Saturday, August 24, 2013

FL - Should Teen Sex Be Criminal?

Teenage sex
Original Article


By Peter Schaller

TREASURE COAST - A local mother says she's been following Kate Hunt's underage sex case closely saying her son fought a similar battle against what she calls unfair laws targeting teens in love with other teens.

Lourdes Gonzales says if any family can relate to the battle Kate Hunt and her parents are fighting in Indian River County, it's hers. Kate is facing felony charges for the consensual sexual relationship she had with her then 14 year old girlfriend at Sebastian River High School. Kate was 18.

Last year Lourdes's son [name withheld] was 17 when he was arrested for the sexual relationship he had with his 13 year old girlfriend.

Lourdes said, "It's not right, either you're a child or a child molester you can't be both."

Now Lourdes is on a mission, demanding that state lawmakers modify laws that criminalize teenage romance.

She said, "From the bottom of my heart, not only for my son, not only for Kaitlyn, but for future [name withheld] and Kaitlyns, help me change the law."

[name withheld] faced felony charges even though Lourdes says his girlfriend and his girlfriend's family didn't want to pursue legal action. Lourdes says the prosecutors didn't care, and it dramatically changed [name withheld]'s future.

"He started college when he was 16, he's a smart kid, he's just a teenager who wants to have fun like all other teenagers," he said.

[name withheld] ended up with a plea deal. He doesn't get jail time or the official sex offender label if he follows curfews, follows probation orders, and attends meetings with sex offenders every week for 5 years.

She said, "These are 50 plus year old men having sex with 5 and 6 year old babies."

Lourdes says even with the plea deal, [name withheld]'s future is uncertain. Finding a job after the arrest and with a criminal record has been difficult.

She said, "I'm sure Kaitlyn Hunt didn't know, I'm sure my son didn't know."

Since the Kate Hunt case broke State Senator Thad Altman, who represents the Sebastian area, says he wants to propose adding age limits to Florida sex laws.

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