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The saying goes: "You are what you eat", and now the latest diet craze is taking that to heart with people cutting entire food groups out of their diets to cure a variety of ailments -- often without the guidance of a health professional.
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SEBASTIAN, FL (WFLX) -- 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
"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 thirty 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 incurred, 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
"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 Indian River County Sheriff's Office arrested Kaitlyn on
probable cause. She said Kaitlyn's girlfriend called her on a controlled call,
with the Sheriff's Office listening, too.
"They tricked her into admitting things on the phone call," said
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 doesn't feel Kaitlyn 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."