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.
Kaitlyn Hunt and her father, Steve.
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.