Kaitlyn Hunt Bond Revoked; New Felony Charge Filed in Sex Case

Accused sex offender Kaitlyn Hunt will remain jailed in Florida until she goes to trial after a judge declared the evidence “overwhelming” she had violated court orders not to have contact with the minor victim in her case.

Kaitlyn Hunt, 19, faces new charges in her underage sex case. (Image from WPTV-TV video)

Kaitlyn Hunt, 19, faces new charges in her underage sex case. (Image from WPTV-TV video)

Hunt was arrested in February on charges of having sex with a 14-year-old girl, a felony in Florida where the legal age of consent is 16, and had been ordered as a condition of her release on bond not to contact the younger girl.

An Indian River County Sheriff’s Office detective testified Tuesday that Hunt had repeatedly violated that order. And because the alleged violations included Hunt sending sexually explicit photos and videos to the victim, the 19-year-old former cheerleader has now been charged by prosecutors with another felony.

In a hearing that lasted about an hour, Detective Jeremy Shepherd testified that he had been contacted Aug. 6 by the father of the victim, who said his daughter had been provided with an iPod by Hunt. The device was placed in the younger girl’s locker on March 1 by Hunt, so that the victim — then a freshman at Sebastian River High School — could continue to communicate with Hunt, who was expelled from the school three months before the end of her senior year.

Detective Jeremy Shepherd testifies Tuesday in Vero Beach. (Image from WPTV-TV video)

Detective Jeremy Shepherd testifies Tuesday in Vero Beach. (Image from WPTV-TV video)

Detective Shepherd described the forensic examination of the iPod, which revealed that Hunt had sent the young girl, who turned 15 in April, more than 20,000 text messages. Hunt also sent nude photos of herself and a video that showed Hunt masturbating by rubbing her vagina. Although that video only showed Hunt from the waist down, Detective Shepherd said, he was able to identify the defendant by her pierced navel and her tattoos. The detective also described messages from Hunt and her mother, Kelley Hunt Smith, that told the victim to conceal the violations of the court order, as well as encouraging the girl to lie about the original charges in the case.

CLICK HERE TO READ PROSECUTOR’S DESCRIPTION OF EVIDENCE

Handcuffed and wearing leg shackles, Hunt wore an orange jail uniform during the hearing at the courthouse in Vero Beach. Her hair disheveled and her complexion blotchy, the teenage defendant cried during the hearing and repeatedly glanced back at her father, Steven R. Hunt Jr., who sat in the courtroom.

Judge Robert Pegg hears testimony during Tuesday's hearing. (Image from WPTV-TV video)

Judge Robert Pegg hears testimony during Tuesday’s hearing. (Image from WPTV-TV video)

“The evidence is overwhelming,” Circuit Court Judge Robert Pegg said at the end of the hearing, as he ordered Hunt’s bond revoked and set a Sept. 23 date for her arraignment on the third-degree felony charge of transmitting harmful materials to a minor. A date for Hunt’s trial on the original charges, two counts of lewd and lascivious battery on a child, has not yet been scheduled. She faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

Hunt’s case garnered national media attention in May, when the teenager refused a plea bargain offered by prosecutors. Hunt and her supporters have claimed she is the victim of anti-gay discrimination.

In July, prosecutors in state attorney Bruce Colton‘s office made a second and more lenient plea offer, which Hunt also rejected. That plea deal had still been on the table until Monday, when prosecutors withdrew the offer in light of Hunt’s violation of the no-contact order in the case. The 19-year-old defendant, who had been working as a waitress, turned herself in Monday night at the Indian River County Jail.

 

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3 Comments

  1. August 21, 2013  11:47 am by Renifer Reply

    If after being warned twice to stay away from the victim, being arrested, charged with two felonies, the threat of being a registered sex offender and two separate no-contact orders from two different judges is not enough deterrent for an adult to keep her fingers out of a 14 year old child, then that adult is not only a sex offender, she is a predator.

  2. August 21, 2013  5:14 pm by Katprint Reply

    You missed Kaitlyn Hunt's lawyer Julia Graves' outrageous statement after the hearing. http://m.veronews.com/news/indian_river_county/public_safety/kaitlyn-hunt-s-lawyer-releases-statement-after-hearing/article_9c8157bc-0a9d-11e3-af82-001a4bcf6878.html?mode=jqm

    I have some small sympathy for criminal defendants who "just don't get it" like OJ Simpson not understanding that it is still criminal robbery to take stuff from someone by force even if that stuff belongs to you. Similarly, many DUI defendants feel their prosecutions are unfair because they didn't hit any other cars or otherwise harm anyone. Kaitlyn Hunt had been getting TERRIBLE advice from her parents; none of them seem to understand that the strong desire of the underage girl to pursue a relationship with Kaitlyn is legally IRRELEVANT to the criminal case. Pretty much the same as an underage student having a crush on an adult teacher is legally irrelevant to sexual misconduct by the adult teacher. If their sexual contact had not been consensual, then that would have been charged as a Forcible Sex Offense (forcible rape, attempted rape, forcible sodomy, and forcible fondling) which are completely different crimes.

    What is even more weird, though, is that Kaitlyn Hunt's lawyer also does not seem to understand critically important legal issues and principles involved in the case. "My client wouldn't have been in violation of the law if the law were different" is never the best defense. Also she has obviously been having terrible client control problems, not just the misconduct by Kaitlyn but the disastrous decision by Kaitlyn's parents to take the case public, solicit money, etc. which guaranteed that it could not be quietly resolved due to the national media attention they sought so intensely.

  3. Pingback : There is a damned good reason we have age of consent laws | The Daley Gator

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