UPDATE: State Attorney Responds to Plea Rejection in Kaitlyn Hunt Case
“The State Attorney’s Office tendered an extremely lenient plea offer in this case which would have ensured that the defendant avoided any term of incarceration and the stigma of being labeled a sex offender,” the prepared statement read. “In fact, in all probability the defendant would have avoided being a convicted felon. This offer took into consideration the seriousness of the charges, the best interests of the victim and her family, and the defendant’s future.”
Hunt, 18, has been charged with two felonies of “lewd and lascivious battery on a child 12 – 16 years of age” for engaging in a sexual relationship with, C.S., her then 14-year-old high school girlfriend and classmate. The plea deal offered was felony child abuse, requiring two years of community control, plus one more year of probation.
Hunt’s attorney, Julia Graves, said at a press conference on Wednesday that she didn’t believe the plea deal was acceptable because those charges would follow Hunt throughout her life, possibly denying her many opportunities from going to college to becoming a nurse. Instead she asked for the charges be reduced to a misdemeanor.
The State Attorney’s statement goes on to say their office will no longer comment on the case until it is resolved and they will prepare for a trial that is scheduled for mid-July.
The attorney for the family of C.S., Charles Sullivan Jr. of Vero Beach, said the family had no comment on the plea rejection and adamantly denied this case had anything to do with the girls’ sexual orientation as has been accused.
“The parent’s main concern is that people understand that the events that formed the basis of this charge and crime has nothing to do with the sexual orientation of the defendant,” he stated. “This is a clear violation of Florida law. There is nothing unusual or out of the ordinary about this lady’s prosecution.”
Sullivan wouldn’t comment on whether the family would have agreed with a plea deal that reduced the charges to a misdemeanor.
All he did say was: “The family was in agreement with the plea offer. They believed it to be fair and reasonable.”
Sullivan also wouldn’t comment on whether the family attempted to contact Hunt’s family before going to the police.
He ended with “This is a difficult case for everyone.”