And make them cry:
Kaitlyn Hunt, an 18-year-old high school student in Sebastian, Fla., is facing charges and has been expelled from school for having a same-sex relationship with a 15-year-old classmate, CBS Tampa Bay reports.
Hunt is charged with two counts of lewd and lascivious battery of a child 12 to 16 years of age after the other girl’s parents called authorities when Hunt, a senior at Sebastian River High School, turned 18, according to the station.
Basically, a 17 y/o girl was in a relationship with a 15 y/o, which is legal. Once she turned 18, however, the family called the cops. She is now facing up to 15 years in prison. Or she could plead to lesser felony, be under house arrest for two years. It’s not clear if she would have to register as a sex offender, but I’m guessing that would be the case. Either way, it would be ruinous toward any ambitions she has with her life.
Yeah, yeah, I know. “Hey, she violated the law!” But the intent of the law is to prevent a grown person from sexually battering someone under 16 against their will. It is not intended to suddenly throw a girl into prison for a consensual relationship that was perfectly legal the day before and, as such, is rarely enforced that way. This is not the first time, it is not the hundredth time we have seen this: police, prosecutors and parents using the letter of the law to defeat the spirit of the law in an effort to destroy a relationship they do not approve of. In this case, it has the added flavor of the parents thinking Kaitlyn “turned their daughter gay”. And I’m sure that is playing a role in this. But the principle would be the same even if this were a straight relationship.
Prosecutors have discretion. This one is misusing it.
Update: Via some discussion over at Volokh, I find this article about Florida’s Romeo and Juliet statute that could allow Kaitlyn, if convicted, to eventually scrub her sex offender status. But it is discretionary. And it would not remove any felony conviction.