SEBASTIAN, Fla. - 18-year-old Kaitlyn Hunt has been thrust into the national spotlight, ever since the story of her arrest over her alleged same-sex relationship with a 14-year-old schoolmate went viral through social media outlets. Wednesday afternoon, surrounded by her lawyer, her family and supporters, she spoke publicly for the first time.
Kaitlyn responded to a question about whether it was a surprise to her that her story exploded so quickly.
"I didn't really think it would be this big at first, but I'm glad it is," said Kaitlyn." I would rather people see how it is across the world, rather than not."
"High school relationships may be fleeting, but felony convictions are forever," said Kaitlyn's attorney, Julia Graves, in a prepared statement. "When we put this behind us, we will continue to work and reach out to lawmakers with the assistance of Equality Florida, the ACLU and many others to address the failings of the law that criminalizes high school students, and is too often used by parents to object to the race, ethnicity or gender of the schoolmate their teenager is dating."
"We have never requested that the charges be dropped," said Graves. Instead, she said the family wants the charges reduced.
"I'm scared of losing my life, the rest of my life," said Kaitlyn. "Not being able to go to college, be around kids and my sisters, my family."
"There are colleges that will not let felons do certain things, or child abuse charges, where you can't supervise field trips or your own children later, you can't participate in things," said Graves. "These are things that will certainly affect her future if she takes this current plea offer."