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Florida teenager Kaitlyn Hunt faces criminal charges stemming from a romantic relationship with another young female student, according to reports.

Hunt, 18, faces two felony counts of “lewd and lascivious battery on a child 12 to 16” after the parents of her 15-year-old girlfriend pressed charges.

The case has sparked national attention and a Free Kate campaign.

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Kaitlyn Hunt’s mother, Kelley Hunt-Smith, posted on Facebook:

“These people never came to us as parents, never tried to speak to us… and tell us they had a problem with the girls dating. They were out to destroy my daughter.”

“[They] feel like my daughter ‘made’ their daughter gay.”

 

According to Hunt-Smith, police arrived at the family’s home February 16 and put her daughter in handcuffs, took her to the station and booked her.

Local news reports say Kaitlyn Hunt’s arrest for “lewd and lascivious battery” took place February 18, and her mug shot is easily found on the Internet.

But the trouble didn’t stop there. The other girl’s parents repeatedly tried to have Kaitlyn Hunt, a senior, expelled from Sebastian River High School.

When the administration and a judge denied that, the 15-year-old’s parents successfully petitioned the school board to have Hunt removed from school.

According to Hunt-Smith’s statement, Kaitlyn attended an “alternative school” for the remainder of her senior year, but will be allowed to graduate.

Hunt-Smith wrote that the girls had started dating last fall, and that a “mutual consenting relationship” had been known to both parents for months.

The state offered Kaitlyn Hunt a plea deal which includes two years’ house arrest and a year of probation, which would stay on her adult record.

So far, she has not accepted it. Meanwhile, public outcry over the charges against Kaitlyn Hunt has erupted in an outpouring of support online.

A Change (dot) org petition urging the Indian River County State Attorney’s Office to stop prosecution of Kaitlyn has more than 30,000 signatures.

“Free Kate,” a Facebook group, has more than 10,000 followers.

Internet activist group Anonymous launched #OpJustice4Kaitlyn, releasing a statement addressed to the Indian River County State Attorney’s Office:

“Kaitlyn Hunt is a bright young girl who was involved in a consensual, same-sex relationship while both she and her partner were minors.”

“She has a big future ahead of her and there are people, thousands in fact, that have no intention of allowing you to ruin it with your rotten selective enforcement.”

Note to officials: Drop the charges. Not only do they seem a little extreme given the circumstances … but you really don’t want to mess with Anonymous.