The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

The #FreeKate Case Is Typical

Posted on | July 6, 2013 | 57 Comments

There has been further Facebook ranting by Kaitlyn Hunt’s mother Kelley Hunt Smith this past week that I haven’t had the stomach to transcribe, but part of which involves her reiteration of some of her favorite themes: She feels her daughter is being “singled out” for prosecution; this prosecution is wrong because it is a consenting “relationship,” because the girls are relatively close in age, and because the girls went to school together. At one point in her long rant, KHS wrote:

“I will continue to fight for Kate, and to change the laws to actually protect teenagers from being prosecuted as felons for doing what 99.9% of teenagers are doing all over the world.”

Uh … “99.9% percent”? Are 99.9% of teenagers having sex?

No, actually not. According to one national study, “27% of youth ages 14-17 were sexually active during the survey year.” And that data was cited in a 2005 U.S. Department of Justice study about reported cases of statutory rape, which K.J. Copp called to my attention.

The study is quite relevant because it demonstrates that Kaitlyn Hunt (the 18-year-old Florida girl charged with two felony counts for having sex with a 14-year-old) is not being “singled out.” In fact, laying aside the same-sex nature of her case, it’s actually typical.

Seventy-six percent (76%) of female victims of statutory rape are ages 13-15, with 14 being the most common victim age (31%) in the cases studied by the Justice Department. And for 14-year-old victims, offenders were most commonly (43%) ages 18-20. In reported cases of statutory rape with a female victim age 14, only 20% of offenders were 25 or older. The age difference between Kaitlyn Hunt and her victim (44 months) was typical: 50% of statutory rape cases with 14-year-old victims involved a perpetrator no more than 5 years older.

Was Kaitlyn Hunt’s “relationship” with the 14-year-old “singled out”? Was this case unusual because it involved two high school students? No, not at all: Twenty-nine percent (29%) of the statutory rape cases studied by the Justice Department classified the relationship between offender and victim as “boyfriend or girlfriend” and another 62 percent were classified as “acquaintances.” Of cases involving 14-year-old victims, as we have seen, 43% of offenders were ages 18-20 and another 16% were 17 or younger; ergo, many of the offenders were also high school-age teenagers. It is estimated that more than 15,000 statutory rape cases are reported to U.S. law enforcement agencies annually, so the prosecution of Kaitlyn Hunt isn’t really unusual in any way.

Florida law doesn’t call the crime of which Kaitlyn Hunt is accused “statutory rape,” however. Instead, it’s “lewd and lascivious battery on a child,” but this is only a difference in legal nomenclature.

What is unusual about the Kaitlyn Hunt case is that her parents made such a big deal out of it, and managed to bamboozle more than 300,000 people into signing a petition that dishonestly portrayed Kaitlyn Hunt as a heroic martyr for gay rights, which she isn’t.

Kelley Hunt Smith says she wants “to change the laws to actually protect teenagers from being prosecuted as felons” for doing what her daughter did to a 14-year-old girl. However, isn’t it possible that one reason teenage sex is less common than she imagines — 27% rather than “99.9%” — is because age-of-consent laws make it a crime to have sex with younger teens?

And while 15,000 statutory rape prosecutions annually is a statistic indicating that such cases aren’t exactly rare, more cases would probably be prosecuted if not for the fact that most of the time, all the parent of a minor has to do is say, “Leave my daughter alone, you creep,” and that is enough to end the relationship.

Because it turns out there’s a reason they call it “jailbait,” after all.



57 Responses to “The #FreeKate Case Is Typical”

  1. Good Stuff
    July 7th, 2013 @ 10:04 pm

    Does gender matter when it comes to sexual consent?

    A teen is jailed and registered as a sex offender for having sex with a female peer while “pretending” to be a boy

  2. RickCanton
    July 8th, 2013 @ 12:51 pm

    RT @lilmommyE: Actual facts?! What a concept in the #freekate case! Thanks @rsmccain

  3. RhymesWithRight
    July 8th, 2013 @ 12:54 pm

    RT @lilmommyE: Actual facts?! What a concept in the #freekate case! Thanks @rsmccain

  4. Adventures! In! Spamland! | The Camp Of The Saints
    July 9th, 2013 @ 9:05 pm

    […] reading the spam messages we get before I send them into the black hole of the Trash Bin [aka: Kelley Hunt Smith's Who-Who].  Most are just the same old, same old.  But, occasionally, one proves to be somewhat […]

  5. Jerry Beckett
    July 10th, 2013 @ 4:33 pm

    99.9% of teenagers worldwide are finger-banging someone 3 1/2 years younger in a school toilet stall?

    News to me.

  6. Nichole
    July 12th, 2013 @ 11:13 pm

    I don’t know if you have been watching but the facebook group has lost almost 4000 followers in the last 2 weeks or so, it seems like people are waking up, either that or they are banning people en masse over there.

  7. FMJRA 2.0: Low Sun : The Other McCain
    July 14th, 2013 @ 7:03 am

    […] The #FreeKate Case Is Typical […]