The Reports Of Kaitlyn Hunt’s Age Are Misleading – And I Feel Duped

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fa22388660d12705b6a4828defe9bf5aEver since the news of Kaitlyn Hunt‘s arrest, myself and other writers on this site have been staunch supporters of Kaitlyn’s plight. After seeing an interview with the alleged victim’s parents, and examining dates on the police report – I really have to say I feel a little duped. It seems Kaitlyn’s parents have been very misleading when reporting her age.

The interview with the alleged victim’s parents shows a set of mild-mannered adults, clearly distraught by what they are going through with their daughter. There’s no mention of not approving of their daughter’s sexual orientation. There’s not even any damaging words being hurled in Kaitlyn’s direction. Laurie and Jim Smith are merely saying, we are not comfortable with our 14-year-old dating an 18-year-old – and as parents we will protect her. I’m summarizing, but that is the gist. I have to say, I have failed to put myself in their place. I don’t understand or support felony charges for high school students engaging in consensual relationships. But that’s not really the issue here. The issue is whether these parents had a right to press charges against this young woman. If what is alleged can be proven – according to the law, they did.

Now, about the misleading statements of Kaitlyn Hunt’s age. Jim Hunt, Kaitlyn’s father, wrote a touching essay on behalf of his daughter in XO Jane. In it, he writes:

The nightmare began in February when the cops came to arrest my daughter, who had just turned 18, and took her away without telling us what was happening.

His daughter was born in August of 1994. She had turned 18 the previous August, six months before her arrest. Maybe it’s not a blatant lie – but it is an allusion that she had “just” turned 18 – which isn’t true. On the Free Kate Facebook page, the first sentence is, “As the summer of 2012 came to an end, the future looked bright for 17-year-old Sebastian River High School senior Kaitlyn Hunt.” As the summer of 2012 came to an end, Kaitlyn Hunt was 18.

There is so little support for gay teens. We hear stories every day of teens being bullied and worse for their sexual orientation. Admittedly, it has put me on the defensive and given me an itchy trigger finger whenever stories like this surface. I was quick to jump on Kaitlyn’s family’s side because I don’t believe that people should be persecuted for their sexual orientation. I neglected to realize that the Smith parents may just simply not approve of someone older dating their daughter.

I don’t know what is in the Smith’s hearts. No one does. Maybe they do have a problem with their daughter being gay. But if they are saying that they don’t – that none of this was about that – who am I to insist that they do? It certainly doesn’t help the Hunt’s that they have been alluding to different ages throughout the case. She turned 18 in August 2012, and began her relationship in November of 2012. She was 18 when the relationship began. The arrest report lists the ages of the two girls at 18 and 14. Technically – this isn’t legal.

I think if we start prosecuting all high school affairs that fall into these demographics, we will be emptying out the halls. I think it’s frivolous and a waste of tax payer dollars, and I can’t say that I support all of the attention and possible humiliation the Smith’s have brought their daughter by filing these charges. But the Hunts have brought just as much attention to their daughter on the flip side. This whole case is disturbing – but I really think it’s time to admit that many of us have made the Smith parents into monsters – and that may not be fair.

(photo: Twitter)