Bruce Colton State Attorney – Step up and do your Job
From the “That’s Just Outrageous File”
Kaitlyn Hunt, a high school cheerleader arrested on felony sexual assault charges for her relationship with a 14-year-old female classmate has been offered a plea deal on her 19th birthday. Authorities said Hunt was 18 when she had sex with her then-14-year-old girlfriend after the two met at Sebastian River High School in 2012. She is being urged to accept the new deal which would keep her out of jail and prevent her from being registered as a sex offender. Prosecutors want Hunt to plead no contest to two counts of battery and one felony count of interference with child custody. She would be subject to a curfew, have to perform 150 hours of community service and serve probation. Her case attracted a glut of publicity after her parents did multiple interviews, claiming that their daughter was only charged because she is gay.
If this was an 18 year old boy and a young girl there would be no outrage and no controversy. This is especially true since many others have been arrested and convicted under Florida law that puts the age of consent at 16 years. But since Kaitlyn and her “girlfriend” are homosexual an entire campaign has been built to get the authorities to “stop the hate” and drop the charges.
I feel bad for kids that make mistakes. But I feel worse for young children that are victims of deviant sexual predators. The Florida laws are designed to protect kids from these predators; and with the number of teachers getting arrested for sexual relationships with their students it is evident they are necessary. Letting Kaitlyn go without discipline under the law sets a dangerous precedent and shows that Bruce Colton is a gutless chicken, that is failing to serve his constituents.
The parents have pulled the press train up and Bruce is running for the door. REALLY?
Read the actual plea agreement document here: Kaitlyn-Hunt-second-plea-offer (pdf file)
Time and again our prosecutors are getting it wrong. Too often overzealous prosecutors over charge defendants and fail to convict. Case in point: Casey Anthony. Had the prosecutors office gone for lesser charges the jury easily would have convicted her. In this case Bruce Colton’s office is going the completely opposite direction and letting an obvious criminal walk away. At least in the Casey Anthony debacle Jeff Ashton went down swinging and tried to prosecute albeit an EPIC FAIL asking for the death penalty in a largely circumstantial case. But that’s not what we have here.
What we have here is a CLEAR violation of the law, we have clear statements made by the victim, AND we have the Kaitlyn Hunt admitting to “having sex” with the victim in a controlled call between the victim and Kaitlyn. Further Kaitlyn confessed to the crime during an interview with the police. Read: The Arrest Affidavit
– Kaitlyn Hunt turned 18 years old on August 14, 2012 (arrest affidavit records her birthday is 8/14/94)
– Six days later, the school district held the first day of classes on August 20 (School District of Indian River County)
– According to some statements from the Hunt family, Kaitlyn began dating the 14 year old in September 2012. (Free Kate Facebook group “About” page)
– According to the arrest affidavit, the 14 year old girl stated that she and Kaitlyn began dating in November 2012 (more recent accounts by Kelley Smith Hunt have also indicated November) and listed at least three occasions in which sexual activity took place:
- The first sexual activity involved arranging (via text message) a meeting in the bathroom during class-time on a date “before Christmas” – in a bathroom stall, Kaitlyn removed the 14 year old girl’s pants and penetrated her with a finger.
- On January 4, 2013 the 14 year old girl ran away from home. Kaitlyn picked up the 14 year old girl, brought her back to the Hunt residence and engaged in sexual activity, including oral sex and use of a vibrator.
- On another occasion in mid-January (“approximately one month ago” according to the affidavit, which is dated February 16), Kaitlyn and the 14 year old girl again met in the school bathroom stall and engaged in sexual activity.
800.04 Lewd or lascivious offenses committed upon or in the presence of persons less than 16 years of age. (1) DEFINITIONS. As used in this section: (a) “Sexual activity” means the oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ of another or the anal or vaginal penetration of another by any other object; however, sexual activity does not include an act done for a bona fide medical purpose. (b) “Consent” means intelligent, knowing, and voluntary consent, and does not include submission by coercion. (c) “Coercion” means the use of exploitation, bribes, threats of force, or intimidation to gain cooperation or compliance. (d) “Victim” means a person upon whom an offense described in this section was committed or attempted or a person who has reported a violation of this section to a law enforcement officer. (2) PROHIBITED DEFENSES. Neither the victim’s lack of chastity nor the victim’s consent is a defense to the crimes proscribed by this section. (3) IGNORANCE OR BELIEF OF VICTIM’S AGE. The perpetrator’s ignorance of the victim’s age, the victim’s misrepresentation of his or her age, or the perpetrator’s bona fide belief of the victim’s age cannot be raised as a defense in a prosecution under this section. (4) LEWD OR LASCIVIOUS BATTERY. A person who: (a) Engages in sexual activity with a person 12 years of age or older but less than 16 years of age; or (b) Encourages, forces, or entices any person less than 16 years of age to engage in sadomasochistic abuse, sexual bestiality, prostitution, or any other act involving sexual activity commits lewd or lascivious battery, a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
Section 4 is the section referred to in the arrest affidavit.
What’s wrong with Bruce Colton’s Decision:
First it’s part of Bruce Colton’s duties to prosecute criminal offenses. Read: State Attorney’s Duties (Conspicuously missing from his office’s website)
Second, the evidence in this case is so undeniable, there is no reason for a plea deal.
Third, It’s the law. Whether you like the law or not.
Fourth, as a parent I would NEVER want my 14 year old to engage in ANY sexual activity with anyone. Straight, Gay, or otherwise. I especially would not want an 18 year old to engage in that type of activity with any 14 year old. There is a SIGNIFICANT difference in maturity between 14 and 18.
Fifth, And the most OUTRAGEOUS of them all, is that Kaitlyn violated her pretrial release by having contact with the victim and engaged in more physical contact. OMG! Kaitlyn has absolutely no regard for the law even AFTER she was arrested. Read: http://media2.wptv.com/documents/kaitlyn%20hunt%20violation.pdf
Lastly, Colton himself said he would NOT drop the charges (wtsp.com):
“The idea is to protect people in that vulnerable group from people who are older, 18 and above,” said Bruce Colton, state attorney for Florida’s 19th circuit, which includes Indian River County and other parts of the Treasure Coast. “…The statute specifically says that consent is not a defense.”
Colton said prosecutors will not drop the charges based on the public petition. He said this case exemplifies the purpose of the current law and added he would not support any effort to make consensual relationships among peers legal.
Apparently the pressure of the press and the supporters of Kaitlyn have gotten to Bruce Colton. He is now backing out of the statement he made, which either makes him a liar or a coward. Either way it’s a shame that an Officer of the Court would so clearly shirk his duties. In 2012 he ran unopposed. Hopefully that won’t happen again.
- Kaitlyn Hunt: Lesbian high school student urged to take plea deal on her 19th birthday after sex charges | Mail Online