“Free Kate” is finally a reality.
Kaitlyn Hunt made national news in 2013 when the then 18-year-old’s life was turned upside after she was arrested for having a sexual relationship with her then 14-year-old freshman girlfriend. Both were students at Sebastian River High School and played on the basketball team together.
Related: Kaitlyn Hunt is Engaged and Pregnant
The story took several twists and turns until Hunt finally agreed to a plea deal that included two counts of misdemeanor battery and one count of felony interference with child custody, which required her to serve three years’ probation and complete 150 hours of community service. However, she did not have to register as a sex offender.
Now it’s over.
“SHES FREE! 3 years baby! People doubted her, bashed her, tried to hold her down but she rose above it and proved them WRONG!” Hunt’s mother wrote on Facebook in October. “I'm so proud of you Kaitlyn Hunt! The nightmare is finally completely OVER! New life begins today! Love you and I'm so proud of you and excited!”
The campaign and Facebook group has evolved over the years from ‘Free Kate’ to ‘Kate’s Fight’ to now ‘Kate’s Journey,’ with regular updates about the young woman.
Hunt has since married her girlfriend, Latasha Thomas, and had a son, Kingston.
Prosecutors initially charged Hunt with two counts of lewd and lascivious behavior on a 12-16-year-old.
Hunt’s case received international attention with a slew of local LGBT community leaders weighing in on the matter. A campaign called “Free Kate” was launched with a Change.org petition collecting over 325,000 signatures.
Hunt’s family accused the younger girl’s family and prosecution of coming after them because it was a lesbian relationship. The girl’s family, however, said they were simply concerned parents, while the prosecution said they’ve prosecuted similar heterosexual cases in the past.