Documents: Kaitlyn Hunt ‘Has Some Issues … With Lying’

Florida sex offender Kaitlyn Hunt, jailed for having sex with a 14-year-old girl, would not let the younger girl break up with her and threatened to expose the high school freshman’s lesbian activity, according to documents obtained from the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office. In a January text-message conversation with Hunt’s mother, the younger girl said: “I don’t wanna just say leave me alone Kaitlyn because last time that didn’t end well for me. … I had to beg myself outta that situation. … She just threatened to put all the stuff we had out.”

That was confirmed by a Sheriff’s Office detective’s interview with one of the girl’s basketball teammates. Kiandrea Pound, who was captain of the Sebastian River High School basketball team, said the younger girl “told her she attempted at one point to break it off with Kaitlyn,” Detective Jeremy Shepherd wrote. “However, Kaitlyn would not let her. Kaitlyn threatened to tell people about her sexual orientation.”

Teenage lesbian Kaitlyn Hunt was a popular cheerleader in Florida.

Teenage lesbian Kaitlyn Hunt was a popular cheerleader in Florida.

The underage sex case against Hunt made national headlines in May, when her supporters created an online campaign with the slogan “Stop the Hate, Free Kate,” claiming the former cheerleader was a victim of homophobic bigotry. Hunt was an 18-year-old high school senior when she was arrested in February for her sexual involvement with the 14-year-old freshman. The legal age of consent in Florida is 16.

In October, Hunt was sentenced to jail after pleading no contest to multiple charges in the case. New revelations about the Hunt case come from documents obtained by Jeannette Runyon through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Sheriff’s Office. The documents were first published at Matt Ross‘s Conservative Hideout blog.

Hunt’s Mother: ‘She Wasn’t Honest With Me About It’
A series of text messages sent between the 14-year-old and Hunt’s mother in January show that there was confusion about the sexual orientation of both girls, and that Hunt’s mother was aware that the younger girl’s parents objected to the lesbian relationship. The messages were sent more than a month before Hunt was arrested Feb. 15, and contradict claims made by Hunt and her “Free Kate” supporters.

“Sweetie I hate to tell u this but Kate has some issues, especially with lying,” Hunt’s mother, Kelley Hunt Smith, wrote in a Jan. 9 text message to the 14-year-old. “She never even told me about u, [her younger sister] Emily did. Kate has always dated boys. I knew she’s always been open to being bi, but she wasn’t honest with me about it until I confronted her. She told me she broke up with you awhile ago … You are very young. I didn’t know if your parents … knew about this or approved, which obviously they don’t.”

Hunt’s mother told the 14-year-old that both she and Kaitlyn were “both very young to label yourselves sexually,” that they “may grow up and date guys, get married and have children,” and said Kaitlyn “has a hard time being honest.” The younger girl replied: “I’m so sorry. I don’t like girls. I guess I just got wrapped up in Kate & what she would say.”

Documents published earlier this week show Hunt knew that sex with the 14-year-old was illegal and continued communicating with her even after being warned by the younger girl’s cousin more than a month before her arrest. Palm Beach CBS affiliate WPEC-TV this week interviewed the younger girl’s parents, Jim and Laurie Smith, about the newly released information. “I feel good knowing that they know I didn’t lie,” the girl’s mother told reporter Jana Eschbach. Laurie Smith said in the interview that her daughter, now 15, doesn’t understand the pressures her family faced and probably won’t “until she becomes a mother.”

Jim and Laurie Smith talk about Kaitlyn Hunt's sex crimes against their underage daughter. (WPEC-TV)

Jim and Laurie Smith talk about Kaitlyn Hunt’s sex crimes against their underage daughter. (WPEC-TV)

The younger girl’s parents say they were wrongly demonized by Hunt’s family and supporters in the “Free Kate” campaign. In a Facebook post May 17, Hunt’s mother named Jim and Laurie Smith nine times, denouncing them as “bigoted, religious [zealots] … full of hate and bigotry” for opposing their daughter’s involvement with Kaitlyn. In that 1,500-word post, Kelley Hunt Smith defended her daughter’s lesbian sex with the 14-year-old as “a mutual consenting relationship” that was “healthy and normal.” Hunt’s mother accused the younger girl’s family of “trying to ruin” her daughter’s life. Describing the prosecution as “totally ridiculous and wrong,” Kelly Hunt Smith said her daughter was only charged with a crime “because she had a mutual consenting relationship with someone who has bigoted parents.”

Plea Bargain Offer Was Rejected by Hunt
Florida prosecutors had offered Kaitlyn Hunt a plea bargain in May that would have allowed the teenager to avoid prison in return for pleading guilty to a felony charge, and would have left it up to the sentencing judge whether to require Hunt to be registered as a sex offender. Hunt rejected that offer, and her supporters launched an online campaign demanding “that all charges against Kaitlyn Hunt be dropped immediately.”

Online petition at depicted Kaitlyn Hunt as a victim of 'anti-LGBT bias.'

Online petition at depicted Kaitlyn Hunt as a victim of ‘anti-LGBT bias.’

Hunt’s parents and supporters portrayed her as a victim of homophobia, saying the younger girl’s parents “conspired with police to entrap Kaitlyn and press charges” for what they described as an innocent relationship. “[L]eading gay rights advocates … say the teen is being unfairly targeted for a common high school romance because she’s gay,” Kelli Kennedy of the Associated Press reported on May 21. “[A]dvocates say older high schoolers dating their younger counterparts is an innocuous, everyday occurrence.”

Responding to accusations of bias, the Sheriff’s Office released an arrest affidavit in the case, based on Detective Shepherd’s investigation that found Hunt began having sex with the victim in December 2012: “The first time occurred in the bathroom of the W wing at Sebastian High School. [The 14-year-old] stated that they sent text messages to each other to meet in the bathroom. [The 14-year-old] and Kaitlyn went into a bathroom stall and started kissing. Kaitlyn then took [the 14-year-old’s] pants off and put her finger inside of [the 14-year-old’s] vagina.” The affidavit also described a Jan. 4 incident in which the 14-year-old ran away from home and spent the night at Hunt’s house, where the two teens “put their fingers inside of each other’s vaginas, put their mouths on each other’s vaginas, and both of them used a vibrator on each other to insert it in each other’s vaginas.”

“Free Kate” supporters initially claimed that the younger girl was 15, that Hunt had been only 17 when the illegal affair began, and that the younger girl’s parents waited until Kaitlyn turned 18 to press charges. After the affidavit in the case was released by the Sheriff’s Office, however, it was clear that Hunt (born in August 1994) turned 18 before she began her senior year of high school and that the freshman girl, born in April 1998, did not turn 15 until two months after Hunt was arrested. The truth about the 44-month age difference between the girls was enough to undermine support for Hunt among some who had at first embraced the “Free Kate” cause believing their ages were barely two years apart. Daily Kos journalist Joan McCarter, who had created a petition at the popular progressive site saying Florida was “prosecuting an 18-year-old for being in love,” repudiated the effort after facts of the case were made public. “Previously, Hunt’s parents said that the younger girl was 15, and Hunt 17 when the relationship began,” McCarter wrote in a May 21 update to her article. “The release of the arrest warrant made clear, as subsequent news stories report, that the younger girl was 14 and Hunt was indeed 18 when the relationship began. These corrections, and the initial dishonesty of Hunt’s parents, make this story much more problematic, and our original petition moot.”

Gay Rights as ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ Card?
Officials in Florida denied that the prosecution was motivated by anti-gay bias. “If this was an 18-year-old male and that was a 14-year-old girl, it would have been prosecuted the same way,” Indian River County Sheriff Deryl Loar told reporters at a press conference. three days after Hunt’s supporters launched their “Free Kate” petition drive. State’s Attorney Bruce Colton said: “The statute specifically says that consent is not a defense. … 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.”

MSNBC host Chris Hayes featured the "Free Kate" story on May 22.

MSNBC host Chris Hayes featured the “Free Kate” story on May 22.

Opponents of the “Free Kate” campaign said her supporters were exploiting sympathy for gay rights to undermine age-of-consent laws. “If you can play the gay card, you immediately trigger knee-jerk support from the liberal media and homosexual activists anxious to topple any and all rules regarding sex,”  Matthew Philbin wrote at the conservative Newsbuster site in May, accusing Hunt’s supporters of trying to make her lesbianism a “Get Out of Jail Free” card for sex with minors. A web site devoted to debunking the media myths of the case,, was created in June by critics of the “Free Kate” crusade.

Meanwhile, however, many organizations had committed themselves to stopping the sex-crime prosecution against Hunt. Her supporters including the Florida chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union,  the gay-rights group Equality Florida, and the 501(c)3 non-profit Purpose Foundation, as well as Women Organized to Resist and Defend (WORD), a radical feminist group allied with the Marxist coalition Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER). Hunt’s story was reported sympathetically by major national news organizations, and she was interviewed on NBC’s Today show and by Chris Hayes on the MSNBC cable network. In June, Hunt and her supporters traveled to New York to march in that city’s annual Gay Pride Parade.

In June, Kaitlyn Hunt and her supporters marched in the New York City Gay Pride parade.

In June, Kaitlyn Hunt and her supporters marched in the New York City Gay Pride parade.

Hunt and her attorney said they were willing to go to trial to fight the charges against her, but in August the case took an unexpected turn when prosecutors discovered that Hunt — who had been out on bond since her February arrest — had violated terms of her pre-trial release by continuing to have contact with her underage victim. Prosecutors had made a second plea-bargain offer, but that was withdrawn after they discovered that Hunt sent more than 20,000 text messages to the younger girl after the no-contact order was issued, and also sent the victim “lewd” photos and an explicit video of herself  “masturbating by rubbing her vagina with her fingers while moaning.”

Prosecutors filed a petition asking Judge Robert Pegg to revoke her bond, saying that Hunt also arranged secret meetings for “intimate contact” with the younger girl, meetings that continued into July. In addition, the prosecution petition quoted messages from both Hunt and her mother urging the victim to conceal their ongoing communication.

Kaitlyn Hunt, 19, at an August court hearing in Vero Beach. (Image from WPTV-TV video)

Kaitlyn Hunt, 19, at an August court hearing in Vero Beach. (Image from WPTV-TV video)

At an Aug. 20 hearing at the county courthouse in Vero Beach, Judge Pegg declared that the evidence was “overwhelming” and revoked Hunt’s bond, returning her to the Indian River County Jail to await trial. Hunt was also charged with transmitting materials harmful to minors, a felony under Florida law.

Six weeks later, it was announced that Hunt had agreed to accept a new plea bargain, harsher than either of the two deals she had previously rejected. At an Oct. 3, hearing, Hunt pleaded no contest to six charges as part of the agreement that will keep her in jail until Dec. 20, and then release her under strict terms of “community control.” The sentence is part of a total three years of felony supervision. In addition to having no contact with the victim in the case, Hunt will be required to wear a GPS tracking device, will have to undergo “psychological evaluation” and will have to make her phone and Internet communications available to probation officials and law enforcement at their request.

Hunt’s supporters continued to claim she was wrongly prosecuted.  “It’s not right, it’s not fair and it’s not just,” Hunt’s mother said after the plea deal was reached, while Hunt’s father, Steven R. Hunt Jr., criticized the state of Florida “because it perpetuates laws that criminalize adolescent behavior.” Hunt’s attorney Julia Graves promised a campaign to legalize sex with 14-year-olds, saying that Hunt plans after her release from jail “to work with supporters and lawmakers toward a change in the law for teenagers attending the same school, no matter what their sexual orientation is.” Critics of the “Free Kate” campaign say they have been harassed by Hunt’s supporters. “For now, this is the last post regarding the information obtained in the FOIA request filed by Jeanette Runyon,” Matt Ross wrote after publishing the third in a series of posts based on those documents. Ross thanked Runyon, who he said “has born the brunt of much abuse” from Hunt’s supporters, and said that he “will revisit the case” if further harassment occurs: “In other words, this story is alive as the Hunts and their supporters make it.”





  1. November 28, 2013  4:44 pm by Jeanette Victoria Reply

    The cyber harassment is still on going no surprise the #FreeKaters really hate the truth my personal Facebook account is suspended but my fan page is still up. Unfortunately Twitter says that is "Unsafe"!

  2. November 30, 2013  5:05 am by Shirley Reply

    I have always despised writing that can't be fair to everyone, regardless of political ideology. This is no exception. I think that many that were against conviction were looking at different things than one might think. For one, the state of Florida allegedly has a law that allows substantially older people (male presumably) to consent to sex with 16 year old. I believe that age is 23. It seems twisted, because it is. I am a mom myself, and I don't even like "dating" between kids, regardless of sexual orientation. Typically, I don't think jail or prison will help someone like this older child. It won't help most really. People like a system of revenge, which by the way if you are Christian, isn't okay. I don't remember Christ stressing torture for sinners. Love appeared to be the theme. If a kids like this gets assaulted in prison, do you think they come out better or worse? If she is ill, she needs treatment for a long period of time. Prison would only serve to make her worse, if you are correct about her as a person. But who cares about prisoners or logic right? I mean they deserve what they have coming. So ridiculous.

    Anyway, I (likely a terrible liberal to you) was disappointed to see the text messages that amounted to thousands, and I couldn't help but think that all parties were responsible for this issue. Who are these people? Doesn't anyone know what their kids are doing? Gosh, take the dang phones away. I absolutely would stop my child from dating or whatever you wish to call it at 14. No way they'd do it. I have two 13-year-olds. They will not be engaging with those their own age or older in this way, and I don't care if they are straight or not. They know this, and they agree with me. I spend time with my kids. Maybe it is the lack of money in our house that has facilitated that. I wasn't there with these two people, so I can't say if it was consensual on some level. Kids say funny things after they engage in behaviors outside of the norm. The younger girl might be doing this to avoid embarrassment. I will not support threats against a child though, even if it is coming from an older child. That is what Kate is and. I have a few questions. Why wouldn't the court forbid Kate to go to graduation. That wasn't necessary. And, couldn't the parents make sure Kate was escorted. That should have been court order, but I wouldn't have allowed that as a parent or judge. If I had no choice, there would be a short leash on both kids, because kids lie. Bottom line: I do feel Kate shouldn't have dated Kate, especially if she started at age 18. I thought she was 17 at the beginning. Bad reporting? Who knows? As a victim of assault, I will tell you that it is hard to say what happened. And my perpetrator was a man (I am a woman). He was 15 years older. I have moved past it, and I wouldn't want him convicted. He likely wouldn't have been though. They usually crucify the victim. I had no prior boyfriends, and he was barely deserved of that title. I knew prison wouldn't help. Mental help maybe, but not prison. It is too private to explain my reasons, which most couldn't comprehend anyway, about why I wouldn't want him convicted.

    For these kids, I hope the best. I hope a sense of peace comes to them. Hard to be hurt, and if nothing else, the post-arrest behavior looked inappropriate at best. I'd been a little careful about excess judgement though, but I doubt that will happen with you. Just thought you should know, some of us (the evil ones) were on the fence on this one. And we did see an issue. I'm not saying it is right, but many have walked in supposed consensual heterosexual relationships. I can cite cases to you. I wish this were better written but oh well, it gets some points across.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.