updated 3:31 PM EDT, Fri May 24, 2013
A Florida teen has rejected a deal under which she would plead guilty to child abuse
The 18-year-old is charged with a sex crime, accused of having oral sex with a 14-year-old
Authorities: The charges are not related to the sexual orientation of the teens
14-year-old's parents: We are trying to protect our daughter; sexual orientation isn't an issue
(CNN)-- Eighteen-year-old Kaitlyn Hunt, charged with a crime for having oral sex with a 14-year-old girl, rejected a deal Friday that would have required her to plead guilty to a child abuse charge, according to Hunt's attorney.
Hunt was charged with two felony counts of lewd and lascivious battery after the parents of the 14-year-old went to authorities. The teens say their relationship was consensual, but in Florida a person under the age of 16 is not legally able to give consent to sex.
If Hunt is convicted, she could go to prison for 15 years -- a reality that touched off a maelstrom of controversy across the country this past week. The case became known when Hunt's family began an online campaign accusing the victim's family of going after their daughter because the case involved two girls.
The plea deal from the Indian River County prosecutor's office would have required Hunt to plead guilty to felony child abuse, spend two years being tracked and one year of probation. According to the plea deal document, Hunt would have had to agree to stay away from and not contact the 14-year-old, and provide her probation officer with immediate access to her Internet and telephone communication.
Read the full offer
In a statement saying that Hunt was rejecting the plea deal, her attorney, Julia Graves, wrote:
"This is a situation of two teenagers who happen to be of the same sex involved in a relationship. If this case involved a boy and girl, there would be no media attention to this case.
"Our client is a model citizen. She has been placed in an environment of school with her classmates where they go to school together, have lunch together, and play on the same team and are allowed to have communication and contact without barriers. Then when something develops between the two as a result of this environment created by the state, it leads to criminal prosecution."
"If this incident occurred 108 days earlier when she was 17, we wouldn't even be here," the attorney wrote.
...and 'if' she had left that child alone, she wouldn't be in this mess....