Kaitlyn Hunt, a Florida teen charged with having sex with her 14-year-old girlfriend, was jailed this week after she reportedly violated the terms of her pre-trial release by exchanging nearly 20,000 texts and explicit photos with the younger girl.
Hunt, who just recently turned 19, was arrested in February and charged with two felony counts of lewd and lascivious battery for allegedly having sexual relations with the then-14-year-old girl. The girl's parents reportedly found out and pressed charges, but Hunt and her supporters maintain that the relationship began when she, too, was a minor, and has always been consensual, according to CNN.
Hunt was slapped with a no-contact order in March and her lawyers turned down two separate plea deals, preferring for the case to go to trial. But now it's been discovered this week that Hunt and her girlfriend have been communicating regularly and even arranged secret meetings, Detective Jeremy Shepherd testified Tuesday.
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Shepherd said Hunt gave the girl an iPod that could send and receive text messages and allow the two to communicate undetected. On some of those texts, Hunt indicated that she understood that such communications violated the court order.
"No matter what, if they find out that we talked, I'm going to jail until the trial starts," she wrote, according to Shepherd.
Though Florida statutory rape law stipulates that anyone younger than 16 cannot consent to sexual activity, it's not uncommon for a 14-year-old to date an 18-year-old, according to Kristy Tankersley, a softball coach at Sebastian River High School, where Hunt was expelled.
"There's been freshman girls on my team talking about dating senior baseball players," Tankersley told WPTV.com.
"It shouldn't be that big of a deal."
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If found guilty, Hunt could face up to 15 years in prison and would be required to register as a sex offender.
The case garnered national attention when the American Union of Civil Liberties got involved, arguing that the teens' relationship would never have been scrutinized if it involved a heterosexual male and female instead of a homosexual couple.
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