Kaitlyn Hunt to Remain in Jail Until Trial, Judge Rules
In a Tuesday-afternoon hearing, Indian River County Judge Robert Pegg ruled that Kaitlyn Hunt is to remain in jail for violating her pretrial-release court order when she sent thousands of text messages, including naked photos, to the girl she's accused of having sexual relations with when the victim was 14 years old.
Hunt, 19, was booked into the Indian River County Jail Monday night, the same day prosecutors revoked a plea deal that would have reduced her charges to misdemeanors and would have also kept Hunt off the sex-offender registry.
It's possible that Kaitlyn's mother, Kelley Hunt Smith, might also face some jail time for staying in touch with the victim and telling her to delete the texts from Kaitlyn so her daughter wouldn't get in further trouble.
The judge had ordered Hunt to cut off all communication with the victim. But prosecutors were able to come up with enough evidence to prove she did no such thing.
Kaitlyn, the prosecution said, gave her girlfriend an iPod Touch to secretly stay in communication, communicate, and even to meet up for dates and sex over the past six months.
Charles Sullivan Jr., attorney for the victim, says that his client is in therapy and that she's "not doing well."
Prosecutors had said their plea deal was still on the table as early as Friday, with the violations looming, but revoked it on Monday.
Hunt was arrested back in February on "lewd and lascivious battery of a child 12 to 16 years old" charges because of her same-sex relationship with a fellow student, who was 14 at the time.
Kaitlyn has received an overwhelming amount of support online since her arrest, particularly from those who believe this is a gay rights issue.
Kaitlyn's mother had started a "Free Kate" Facebook page after she was arrested, and the family started an online "Stop the Hate" petition, which so far has more than 300,000 signatures.
The family says Kaitlyn's girlfriend's parents had pressed charges because they simply couldn't handle their daughter being in a same-sex relationship.
There was also a rally organized in Kate's honor in Riverview Park in Sebastian back in May. Supporters showed up with signs that read "Don't waste my tax $ on nonsense," while T-shirts that read "Stop the Hate, Free Kate" were sold.
According to CBS12.com, security was heightened for Tuesday's hearing at the courthouse.
Hunt's attorney had requested for Kaitlyn to be held under house arrest with no internet access.
No trial date has been set.
See also: Kaitlyn Hunt, Florida Teen, Arrested and Expelled From School For Gay Relationship Kaitlyn Hunt Has Plea Deal Taken From Her After She Allegedly Stays In Touch With Underage Victim Kaitlyn Hunt Placed Back in Jail, Will Face Judge Tuesday
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss New Times Broward-Palm Beach's biggest stories.