ABC 22 News Team
- Alexandra Lewis
- Amber Watson
- Christian Hauser
- Elyse Coulter
- Hilary Zalla
- Kelly May
- Kristine Frazao
- Natasha Williams
- Nicole Grigg
- Rhonda Moore
- Ann Reynolds
18-Year-Old Student Faces Charges After Relationship With 16-Year-Old Classmate
SEBASTIAN, Fla. (WPTV) -- Kelley Hunt Smith said it's been a nightmare since her daughter, 18-year-old Kaitlyn Hunt, was arrested on a charge of "lewd and lascivious battery of a child 12 to 16 years old."
"She's scared to death, she can't sleep," said Smith, from her and Kaitlyn's home on Sunday night.
Smith said Kaitlyn became friends with an under-aged female student at Sebastian River High School at the beginning of the school year.
"They began a dating relationship," Smith recalled. "Never in my mind did I consider what that meant."
Kaitlyn, a former cheerleader and basketball player, was expelled from school after the arrest. Smith hopes what she calls the "overwhelming" online support could somehow help get Kaitlyn's charge dropped.
Their family's "Free Kate" Facebook page has more than 14,000 members, and their change.org petition has more than 40,000 signatures.
"I just put our story out there on Friday," said Smith. "I wanted people to know what was going on. Within 30 minutes, I had so many outpouring support. On Saturday evening, we crashed the change.org website. The president of change.org contacted us personally."
"She is the sweetest girl," Smith continued. "I wondered if I was crazy, if it was only because I'm a mom. But I wondered if anyone else thought, like me, that this was wrong and unjust. Apparently, they do."
The family also created an online account to assist with their $50,000 legal fees, according to Smith.
Smith spent all Sunday morning passing out 1,000 "STOP THE HATE, SAVE KATE" green bracelets. She is hoping the attention could help to avoid a trial.
"It's not something I want for my daughter, and it's not something I want for the other girl," said Smith.
Smith said the relationship was consensual. She questions why the parents of Kaitlyn's girlfriend chose to press charges.
"You get with me, and say, hey, as a mom, this is going on and I don't like this, let's talk about this," said Smith. "I would have sat down with her, I would have sat down with our children, and I would have nipped it in the bud, and I would have respected her."
The state attorney's office has offered Kaitlyn a plea deal, which would include two years of house arrest.
Smith says Kaitlyn doesn't deserves the penalty if they don't accept, and they lose her case. She denies her daughter's actions were criminal.
"She would have a lifetime sexual offender on her record," said Smith. "She would not be able to ... we think we all know what that means. It's a death sentence for her, her life would be over at 18."
"Kaitlyn would not hurt a fly," said Smith. "She didn't know what she was doing was quote, unquote wrong or illegal. There was no intent to hurt anybody or commit a crime. I know that's not an excuse for the letter of the law, but it's reality."
Miami Valley Crime StoppersIf you have information about a crime that has occurred, call Miami Valley Crime Stoppers at 937-222-7867 (STOP) 800-637-5735, 24 hours a day. Callers can remain anonymous.
Know Your CandidatesLearn about the candidates running for office near you!
Border CrisisGet the latest developments on the border control issue!
Chefs CornerWe often invite local chefs into our studio kitchen to demonstrate their cooking techniques and recipes. Watch those video segments on this page.
Pay It ForwardRiver Valley Credit Union, FOX45, and ABC22 recognize the good deeds of people and organizations who make the Miami Valley a better place.
Health Care ReformThe Supreme Court ruling to uphold the Affordable Care Act sparked a new battle. Check here daily for the latest developments, locally and across the country.
Secrets Of A ThiefWe expose the "Secrets Of A Thief". Sponsored by Shiver Security.
Cool SchoolsOur children are the way of the future and it all starts with our schools. Join us as our Hilary Zalla goes inside schools around the Miami Valley to find out what cool things students and teachers are ...
Town HallJoin in as our expert panel discusses jobs in Ohio
No Text ZoneTexting While Driving Kills Thousands of People Each Year. Many More are Seriously Injured. You Can Help Make Our Roads a NO TEXT ZONE.
Washington TimesPolitics, Breaking News, US and World News.
On Time TrafficGet the latest traffic information and updates here!
School ClosingsGet the list of all closings and delays for schools and businesses within the area, and sign up for text alerts!
Save Local TVFind out how you can save local TV right here!
Raw NewsWatch raw, unedited and uncensored news stories right here!
Pump PatrolFind the lowest gas prices, check out local and national price trends, report low prices and get fuel saving tips!
Political PulseArmstrong Williams is a pugnacious, provocative and principled voice for conservatives and Christian values in America's public debates.
News LinksThese links were chosen by the newsroom for their newsworthy content. These sites enhance the news stories that aired on the newscast on the dates cited.
Menard's Around the HouseMenards Around the House how-to videos give you tips for those much needed home improvements!
On the MoveGet the latest news and more on your mobile phone!
Good MorningIt's Fun, it's fresh, the way mornings should be!
Top StoriesGet up to the minute information from across Ohio in our Top Stories section!
Your Voice. Your Future.As the country faces challenges from federal budget issues to jobs and national debt, your voice is critical to the future.
Waste WatchHow are your tax dollars being spent? Waste Watch tracks whether local, state and federal governments or any groups are using your money wisely...or wasting it.
US consumer sentiment index reaches 7-year high
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. consumers expect better economic growth and rising incomes in the coming months, pushing a measure of confidence to a seven-year high in October.
WEST PALM BEACH, FL -- (Marketwired) -- 03/21/14 --
Companies that pride themselves on being eco-friendly may have conflicted
ideas between marketing with ad specialties and maintaining their green
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- It's expected to be one of the top movies of the year.
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) -- Michael Vick?
IN THE NEWS: APPLE'S CEO COMES OUT AS GAY
NEW YORK (AP) -- Apple's Tim Cook says it wasn't an easy choice to come out as gay.
Tonight on ABC 22
6:30 pm ..... ABC World News
7:00 pm ..... Family Feud
7:30 pm ..... Family Feud
8:00 pm ..... Last Man Standing
8:30 pm ..... Cristela
9:00 pm ..... Shark Tank
10:00 pm ... 20/20
11:00 pm ... ABC 22 News at Eleven
11:15 pm ... Football Friday
11:30 pm ... Jimmy Kimmel Live
12:30 am ... Nightline