Fla. Teen Jailed for Same-Sex Relationship With Underage Girlfriend Ready to ‘Move On’

PHOTO: Kaitlyn Hunt wants to move forward after her high school relationship with an underage girl landed her in jail.
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A Florida teen's sexual relationship with her underage high school girlfriend made national headlines and culminated with her serving time behind bars.

"Now I just want to put it all behind me," Kaitlyn Hunt said exclusively to ABC News' Matt Gutman after her release from jail. "I want to stay out of trouble. I want to do the right thing, and then get it over with, so I can move on with my life."

The 19-year-old was released this past December shortly before Christmas from Indian River County Jail, in Vero Beach, Fla., where she had been locked up for 120 days.

Hunt was originally sent to the county jail for violating a judge's order to not contact her girlfriend. In October, she accepted a plea offer that kept her locked up for an additional two months.

PHOTO: As a senior at Sebastian River High School, Kaitlyn Hunt, seen here, was an honor student and sang in the choir.
From Cheerleader to Inmate: Teen's Relationship Lands Her in Jail

Monitored by a probation officer and an ankle bracelet tracking her movements, Hunt is now serving two years of house arrest and a long probation.

"As long as I'm home with my family and I get to see everybody every day, then I think I'll be okay," Hunt said.

Hunt was an 18-year-old senior at Sebastian River High School, in Sebastian, Fla., when she began dating her then 14-year-old girlfriend. The two met during tryouts for the basketball team.

"She was like that person you could go to if you were having a bad day," Hunt said in a previous interview with ABC News' "20/20." "She would cheer you up in five minutes."

Their relationship eventually became sexual; the couple had encounters in the school bathroom and at Hunt's home. Hunt's mother, Kelley Hunt Smith, said she knew her daughter was in a same-sex relationship, but she did not know the other girl was underage.

"I did not know the girl was 14," Hunt Smith told "20/20." "She looks older than my daughter."

Rumors of a relationship between Hunt, a senior, and the freshman still in braces eventually reached the younger girl's parents, who immediately reported it to the local sheriff's office.

"Their feeling was the relationship was unhealthy and inappropriate based upon the age of the parties," Charles Sullivan, who represents the younger girl's family, told "20/20."

Police then arrested Hunt, who, when interrogated, admitted to having a sexual relationship with the freshman.

After 24 hours in county jail, Hunt was released on bail, with the condition of having no contact with the younger girl.

The state attorney originally charged Hunt with two counts of lewd or lascivious battery of a child, which are felonies in Florida. She was facing the prospect of having to register as a sex offender, and go to prison for a maximum of 30 years.

Hunt's mother claimed that the prosecutor and the younger girl's family were motivated in part by an anti-gay bias.

"We have people that are homophobes," Hunt Smith said. "It's not something they're willing to allow their daughter to express. It's not something that they're willing to accept."

The victim's parents disagree. "It wasn't the gender," Laurie Smith, the 14-year-old's mother, told "20/20."

"She definitely took our daughter's innocence away, in a way that should not have been done," added Jim Smith, the girl's father.

In May, prosecutors offered Hunt a plea deal, which she rejected, because she insisted she did nothing wrong and wanted a trial to prove her innocence.

"Do I think I made a mistake dating someone in high school that I went to school with and I played basketball with?" Hunt said. "No, I don't think I made a mistake."

However, in late August, less than a week after her 19th birthday, Hunt was taken to jail again for exchanging 20,000 text messages with her girlfriend –- a direct violation of the judge's orders.

Authorities revealed that Hunt secretly slipped the younger girl an iPod so they could communicate using a texting app. Hunt also sent 25 lewd and nude photos and videos of herself. She later admitted to "20/20" that she probably shouldn't have done that.

"I needed closure. I felt like I had none when it first happened, in February," Hunt said of why she continued to communicate with the victim. "I was forced to stop talking and forced to stop dating. I just got wrapped up again."

The judge revoked Hunt's bond and ordered her back to jail. Ultimately, there would be no trial for Hunt. The plea deal she accepted in October kept her in jail for a total of four months before her release in late December. If she successfully completes her probation, Hunt is eligible to have the record sealed and potentially expunged.

Hunt insisted that she has not had any communication with her former freshman girlfriend since her release, and she now has a new 27-year-old girlfriend.

She says she is studying to be a medical assistant and is also working with her attorney, Julia Graves, to help change Florida law that would make consensual sex between students in the same high school a misdemeanor not a felony.

"I feel like everything happens for a reason. You go through things in life for a reason," Hunt said.

"So, I might not know what the reason is now, but I will one day."

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