^
Keep New Times Free
4

Kaitlyn Hunt's Attorney Asks Judge to Step Down From Case

Kaitlyn Hunt's attorney has asked the judge presiding over the case to remove himself. Turns out, Circuit Judge Robert Pegg set a trial date for Hunt for September.

See also: -Kaitlyn Hunt, Florida Teen, Arrested and Expelled From School For Gay Relationship -Kaitlyn Hunt's Attorney Asking Judge to Limit Her Court Appearances

But Hunt's attorney, Julia Graves, filed a motion saying that her client's case is being singled out because the trial was set before more than 200 other criminal cases.

Graves calls the set date unfair and premature.

Earlier this month, Hunt was arrested on charges of "lewd and lascivious battery of a child 12 to 16 years old." The student she had a relationship with is 15.

Hunt has received an overwhelming amount of support online, particularly from those who believe this is a gay rights issue. Hunt and her supporters say the relationship was consensual.

The Hunt family says Hunt's girlfriend's parents are pressing charges because they simply can't handle their daughter being in a same-sex relationship.

Florida law stipulates that anyone younger than 16 cannot legally consent to sexual activity.

Graves claims that she was never consulted over Judge Pegg's trial date decision, claiming the judge is "biased against the defendant and has departed from his role as a neutral," according to a motion written by the attorney.

Furthermore, the motion claims that Pegg is merely following the lead of the prosecution "due to the fact that the relationship involved was between two girls attending high school together."

Prosecutors had offered Hunt a plea deal of two years' house arrest and one year of probation. Had Hunt taken the deal, she would have been labeled a "sexual offender." She and her attorney refused the deal.

The prosecution contends that the case is about the law and not the girls' sexual orientation.

"The idea is to protect people in that vulnerable group from people who are older, 18 and above," Florida state attorney Bruce Colton said. "The statute specifically says that consent is not a defense.

"There's a big maturity difference between them," Colton added. "You're talking the difference between a senior in high school and a freshman in high school. That's what the law is designed to protect."

Graves insists that there's a prejudice against her client, sighting several cases of people awaiting trail while in jail that are yet to be worked on by assistant state attorney Brian Workman.

Workman is assigned to Hunt's case.

"Pushing this particular case confirms the prejudice with which this case is being pursued by the state," Graves said.

Graves attached a list to her motion of 288 separate felony cases ranging from burglary to first-degree murder that have yet to be heard.

Follow Chris Joseph on Twitter



I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of South Florida and help keep the future of New Times free.

Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.