Kaitlyn Hunt: Civil Rights Hero or Sexual Predator?

duckideva wrote:

Cases like this are agnostic as to the gender of the participants. She's not a civil rights activist, she diddled a kid, the kid's parents overreacted, and she's now facing the draconian and absurd legislated puritanical punishments. In cases like this, I consider the consequences completely irrational, and the very idea that she'd need to be on a registered offender's list is obscene.

This is about where I'm at too, especially if Kaitlyn is willing to agree to cease contact with the other girl. Though I still think some form of punishment is appropriate.

duckideva wrote:

Well...I was a 14 year old girl. I was regularly asked out by guys twice my age or more, and high school seniors started asking me out when I was in 7th grade. I would have loved to go out with them, but my parents sent me to convent school, which really was probably best for everyone.

Here's the thing; 14 year olds are quite capable of desiring sex. Even if they don't know what it is. They're pretty sure that tingly bits can get more tingly...but the tingly certainly makes you want to explore why, how, when, and can we do it again? The problem is, that 14 year olds have zero common sense, absolutely no concept of consequences and are pretty much hormones on feet disengaged from a brain. They cannot be trusted, is my point.

By 18, that's no longer true...as much. An 18 year old is significantly older than a 14 year old. But they still aren't rational actors. Especially about sex. But, age of consent isn't a secret. If an 18 year old chooses to have sex with a 14 year old, no matter how willing that 14 year old is, that 18 year old is still doing something illegal. (And something I would consider ethically tricky to defend...and I say that as a 14 year old that could have found myself sexually active, had my parents not been so pro-active in finding a chastity belt of killer nuns.)

Cases like this are agnostic as to the gender of the participants. She's not a civil rights activist, she diddled a kid, the kid's parents overreacted, and she's now facing the draconian and absurd legislated puritanical punishments. In cases like this, I consider the consequences completely irrational, and the very idea that she'd need to be on a registered offender's list is obscene.

Emphasis mine, the problem is that this is incredibly subjective. I've known plenty of people who I wouldn't have considered emotionally an adult in college, much less in high school. I've also met some kids who have a better handle on how the world works and how to prepare themselves to live in that world than adults who are in their 40s.

Demosthenes wrote:

Emphasis mine, the problem is that this is incredibly subjective. I've known plenty of people who I wouldn't have considered emotionally an adult in college, much less in high school. I've also met some kids who have a better handle on how the world works and how to prepare themselves to live in that world than adults who are in their 40s. :(

While that may be true, laws have to hard lines drawn that apply to the masses, not individuals. Sure there may be immature 40 y/os (ask my wife) or mature 15 y/os, but those are probably rarer cases. Laws can't focus on the abilities of the outliers, they have to apply to everyone at the level of the lowest common denomitor. I can drive pretty damn well at 80-85 mph, but not everyone can so our speed limit is 65.

I'd love to be able to add something here, but it's all mostly been said already, by PhoenixRev in particular. I guess I will point out that the stories from both parents don't match up. Hunt's dad says neither Kaitlyn nor themselves were contacted by the younger girl's parents. The other girl's parents say they talked to everyone. I'm suspicious of both sides, frankly. The dad is an ex-cop, so he would know exactly how to set up his case for the court. The younger girl's parents seem particularly ruled by emotion, and I just don't trust anything they say.

They way this should have happened is that both sets of parents had a meeting where they talked this over, come to a conclusion and then explained to both girls why a sexual relationship was so problematic. If the relationship continued, it might be acceptable to issue some kind of legal ultimatum, although I still think that's a really stupid move. I can't imagine that the younger girl is coming through all this media attention without taking an emotional beating.

jdzappa wrote:

I'm guessing you're not a parent, because to me minimalizing something as risky as sex is the same as saying, "oh well, my kid binge drinks and tried meth last week, but I'm sure she'll grow out of it. It's part of growing up right?!?"

I dunno man. It kind of *is* part of growing up. Doing dumb sh*t (not limited to binge drinking and meth) and learning from it pretty much defines the entire span of my life from 16 thru about 24.

I have no idea how I'm going to handle it when it happens to me as a parent, but I certainly expect my kid to do dumb sh*t like that.

Nevin73 wrote:

While that may be true, laws have to hard lines drawn that apply to the masses, not individuals.

I completely disagree with this, but I'm not sure if I'm understanding you correctly. Are you saying that the law must be harsh as a deterrent, or that a law must be artificially black/white in order to simplify prosecution? I'm of the opinion that laws like that are unjust.

My examples come from drug laws, but all kinds of vice laws are subject to this same artificial simplification. Jimmy Carter famously said: "Penalties against drug use should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself." and think the same should apply here. The punishment for having consensual sex with a girl too young to officially consent should not be more damaging to the individual than the act itself.

Because we (American society) are fixated on solving the problem of the sexual exploitation of minors, we've gone overboard. The logic that says "harsh punishment is necessary to keep this from happening" is not backed up by data that shows that punishing relatively innocent acts like this one stop the horrific crimes we are worried about. Public urination, streaking or sex with a prostitute can force people to have to register as a sex offender for the rest of their lives.

I'm of the opinion that these hard lines do far more harm than good. New York's Rockefeller drug laws, mandatory minimum sentences, and broad definitions of "sexual offence" are not making us safer. They are, however, ruining the lives of people who fall afoul of them.

I really, really want to keep children safe from sexual crimes. I cannot see how it logically works that making Kaitlyn Hunt a felon will achieve that goal. I've never had sex with an under aged partner, but I have urinated in public and gone streaking many times as a stupid college kid. I'm grateful that when a Chicago cop (female) busted me and my friends pissing in a alley between our bar and campus she said: "You guys are f*cking pigs." and then went off to fight real crime, rather than putting us on a list for the rest of our lives. I don't think Kaitlyn is more of a felon than we are.

Nevin 73, is that DE for Delaware or Deutschland?

And, Oso, this is Florida.

http://www.theledger.com/article/201...

The states love making perfectly black/white laws to eliminate any discretion in local and county judges. Hell, Texas was fighting for its right to execute juveniles not so long ago.

I wonder what the taxpayer cost of those mandatory sentencing laws turn out to be? I imagine it can't be cheap.

OG_slinger wrote:

I wonder what the taxpayer cost of those mandatory sentencing laws turn out to be? I imagine it can't be cheap.

Oh it is ruinous, and gets better when we start looking into the tax money that goes into private and for profit prisons. It then spills out into the jails-run by the counties as well.

The sheriff's in Gennessee County (Flint Michigan) as well as the city of Flint are being eaten alive.

Sorry, I was referring things like age of consent laws and the age of adulthood.

Nevin73 wrote:

Sorry, I was referring things like age of consent laws and the age of adulthood.

Are you, or are you not a German? I want the truth!

Something to keep in mind, especially at the state and local level, laws are often arbitrary and whimsical-most often to satisfy the mob and not justice. The mob is why we have these draconian child sex laws, why dogs are confiscated and killed, why half-way houses were termed revolving door prisons.

KingGorilla wrote:
Nevin73 wrote:

Sorry, I was referring things like age of consent laws and the age of adulthood.

Are you, or are you not a German? I want the truth!

Yes

Nevin73 wrote:

Sorry, I was referring things like age of consent laws and the age of adulthood.

I can see why it would be convenient to make an arbitrary age official, but that doesn't mean that some 14 year olds are capable of consenting and others can't. We need laws, but good laws are impossible. It is a puzzle.

In the end, my personal values fall on the side that it is more important that the law not can not punish innocents than it is to ensure that the law does not allow the guilty to escape punishment. If there is a reasonable doubt, the perp has to walk. In Kaitlyn's case, there is reasonable doubt, but the law won't allow her to walk.

Jonman wrote:
jdzappa wrote:

I'm guessing you're not a parent, because to me minimalizing something as risky as sex is the same as saying, "oh well, my kid binge drinks and tried meth last week, but I'm sure she'll grow out of it. It's part of growing up right?!?"

I dunno man. It kind of *is* part of growing up. Doing dumb sh*t (not limited to binge drinking and meth) and learning from it pretty much defines the entire span of my life from 16 thru about 24.

I have no idea how I'm going to handle it when it happens to me as a parent, but I certainly expect my kid to do dumb sh*t like that.

To be fair, I was talking about the parent's reaction and how I totally support them being protective of their daughter. Teens are going to do stupid stuff, but that's why parents need to be firm and if necessary take really hard measures. But of course it's much easier to write them off as inbred bigots (not saying you are anyone here is doing that, but it is happening quite a bit in the general interwebz).

Nevin73 wrote:
Demosthenes wrote:

Emphasis mine, the problem is that this is incredibly subjective. I've known plenty of people who I wouldn't have considered emotionally an adult in college, much less in high school. I've also met some kids who have a better handle on how the world works and how to prepare themselves to live in that world than adults who are in their 40s. :(

While that may be true, laws have to hard lines drawn that apply to the masses, not individuals. Sure there may be immature 40 y/os (ask my wife) or mature 15 y/os, but those are probably rarer cases. Laws can't focus on the abilities of the outliers, they have to apply to everyone at the level of the lowest common denomitor. I can drive pretty damn well at 80-85 mph, but not everyone can so our speed limit is 65.

One thing to keep in mind, however, is that the laws are often crafted to allow for individual instances to be considered.

For instance, in Arizona the age of consent is 18, but it is perfectly legal for a 16- or 17-year-old to marry a 45-year-old if one parent consents. Additionally, a 12-year-old can legally marry a 60-year-old as long as one parent and a Superior Court judge consents.

And, by definition, the law would not consider either of those relationships to be the corruption of a minor or pedophilia or statutory rape.

jdzappa wrote:

To be fair, I was talking about the parent's reaction and how I totally support them being protective of their daughter. Teens are going to do stupid stuff, but that's why parents need to be firm and if necessary take really hard measures. But of course it's much easier to write them off as inbred bigots (not saying you are anyone here is doing that, but it is happening quite a bit in the general interwebz).

Mmm. Telling their daughter she can't see this girl is protective. If she doesn't listen, talking to the girl's parents and telling them you don't want them together is protective.

Waiting until there's an adult charge that can be made and then reporting the relationship to the police without talking to the girl's parents is [em]retributive[/em].

Telling their daughter she can't see this girl is heard by their daughter as see her as much as possible.

FTFY.

Yes. Hence the next step of "talk to the other kid's parents". And then, you know, if there's still a problem maybe you go to the law. Maybe you go to the parents and say "we want this to stop" and they say "we think it's fine", so you say "we'll go to the law" and they say "we'll talk to our kid". And then they talk to the kids and she's like "that's not fair, we think it's fine", and then the parents say "we/they'll go to the law", and the kids are angry, but do what they're told. Or if they don't, then the parents go to the law.

That's kind of the way things normally work. The law doesn't require it, but it's pretty normal to try to talk to somebody's parents before getting the cops involved.

Hypatian wrote:
jdzappa wrote:

To be fair, I was talking about the parent's reaction and how I totally support them being protective of their daughter. Teens are going to do stupid stuff, but that's why parents need to be firm and if necessary take really hard measures. But of course it's much easier to write them off as inbred bigots (not saying you are anyone here is doing that, but it is happening quite a bit in the general interwebz).

Mmm. Telling their daughter she can't see this girl is protective. If she doesn't listen, talking to the girl's parents and telling them you don't want them together is protective.

Waiting until there's an adult charge that can be made and then reporting the relationship to the police without talking to the girl's parents is [em]retributive[/em].

Let's not forget the bit about Kaitlyn urging the minor child to run away with her for a weekend. If that did indeed happen (lots of conflicting stories seem to be flying around) then I, as a parent, would definitely be retributive.

Nevin73 wrote:
Hypatian wrote:
jdzappa wrote:

To be fair, I was talking about the parent's reaction and how I totally support them being protective of their daughter. Teens are going to do stupid stuff, but that's why parents need to be firm and if necessary take really hard measures. But of course it's much easier to write them off as inbred bigots (not saying you are anyone here is doing that, but it is happening quite a bit in the general interwebz).

Mmm. Telling their daughter she can't see this girl is protective. If she doesn't listen, talking to the girl's parents and telling them you don't want them together is protective.

Waiting until there's an adult charge that can be made and then reporting the relationship to the police without talking to the girl's parents is [em]retributive[/em].

Let's not forget the bit about Kaitlyn urging the minor child to run away with her for a weekend. If that did indeed happen (lots of conflicting stories seem to be flying around) then I, as a parent, would definitely be retributive.

Because a teenager girl didn't listen to an authority figure (and one who was specifically denying her a relationship, which in my experience works soooooo well for both genders *rolls eyes*).

Nevin73 wrote:

Let's not forget the bit about Kaitlyn urging the minor child to run away with her for a weekend. If that did indeed happen (lots of conflicting stories seem to be flying around) then I, as a parent, would definitely be retributive.

If we're going off of rumors then the younger girl's parents are fair game because there's plenty of stories going around that they didn't approve of their daughter's sexual orientation and think that Hunt "made" their daughter gay.

And, seriously, how many times a year do you think teenagers "run away" for a day or so because they're fighting with their parents and end up with their current boyfriend/girlfriend especially when they're fighting with their parents over said significant other?

I'm not saying I agree with the parent's reasons if they brought charges solely because of the gay thing.

But when you look at everything else, I would have serious issues with the situation:
1. Kaitlyn is an 18 y/o adult. The younger girl is a 14 (or young 15) y/o minor.
2. Kaitlyn encouraged the girl to runaway for a tyrst weekend.
3. They had sex.

Those facts alone would have me thinking about pressing charges, regardless of sexual orientation of everyone involved. You need to remove the gender of Kaitlyn and the minor from the equation. It has no bearing on the case whatsoever. Kaitlyn broke the law. The parents of the minor have the right to press charges. The prosecutor has the duty to examine the evidence and pursue the case, if there is one.

Nevin73 wrote:

I'm not saying I agree with the parent's reasons if they brought charges solely because of the gay thing.

But when you look at everything else, I would have serious issues with the situation:
1. Kaitlyn is an 18 y/o adult. The younger girl is a 14 (or young 15) y/o minor.
2. Kaitlyn encouraged the girl to runaway for a tyrst weekend.
3. They had sex.

Those facts alone would have me thinking about pressing charges, regardless of sexual orientation of everyone involved. You need to remove the gender of Kaitlyn and the minor from the equation. It has no bearing on the case whatsoever. Kaitlyn broke the law. The parents of the minor have the right to press charges. The prosecutor has the duty to examine the evidence and pursue the case, if there is one.

The adult/minor routine isn't really working with me. By constantly repeating that Kaitlyn was an adult and the girl was a minor it still comes across as if Kaitlyn wasn't her schoolmate, but rather a 45-year-old neck beard who cruised the high school in his windowless Ford Econoline van who tried to lure the girl in with free candy.

No matter what Kaitlyn was legally classified as, she was still a high school senior dating a high school freshmen. They were both teenagers. Period. And if teenagers hooking up was illegal our jails would have been full long, long ago. As much as we might try, we can't legislate away biology.

Saying Kaitlyn encouraged the girl to runaway for a tryst weekend is, well, not exactly fact. Even in Kaitlyn's arrest affidavit there is no mention of her luring the girl away, yet alone doing it for sex. It simply mentions that the girl ran away from her parents and Kaitlyn picked her up. Which is about what I'd expect for star-crossed lovers.

Oh, look at that. This situation happens so frequently we actually have a phrase in the English language to describe it. And that phrase came from a 400+ year-old play about someone about as old as Kaitlyn (perhaps even older) wanting to be with their love, who was only 13, which was based on an even older Italian tale, which was based on Ovid's Metamorphoses, a Roman poem first published when Jesus, if he actually existed, would have been eight.

Nevin73 wrote:

Kaitlyn broke the law. The parents of the minor have the right to press charges. The prosecutor has the duty to examine the evidence and pursue the case, if there is one.

This appears to be true. I think this truth is problematic, because in Kaitlyn's case, a felony conviction and life registering as a sexual offender would be a clear and obvious miscarriage of justice. When the law is so far from justice, then good people everywhere have the responsibility to protest and seek for justice or special redress and to change the bad law to something more just.

According to the police report. The daughter had already run away, and Kaitlyn picked her up and took her back to Kaitlyn's house, where they had some sort sex (exactly what they did has been censored in the report). Both the girl and Kaitlyn say in their statements that they had sex during the runaway incident. Neither say that Kaitlyn encouraged her to run away though.

In the article linked in the OP the parents flat out deny that they went to the police because they think Kaitlyn made their daughter gay, and say that it's entirely because of their daughter's age.

OG, there are indeed many teenagers that have gotten into legal trouble for hooking up with a 14 year old. I do agree that jail time is the wrong approach, but I don't agree that it's a harmless case of teens being teens.

Stengah wrote:

I do agree that jail time is the wrong approach, but I don't agree that it's a harmless case of teens being teens.

What harm did the 14 year-old (now 15) suffer?

OG_slinger wrote:
Stengah wrote:

I do agree that jail time is the wrong approach, but I don't agree that it's a harmless case of teens being teens.

What harm did the 14 year-old (now 15) suffer?

Potentially a lot, if she wasn't emotionally old enough to handle sexual relations.

Oso wrote:
Nevin73 wrote:

Kaitlyn broke the law. The parents of the minor have the right to press charges. The prosecutor has the duty to examine the evidence and pursue the case, if there is one.

This appears to be true. I think this truth is problematic, because in Kaitlyn's case, a felony conviction and life registering as a sexual offender would be a clear and obvious miscarriage of justice. When the law is so far from justice, then good people everywhere have the responsibility to protest and seek for justice or special redress and to change the bad law to something more just.

I think the plea bargain they offered was pretty fair, except for the two counts of felony child abuse. I think they should be misdemeanors instead of felony charges, but otherwise it seems okay. I definitely don't think jail time or registering as a sex offender is appropriate.

Nevin73 wrote:
OG_slinger wrote:
Stengah wrote:

I do agree that jail time is the wrong approach, but I don't agree that it's a harmless case of teens being teens.

What harm did the 14 year-old (now 15) suffer?

Potentially a lot, if she wasn't emotionally old enough to handle sexual relations.

And how much emotional harm is she going to suffer because the person she was emotionally involved with was arrested and threatened with jail because of her parents?

It cuts both ways.

OG_slinger wrote:
Stengah wrote:

I do agree that jail time is the wrong approach, but I don't agree that it's a harmless case of teens being teens.

What harm did the 14 year-old (now 15) suffer?

The parents say she was acting out, and she did run away from home. According to the parents, this was before they knew she and Kaitlyn were in a relationship.