Kaitlyn Hunt, the Sebastian woman arrested for having sex with a minor classmate when Hunt was 18, has finally accepted a plea deal. The case has been in the national spotlight for months, with LGBT activists claiming that no charges would have been filed if the relationship had occurred between a more traditional teenage couple.
This morning at 11, Hunt will plead no contest to two counts of misdemeanor battery, misdemeanor contributing to the dependency of a child, and two counts of felony interference with child custody. She will spend four months in jail, two years on house arrest, and nine months on probation.
Originally, Hunt faced up to 15 years in prison and placement on the sex offender registry for her relationship with the younger girl, who was 14 at the time. Prosecutors had offered Hunt two different plea deals, which she rejected through her lawyer, Julia Graves.
Hunt has been in jail since August 20, when prosecutors found she had violated a no-contact order with her young girlfriend. They filed a motion stating that on her last day at Sebastian Senior High School, Hunt placed an iPod in the girl's locker and exchanged more than 2,000 messages with her during a two-month period. Many of the text messages were explicit and contained references to an ongoing physical relationship between the two.
When it was revealed that Hunt violated the no-contact order, the social media darling lost many supporters. The PR expert representing Hunt, Greg Dubose, dropped his client last month. The reason Hunt's case gained national attention was due to an aggressive social media campaign revolving around the hashtag #MHOF, or "Many Hearts One Family" and the slogan "Stop the Hate, Free Kate." T-shirts and bracelets were also sold to increase visibility of the case. But by late August, some of the most vocal Hunt supporters began to doubt their cause. "My opinions are changing quickly on the subject," wrote the foreign-based administrator of the Free Kaitlyn Hunt Facebook group on August 25.
Prosecutors found that Kelley Hunt-Smith, Kaitlyn's mom, also contacted the younger girl, begging for her silence about the violation of the no-contact order in a March 26 missive. "PLEASE delete everything," she wrote, referring to text messages, lewd videos, and nude pictures sent by her daughter. "And make sure NO ONE finds out you've spoken to Kate at all." There is still no no word on whether Hunt-Smith will face charges for attempting to interfere with the case.