced bread at 14 - really, I was dumber than a box of rocks! Now when I was 16, I really was the smartest thing on the face of the earth! heehee! If I could put my 50+ brain into my 16 yr old body - I would rock!!

            if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

            by mrsgoo on Sun May 19, 2013 at 01:40:23 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  As somebody mentioned way up thread.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aitchdee

      15 will get ya 20! Not that it is ever going to stop two kids that wanna do the deed no matter their orientation. The difference between 14 and 18 IS huge. I think more education is the answer. Sure wish I had more of it when I was 14 and was attracted to a senior in HS who did everything but rape me when I was stupid enough to get in his car!!! And who did I blame? Myself!

      if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

      by mrsgoo on Sun May 19, 2013 at 12:11:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  what about three years then? (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mrsgoo, aitchdee, a2nite, JerryNA

        15 and 18?

        IF age of consent is 16 it should still be a misdemeanor but NOT "you are a sex offender" if the other party is within a few years of the "victim" and she says it was consensual (even tho she can't consent at 15).

        Point is we are trying to stop abuse. We can write the laws so they work but don't ruin the lives of teens because of a technicality.

        If he "did everything but raped you", I am sorry that happened. That sounds like assault and that it wasn't consensual. That is illegal regardless of your age or his right? (and also different than the scenarios here where two people close in age and have been dating have sex but one is called a rapist because of a technicality).

        Hope you still don't blame self now. It was the older person's fault,and you made a mistake because you were a kid and had a lapse in judgement to get in that car. I did the same with an older guy when I missed the bus and was desparate not to be late for my job. He drove to his house instead. I freaked out and got out of the car.I was 16. If he'd raped me it'd been my stupid judgement but his fault I figure.

        •  Oh I'm way past that now. I just don't know how (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          aitchdee

          we can draw a line in the sand regarding age of consent without running into the "exceptions". That is what makes this such a problem. Your experience at 16 sounds very like something that happened to me at 18. All of it traumatic. I want to fall back on we need far more comprehensive sex education than we have today. Girls need to be taught that saying NO! is ok. Too many mixed signals are in the media. And boys need to be taught that NO means NO!

          if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

          by mrsgoo on Sun May 19, 2013 at 02:28:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  we can write (0+ / 0-)

            not have "exceptions" to the law itself. I agree that doesn't work. But the law can be written with a three year apart teen exemption because we need to acknowledge the reality that it's normal for teens to day a bit older or younger. Stlll have ages of consent but if close togeather FOR TEENS not kids they needn't be labeled a sex offender.

  •  15-yr-old's parents seem to have law on their side (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aitchdee
    The age of consent in Florida is 18, but close in age exemptions exist. By law, the exception permits a person 23 years of age or younger to engage in legal sexual activity with a minor aged 16 or 17.
    Florida Law (Section 800.04, Florida Statues) regarding lewd and lascivious behavior carries a mandatory sentence. This law has turned many teenage boys into sexual offender. If there is physical contact....not sexual intercourse (battery)...between a girl under 16 and a boy 16 or over, The girl or her parents can charge the male and have him arrested. Consent is not considered, just the ages of the participants.
    the question is: would they have invoked this law if the 18-yr-old had been a male??? how many parents in Florida have 18-yr-olds or 16-yr-olds, for that matter, arrested under these laws???

    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” - Mark Twain

    by pfiore8 on Sun May 19, 2013 at 12:59:32 AM PDT

    •  Even under 18 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aitchdee, burlydee

      In Florida it would be a felony if both were 15.  Two 15-year olds engaged in petting would be committing a felony under that statute.  The only difference with over 18 is that the penalty is up to 15 years  (2nd degree) wheras if the offender is under 18 it's up to 5 years (3rd degree).  

      Needless to say, anytime this is actually enforced we must have a case of selective enforcement.  But we do have some crazy laws in Florida.  

      •  exactly... crazy laws. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        aitchdee, acerimusdux, DarthMeow504

        i think the real issue is this:

        This law has turned many teenage boys (and girls) into sexual offender.
        i don't think it's wise to attack the parents for their beliefs or parenting, but attack the law for being a bad law because it can be weaponized and unfairly administered.

        going after the parents only deepens an already gaping divide. it might be helpful to move from the personal to the issue itself...

        as mentioned in one the diarists updates:  it doesn't matter if the accused is gay, white, black, hispanic... these kinds of laws are dangerous and trample on the civil rights of us all.

        “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” - Mark Twain

        by pfiore8 on Sun May 19, 2013 at 02:33:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Crazy law?? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          saluda

          When did stat rape become a "crazy law"?  The teen wasn't brought up on charges for being a lesbian, she was brought on charges for STAT RAPE.

          Something this site is usually opposed to.

          Minority rights should never be subject to majority vote.

          by lostboyjim on Sun May 19, 2013 at 08:42:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  This site usually conceives of statutory rape (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lostboyjim, acerimusdux, pfiore8

            as involving large age differences (e.g. the FLDS cases). In reality, there's a HUGE difference between that and two high school kids making out or even going all the way.

            I suspect the people who are most vocal about lumping everything together are survivors of genuinely predatory behavior and have developed PTSD triggers involving anything to do with sex and adolescents.

            Sometimes truth is spoken from privilege and falsehood is spoken to power. Good intentions aren't enough.

            by ebohlman on Sun May 19, 2013 at 12:42:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Yes they are crazy laws (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            pfiore8

            First off, they aren't "statutory rape" laws in Florida.  The charge here is lewd or lascivious battery.  

            But the whole idea that consensual sex with a minor should be treated the same as violent non-consensual sex is also crazy.  That doesn't mean it should be legal, just that it isn't the same kind of crime and doesn't warrant the same treatment.  

            In addition, the idea that consensual sex between two minors is a felony is also crazy.

            Some other Florida laws:

            Consensual sex with a minor under 12 is punishable by death.
            Molestation of a minor under 12 is punishable by life imprisonment.
            Adultry is a misdemeanor.
            Lascivious cohabition of an unmarried couple is a misdemeanor.
            Advertising or publishing information as to where an abortion may be obtained is a misdemeanor.

  •  why don't the girls just deny having had sex? (0+ / 0-)

    if i was 15 and dating an 18 year old, and the cops got involved, I'd just deny the relationship was sexual and would expect the 18 year old to do the same. if the cops really wanted to prosecute the older party, then at least force them obtain some physical evidence...

  •  It isn't whether the law is fairly applied. (0+ / 0-)

    That is tangential to how a just sexual consent law can be structured. How it's applied is a separate question.
    There are sexually predatory humans. How do we help our children, in light of that fact, through the law?

    Nobody here knows these girls. We only presume to know them based on the released details.

    Whether this is "Romeo and Juliet" or something more sinister is unknown to us, and the fact of "gay or straight" does not enlighten that question.

    I'm the plowman in the valley - with my face full of mud

    by labradog on Sun May 19, 2013 at 04:34:23 AM PDT

  •  Sorry folks, but (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lostboyjim, lryer, saluda

    there's a huge swing-and-a-miss to this story.

    There are statutory rape laws for a very simple reason - as a society we agree that children lack the judgment to make certain decisions for themselves. The law has nothing to do with sexual orientation. It has to do with the decisions we make about our children.

    Forget the genders for a minute. Do you realize the sway an 18-year old holds over a 15-year old? Do you appreciate how much more worldly they seem? Do you acknowledge, from a gender-neutral point of view, that society is allowed to draw lines about our children, when they can drive, when they can drink, and yes, when they can choose for themselves to have sex?

    Where do you draw the line? At 15? At 14? At 13? At 12? If you agree we can draw it at all, then you agree we can draw it.

    How will all the outraged people here react to THIS STORY? Two 18-year old football players (you hate them already, don't you?) had consensual sex with a 13-year old girl. There are no claims she was drunk, or taken by force, or anything else. Just that there was an age discrepancy. If you read about that story for the first time anywhere but this diary, would you already be outraged at the boys, not the prosecutor?

    15 is 15. 18 is 18. Absent any showing that this is being handled in a manner different from any other statutory rape accusation, this is jus tthe law being enforced as written.

    Done with politics for the night? Have a nice glass of wine with Palate Press: The online wine magazine.

    by dhonig on Sun May 19, 2013 at 04:51:23 AM PDT

    •  The issue here is the pettiness involved (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dobber

      If the parents really were concerned, why didn't they talk it out with Kate's parents?  Instead, they wait until seven months after she turns 18, then go to the police.

      If they'd talked it out first with the parents, it would have been another thing altogether.

      The NRA's response to calls for responsible gun law reform: noun, verb, Second Amendment

      by Christian Dem in NC on Sun May 19, 2013 at 05:11:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Or, like many parents, perhaps (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lostboyjim

        they struggled with what was happening, demanded the relationship end, felt helpless, etc. Sorry, but the law is clear, and I'm just not ready to judge parents for how they handle something happening to their 15-year old child. Not without some evidence that the diary headline is true, that the charges are "for same sex relationship," rather than "for statutory rape."

        Done with politics for the night? Have a nice glass of wine with Palate Press: The online wine magazine.

        by dhonig on Sun May 19, 2013 at 05:21:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But again, why didn't they talk to Kate's parents? (0+ / 0-)

          It just seems incredibly petty--and I find it hard to believe it would have come to this if this were a heterosexual relationship.

          The NRA's response to calls for responsible gun law reform: noun, verb, Second Amendment

          by Christian Dem in NC on Sun May 19, 2013 at 06:09:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •   Happens all the time (0+ / 0-)

            and that is an additional problem to the spotlight on this case.  When people are only concerned about injustice within a limited scope or only related to their community or what they feel is important they get a messed up view of how things really happen.  

            This happens ALL THE TIME....ALL THE TIME to heterosexuals.  ALL THE TIME.

            Who ya gonna shoot wit dat homie, you'd rather blast an original instead of a phony, true macaroni, you don't even know me, and why does your gun say n****z only?

            by mim5677 on Sun May 19, 2013 at 08:16:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Jesus. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dhonig

            Imagine Kate was a boy. Would you have talked to the parents? Would you have been here demanding that the parents of the boy be talked to?

            Just because it's gay sex doesn't make it right. 18 and 15 are WORLDS apart.

            CoB, father of 2 teenaged daughters, who would be VERY suspicious of a relationship with that age difference. Even for my daughter who's straight. (The gay one is 17 she can do what she wants :D).

            First, tell me how your brilliant idea will pass the House. Second, tell me how Obama can get anything past the House. Then we can talk.

            by ChurchofBruce on Sun May 19, 2013 at 08:17:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh yes (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ChurchofBruce

              I'd have told his parents in no uncertain terms, "This relationship ends and ends RIGHT NOW.  If I find out they're still together, I'm going to the police--no ifs, ands or buts."

              The NRA's response to calls for responsible gun law reform: noun, verb, Second Amendment

              by Christian Dem in NC on Sun May 19, 2013 at 11:42:49 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  So, your main objection (0+ / 0-)

                is that the parents didn't call Kate's parents before (and not necessarily instead of) they went to the police? You do believe that going to the police was still a viable option if the parents didn't respond properly? OK, I buy that.

                First, tell me how your brilliant idea will pass the House. Second, tell me how Obama can get anything past the House. Then we can talk.

                by ChurchofBruce on Sun May 19, 2013 at 11:51:54 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yeah, precisely (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ChurchofBruce

                  That and the fact they knew about the relationship when Kate was still 17, but (based on the timeline) didn't do anything until seven months after Kate turned 18.  If they were truly concerned about it, why didn't they say something BEFORE Kate turned 18 in August?

                  That's why this situation would stink to high heaven even if this was a heterosexual relationship.

                  The NRA's response to calls for responsible gun law reform: noun, verb, Second Amendment

                  by Christian Dem in NC on Sun May 19, 2013 at 12:00:16 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  Continuing my comment from earlier (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite

      Unless Kate was actively molesting this other girl--and there's no evidence so far that she did--there is NO reason at all why her parents shouldn't have gone to Kate's parents and talked about the situation.  

      The only reason they didn't is pettiness tinged with homophobia.

      The NRA's response to calls for responsible gun law reform: noun, verb, Second Amendment

      by Christian Dem in NC on Sun May 19, 2013 at 05:29:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Reason Behind It May Be As You Say (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ChurchofBruce, dhonig, saluda

        But the law is specific. If it was an 18 year old boy and a 15 year old girl then people would be screaming for prosecution.

        "Look here," he was yelling. "Look here, the bunglers—"

        by The Lone Apple on Sun May 19, 2013 at 07:19:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't think that's true- (0+ / 0-)

          I don't think people would be "screaming for prosecution" in a case involving a 15 year old girl and 18 year old boy. Most of the boyfriends I had in high school were two years older, some were three years older. And that was true of many if not most of my friends.
          It is true that most people here have passionate objections to genuinely predatory behavior involving minors. But a three year age differential does not suggest predatory behavior to me, and I doubt it does to most people.

      •  Bullshit (0+ / 0-)

        sorry, but you have no more right to the parents' thoughts than they have for yours.  You apparently have absolutely no idea how the parents of a young girl feel when they find the daughter is having sex with a significantly older partner. There is no more a "conversation with the parents" than there would be in another type of rape. Did I say "rape"? Yup, I did. But wasn't it consensual? Nope. It wasn't. Because the law (and in this case, the parents apparently agreed with it) drew the line for the ABILITY TO CONSENT at 15.

        Would you be making the same argument if the girl was 14? 13? 12? 11? 10? How about 9? Somewhere along that line, you probably said "no, that's too young - a child that young CAN'T consent."

        Right.

        Done with politics for the night? Have a nice glass of wine with Palate Press: The online wine magazine.

        by dhonig on Sun May 19, 2013 at 09:26:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  most parents would be a bit concerned (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ChurchofBruce, lostboyjim

    about their 15 yr old child being seriously involved with an 18 yr old.

    The gender orientations involved don't change that.  Underage sex is underage sex.

    don't always believe what you think

    by claude on Sun May 19, 2013 at 06:01:12 AM PDT

    •  But the relationship started when Kate was 17 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pale Jenova

      That's why this thing absolutely reeks--the parents didn't bother to talk to Kate's parents, but waited until after Kate turned 18 and went to the police.

      The NRA's response to calls for responsible gun law reform: noun, verb, Second Amendment

      by Christian Dem in NC on Sun May 19, 2013 at 06:25:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Kate and her parents should have known better... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lostboyjim

        this happens all the time to straight people.  Parents don't like a boyfriend then all the sudden he is a registered sex offender.

        Who ya gonna shoot wit dat homie, you'd rather blast an original instead of a phony, true macaroni, you don't even know me, and why does your gun say n****z only?

        by mim5677 on Sun May 19, 2013 at 08:13:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  In my state (3+ / 0-)

        it wouldn't have mattered, as the AOC is 16 with no "Romeo and Juliet" provision.

        If either of my daughters had been 15 in a relationship with an almost-18-year-old, I would have been very, very concerned. I don't know if I would have filed charges, but I would have thought about it. Because anyone that doesn't realize the VAST difference between 15 and 18 hasn't spent a lot of time around teenagers. I would have been extremely uneasy. (Their own age? I wouldn't have cared.)

        BTW, one of my daughters is gay. One is straight. And it wouldn't have made any difference.

        First, tell me how your brilliant idea will pass the House. Second, tell me how Obama can get anything past the House. Then we can talk.

        by ChurchofBruce on Sun May 19, 2013 at 08:14:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It's not clear (looking for a link) that the (0+ / 0-)

        parents waited until 18 or didn't know about it until after 18.  It could even be possible that when she turned 18 in Aug of 2012 the younger girl was 14.  Not a lot of info on the time line.  We also don't know the anti-gay spin the older person's parents are puttig on this.  Nothing I could find (looking for a link) that shows this is anti-gay acts by the parents.

        Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

        by thestructureguy on Sun May 19, 2013 at 11:13:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  In Florida (0+ / 0-)

    the age of consent is 18, except that a person under 24 (and not in a position of authority over the minor) can enter into a relationship with a person over the age of 16.

    The fact that the younger partner was 15 is problematic. However, I wonder what a sexual relationship is, exactly, in regard to a lesbian relationship.

  •  Sorry ... not much sympaty here (4+ / 0-)

    If the girls were just dating, this is no big deal and the parents are over-reacting. If they are having sex, it comes under the same laws as heterosexual sex with underage minors.  

    You cannot have it both ways ... either gay and straight are treated the same way or not. The whole thing stinks, but they are being treated by the same rules.

    "Life without liberty is like a body without spirit. Liberty without thought is like a disturbed spirit." Kahlil Gibran, 'The Vision'

    by CorinaR on Sun May 19, 2013 at 07:53:09 AM PDT

    •  They are not the same, though (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pale Jenova

      Not all sex is created equal. Sorry, but it's true. Girls can't get girls pregnant, they seldom to never transmit STD's to each other, and there is not the physical and social power imbalance that exists between boys and girls. In this regard they should not be treated exactly the same. One needs to ask why sexual activity is considered so serious. It's not just the question of when a person can consent to intimate activity. It's what the consequences of that activity can be.

      If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

      by rhetoricus on Sun May 19, 2013 at 08:53:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I was talking about laws (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Caipirinha

        being applied equally ...

        And for me, it is not about getting pregnant or STDs, it is about the maturity to handle that type of relationship.  And I beg to differ with you about the social imbalance ... it can exist across age as well as gender. A young male can feel just as coerced by an older woman as a younger woman by an older man, or an younger male by an older male, etc.

        If you are saying that no sexual relationship should not be regulated in any way, that is one thing.  But if you are saying that one type of sex requires consenting adults but not another, then you might have to describe exactly what sex you mean.  Can't get pregnant with oral sex or if the man has had a vasectomy or if an object is used for insertion, etc. ... so it becomes matter of definition.

        Right now, this is the law on the books.  You can work to change it but it seems counter productive to me to gripe if it is applied evenly.

        "Life without liberty is like a body without spirit. Liberty without thought is like a disturbed spirit." Kahlil Gibran, 'The Vision'

        by CorinaR on Sun May 19, 2013 at 11:45:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I was making a more nuanced point. (0+ / 0-)

          Yes, you're right, my argument is really about how to shape the law, not how to apply existing law.

          Maturity to consent is important, but only ONE consideration when considering the consequences of sexual activity. Difference in age is important, but only ONE consideration. Neither encompass all considerations.

          There are countries that criminalize sexual activity involving men (same-sex or opposite-sex) differently because they recognize additional factors that involve disparity in power associated with sex/gender, and physical consequences of penile penetration.

          If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

          by rhetoricus on Sun May 19, 2013 at 12:14:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Did you just lose your own argument? (0+ / 0-)

        You said there is not the [same kind of] physical and social power imbalance that exists between boys and girls. But that is not true. An 18 year old girl is physically larger and stronger than a 15 year old girl. An 18 year old girl nearing graduation is much higher on the social power scale than a 15 year old sophomore.

        A waist is a terrible thing to mind.

        by edg on Sun May 19, 2013 at 11:51:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, not in these girls' case (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JerryNA

          ..if you read stories that include a physical description of both girls. The 15-year-old is bigger.

          But you're missing the point. The presumed physical/strength difference attached to age is radically compounded when you add a sex disparity. A 15 year old boy is typically still bigger and stronger than an 18 year old girl. An 18 year old boy is radically bigger and stronger than a 15 year old girl.

          If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

          by rhetoricus on Sun May 19, 2013 at 12:04:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  There Is Still Social Standing (0+ / 0-)

            A senior has vastly superior social status to a freshman or sophomore. This disparity leads to the elder taking advantage of the younger. Male or female. I don't understand why you're excusing such behavior in this case.

            A waist is a terrible thing to mind.

            by edg on Sun May 19, 2013 at 10:05:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Excuse me? (0+ / 0-)

              I don't see anyplace where I am "excusing" behavior.

              No, I don't think this young woman's life should be permanently ruined by having to register as a sex offender, nor that she should face harsher punishment than the Steubenville rapists, which at this point is possible.

              What I said was that the power disparity inherent in a few years of age difference (especially when the girls share nearly indistingushable status in social contexts, since both play varsity basketball, both take upperclassman courses) in is not the only consideration when assessing consequences of sexual behavior.

              My point was that there are additional power imabalances that adhere to opposite sex couples, and additional consequences to heterosex that do not obtain to sex between women. Therefore, I don't think it's germane to treat the two (heterosex and homosex in this case) as indistinguishable in their power implications or their physical risks.

              If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

              by rhetoricus on Mon May 20, 2013 at 01:26:43 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  IOKIYAW (0+ / 0-)

                It's Okay to be a sexual predator If You're A Woman and your target is a girl? Nice set of double standards there. As for "physical risks", what on earth does that even mean? Are you claiming men are brutal swine out to hurt women but a woman would never hurt anyone? That's silly.

                Crucifying Chester the Molester while excusing Hester the Molester is sexism, plain and simple. If it's okay for an adult woman to have sexual relations with a 15 year old girl, then it's okay for adult men. Or, it is not okay for either, which is my personal view. Double standards benefit no one.

                A waist is a terrible thing to mind.

                by edg on Mon May 20, 2013 at 02:29:00 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

                  Please stop putting words in my mouth. I don't think any consenting partner in a 'Romeo and Juliet' situation deserves to be 'crucified' or equated with cases in which there's a huge age disparity, or the younger partner is under 14, or there force or coercion involved.

                  That said, you really acknowledge absolutely no physical or social power difference between men and women?

                  You think the risk of pregnancy, STD's, and physical coercion is exactly the same whether we're talking about men with women or women together? Seriously?

                  Are you one of these people who believes that men get raped by women as often as women get raped by men?

                  If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

                  by rhetoricus on Mon May 20, 2013 at 04:10:21 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Well .... (0+ / 0-)

                    When I was a 7 year old boy, I was sexually molested by my 13 year old female babysitter. So yes, females are capable of doing bad things, too.

                    Sure, men in general are physically stronger than women. But there are millions of hetero couples in America that exist quite happily without physical coercion. There is also a lesbian couple across the street from me where one woman beats on the other.

                    And STD's can be passed from female to male just as easily as the other way. As they say, it takes 2 to Tango.

                    A waist is a terrible thing to mind.

                    by edg on Mon May 20, 2013 at 05:49:04 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I'm very sorry. (0+ / 0-)

                      What happened to YOU calls for very serious consequences.  That's horrible and I'm very sorry that happened. It would have been horrible no matter what genders were involved. I hope you have received support and help.

                      Surely you see that there is a huge difference between a 15 year old (in this case) and a seven year old (in your case). Also, the developmental distance in age between 7 and 13, and the difference in power, is radically different than the 2-and-a-half years separating these 2 consenting peers in the story. One was not the other's babysitter, she was a peer in all social respects. If the elder girl had been 30, the law in most states would regard it quite differently. If the younger had been 10, the law would view it differently. There are reasons for this that I hope you can understand.

                      "Romeo and Juliet" exceptions exist in the law, and I do think a "Juliet and Juliet" exception should be available to this young woman, and it's something both women are asking for.

                      And yes, men can get STD's from women, but women rarely get them from women, which was my point. Penile penetration (of males or females) introduces a whole new level of physical risk from sexual activity. Check any study on that one.

                      I would never argue that most hetero relationships are abusive, nor that no same-sex relationships are. I would not argue that women never do abusive things to men or other women. It remains true that well over 90% of all sexual violence is perpetrated by males (upon males and females), no matter what study you look at. To me, that is not inconsequential, and it contributes to, and reflects, very real power dynamics in the culture.

                      If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

                      by rhetoricus on Mon May 20, 2013 at 07:37:53 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

  •  despicable (0+ / 0-)

    This is awful behavior from petty, insecure adults.  

    Maybe their daughter was experimenting, maybe she's gay.  Who knows.  

    In any event, getting her first love convicted of a felony is not going to change how the girl finds her sexual identity.

    Streichholzschächtelchen

    by otto on Sun May 19, 2013 at 08:07:36 AM PDT

  •  If you do the crime... (4+ / 0-)

    Whatever the parents reasoning for doing this is only relevant to public opinion.

    I work with a number of sex offenders that are registered and unable to move forward in life because they were dating people three to four years younger than them around the time they were graduating or leaving high school.  

    Gay or straight doesn't make a difference.  The law is the law, you may not like it...but this underscores the importance of what can happen when people only pay attention to injustice that affects their community.  

    Who ya gonna shoot wit dat homie, you'd rather blast an original instead of a phony, true macaroni, you don't even know me, and why does your gun say n****z only?

    by mim5677 on Sun May 19, 2013 at 08:12:29 AM PDT

  •  Goverment could be creating more career rapists. (0+ / 0-)

    Imagine a regular kid being labeled a sex offender on a technicality (one week’s difference in age) and having that label all one's life. It may entice people to just go ahead and violently rape with impunity, since they are punished for it anyway.

    I realize that people on the Daily Kos don't think that way, (having a sense of self respect, regardless of labels or punishments by society) but the rest of society would apply that logic to their own situations.

    This is what the school-to-prison pipeline is about: create career criminals to warehouse and execute.

  •  Petition signed; thank you for letting us know. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z

    ______________
    Love one another

    by davehouck on Sun May 19, 2013 at 08:20:24 AM PDT

  •  The problem with the law that I've always had (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thestructureguy, DarthMeow504

    isn't about vindictive parents (sorry, if I had a 15 year old who had been having a sexual reltionship with an 18 year old and it had been going on for years, which means that it started maybe when he or she was 14 or younger, I might be alittle pissed too), or whether or not it was just becasue they were gay (which the diarist, despite all the updates, has yet to factually show), but in the uneven way that the law treats people who are in this 15-18 category.  In many states, and I'm sure in FL, if you're 15 and you kill somebody, the DA has the ability to try you as an adult based upon the act itself.   There is no presumption that you were unable to grasp the significance of the act.  Yet, these same states presume, nay, decree, that these same people do not have the mental capacity to consent to a sexual act.  So theoretically, if these two people had sex when one was 18 and one was 15 and the 15 year old then immediately shot the 18 year old, the 15 year old could theoretically be charged with attempeted murder (sorry, assuming the 18 year old survives.  My hypothetical, my rules) as an adult, while the 18 year old could, at the same time be charged with statutory rape because this same person being tried as an adult for murder did not have the mental capacity, because of her age, to consent to a sexual act.

    Plesae note, I am NOT arguing here for a lowering of the age of consent, nor am I arguing for it to remain where it is.   What I am arguing for is consistency in the laws one way or the other.

  •  Why it SHOULD be judged different from heterosex (0+ / 0-)

    There's another factor here, and I know it has a lot of nuance, but heterosex has conditions that sexual relations between females does not. Such as:

    1) The likelihood of pregnancy
    2) The likelihood of STD transmission
    3) The added sociopolitical and physical power imbalance between males and females, particularly when the male is the elder.

    These should make the relationship between the women more innocuous. Not that age difference, distance in age or age of consent should be eliminated as considerations, but they should not be the only considerations.

    If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

    by rhetoricus on Sun May 19, 2013 at 08:47:20 AM PDT

  •  I know a guy (0+ / 0-)

    in his 30s who still has to register as a sex offender because he was 18 and his girlfriend was 16, and her parents didn't approve of him.

    "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

    by happy camper on Sun May 19, 2013 at 09:24:11 AM PDT

  •  I worked in courts in Conn. and saw this all (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lostboyjim, Oh Mary Oh

    the time. Sometimes it was between two high-school age much closer in age.

    Most of the time, the kid would actually do jail time (for having sex with someone underaged).

    It is very common everywhere.

    There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

    by upstate NY on Sun May 19, 2013 at 09:48:08 AM PDT

  •  Statutory rape laws that don't take into account (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DarthMeow504

    high school age relationships, that simply punish young people for having sex are stupid.  If I was on a jury and this case came in front of me, I wouldn't convict, no matter what the law says.  You don't throw seniors in HS in prison for having sex with sophomores.  

  •  One of my friends was in a similar situation. (0+ / 0-)

    She was dating a girl two years younger while they were both in high school, and the other girl's parents were aggressively opposed to the relationship. They talked openly about criminal charges, and I didn't take it seriously because I had no idea that any sort of "legitimate" criminal charges existed for a "crime" like this. Thank God nothing ever came of it.

    Just beyond outrageous that the law gives people the capacity to ruin other people's lives simply because they don't approve of what they do.

    19, FL-07 (school), MD-07 (home). UCF junior, politically ambitious, and vocally liberal. "Still, where'd the lighter fluid come from?"

    by tqycolumbia on Sun May 19, 2013 at 11:20:50 AM PDT

  •  Seriously? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DarthMeow504

    This story exemplifies everything that is wrong with the socially regressive ideology of Christian conservatives, and demonstrates perfectly why religious mores and public policy make poor bedfellows.

    Let us pause now for a moment of SCIENCE

    by labman57 on Sun May 19, 2013 at 12:41:37 PM PDT

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