Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Monday, May 20, 2013
FAC Lake Monroe, FL
For Immediate Release
May 20, 2013
Contact: Gail Colletta
Should Kate be Labeled A Sex Offender?
Lake Monroe, FL— May 20, 2013.
High School Sweethearts. The phrase conjures images of endearing romance and innocence, not a predatory act. This week, however, news comes out of Sebastian, Florida, that an 18 year old high school senior is facing charges for having a consensual sexual relationship with a 15 year old high school sophomore. Included in the penalties the 18 year old will face, is being added to the sex offender registry. It is a punishment that will certainly impair her ability to attend college or lead any semblance of a normal life.
Too many cases over the past few years have brought to light stories of teens who are being branded with the “sex offender” label for having what are considered to be “Romeo and Juliet” relationships; consensual romances between two young individuals, where one is just over the age of consent. What has brought significant attention to this case specifically, is that it’s a case of “Juliet and Juliet”. The two parties in this relationship are both female high school students who began a relationship at the beginning of the school year.
So why should this case be distinguished from the thousands of cases just like it where the relationship is heterosexual? Is it because public perception of these types of cases has always been that the perpetrator is some high school football player taking advantage of a vulnerable girl and in this case the “jock” is a female cheerleader? Is it an issue of sexual preference? Is it because Kate doesn’t look like the monster most envision when they hear the word “sex offender”?
As things stand now, if she is convicted; Kate will appear on a public registry with the stigma of being a registered sex offender. The tens of thousands of supporters of the “Free Kate” Facebook page will have gone on with their lives. Few will remember the circumstances of her case. Years from now people will only see that she committed “sexual battery on a child” and her life will be forever ruined.
The case of Kaitlyn “Kate” Hunt presents another face of the registry. Kate’s sexuality should not be at issue here. What should be at issue is the seriously flawed system that paints consensual high school relationships with the same broad brush as child abductors. It’s time to take a look at the individual, the seriousness and circumstances of their offense and their likelihood to reoffend before applying a harsh one-size-fits-all punishment.
A petition was launched on change.org last week which has already collected over 50,000 signatures. We hope the attention brought to this case will shed additional light on the growing national problems with the sex offender registry.
Florida Action Committee (FAC), founded in 2006, is a state-wide consortium of concerned citizens and professionals whose purpose is to promote the prevention of sexual abuse while preserving the safety and dignity of all citizens through carefully structured laws targeting the truly violent, forced, and/or dangerous predatory acts of sex. FAC believes that many aspects of the current approach to sex offenders seriously undermine justice and actually increase the threat of sexual assault against others, particularly children. FAC opposes a publicized registry of sex offenders and seeks to bring an end to the humiliation of people who have already paid for their crimes. FAC asserts that only by supporting justice for all people—offenders and victims alike can a truly safe society be built and secured for all Americans.
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Saturday, April 6, 2013
On a Personal Note
Thanks for the opportunity to express my sentiments on the issue of citizens’ rights, particularly addressing certain sex offenders’ crimes that do not fit the outrageous and unjust punishment endlessly given.
I truly appreciate your open-mindedness when it comes to considering such a delicate debate, and for you to accept my concerns tells me what type of proud American you are, not just that you will are willing to hear me out but because you are now making our country stronger under the ‘Constitution of the United States’ as well as the future of our younger Americans.
As you know, many of our young men and women lives are being destroyed from the life-time registry and laws that do more harm than good. For them, there is no second chance.
Below is a personal letter to President Obama:
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“Dear President Obama,
I truly agree with your sentiments that individuals, such as ex-felons, should be able to receive a second chance at life. Since we all know that one can veer off that path of life and travel along rough, rocky terrain, sometimes running off and ending up in some ditch. We all have made our fill of mistakes and sometimes those held a costly consequence that changed life forever. So we lived through it, trying harder to make things right with family, friends and those around us, but what about those who aren’t able to make things right even if they tried…because they’re labeled as too dirty, a leper, a person who is rejected from society and home.
But what if they’re a seventeen year old and had sex with a fifteen year old, consensual at that? Or they’re a teen that had gotten so enraged after a breakup that he sent out naked pictures of his girlfriend on his cell phone or email? Or an individual urinates where someone just happens to see them?
All are wrong and a travesty but do they deserve the life of no second chance with a registry that ends all. They are labeled, no jobs, no where to live…they have been deemed a menace to society, a plague. These certain circumstances, and many other situations similar to these, I believe still deserve a second change.
Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
After my son’s early release and two years of prison, I thought I had handled that fact graciously knowing after serving his time he would be able to get that fresh start, that second chance. He was an exemplary inmate, GED, college courses and vocational classes. Little did I know that a second chance on the outside was the farthest from the truth? He now struggles and lives in a trailer park sharing a trailer with another and surrounded by others in the same rocking boat, one to float endlessly in shark infested waters. I see him little because of probation requirements (he couldn’t live with us because we were 800 feet near a school). My family is afraid of what would happen to them if he lived with them…vigilantism. My son has no other place to stay since others condemn him of his crime that is screamed from the highest rooftop. Sex offender, sex offender!
Not all sex offenders are pedophiles or predators but some are simply young kids that make one stupid and rash decision that eventually changes everything, and they have no idea what they’ve done until their life is never their own. Exactly, where is that second chance for those sex-offenders who are lumped together with pedophiles and predators? Now, it makes me sick to think of my son’s future and many like him that are on the registry and many with no second chance…ever. I am asking you as a mother and as another concerned citizen of the United States that these laws are looked at again and taken into serious consideration in what they are doing to the Constitution of the United States, not for sex offenders in general but the future rights of every citizen, before anymore are put into effect. They unjustly strip an offender of their rights and place them in a guillotine that can be easily set off by anyone and at anytime. Where is the second chance for ex-sex offenders in the present, pending and future laws?”
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But with this all, what truly saddens me is the weakness and deterioration of what this is doing to our great country. When from across Europe, others see the disregarded injustice of a democracy once so great it makes me wonder what have we really become….
We have become a hysterical society in which our latest witch hunt is a sex offender--no matter his/her crime.
This is a letter written from a foreign advocate in response to a father of a sex offender’s email:
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“The tragic story of your son's death is just so sad that it's difficult to explain how. It was very hard to read your letters. It seems almost unbelievable that this can take place in a democracy! From our point of view, there is no justice in this. Not in any way: not for you, your son, the former girl friend – or even the state.
It is an abusive legal system. It seems barbaric. And we are so very sorry that this takes place. That's why it's so important for us to try to neutralize the debate with this…, hopefully making some changes. ….. to show the every day life of the sex offenders, trying to show how they keep on being punished, even after served prison time…..But we will for sure tell the story of the injustice that your son has been exposed to.”
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I appreciate everyone's commitment that when the times comes with regard to civil rights, clearly noted in the Constitution of the United States that gives ALL men are “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness” that you will do the right thing!
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