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Kaitlyn Hunt Update: Plea deadline is today for Fla. teen charged over same-sex underage relationship

Kaitlyn Hunt in an undated personal photo.
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(CBS/AP) SEBASTIAN, Fla. - Today is the deadline for Kaitlyn Hunt, an 18-year-old Florida high school student charged over a same-sex relationship with an underage classmate, to accept a plea deal.

PICTURES: Fla. teen charged over underage same-sex relationship

Hunt was expelled from her high school in Sebastian, Fla. and was arrested and charged in February with two counts of lewd and lascivious battery of a child 12 to 16 years of age as a result of her relationship with a 14-year-old girl.

The day before she was arrested, police and the younger girl's parents secretly recorded a phone conversation in which the two girls discussed kissing in the school bathroom, said Hunt's father, Steve Hunt.

According to Hunt's mother, Kelley Smith Hunt, the two girls were in a consenting relationship.

Prosecutors have offered Hunt a plea deal that would allow her to avoid registering as a sex offender if she pleads guilty to lesser charges of child abuse. State Attorney Bruce Colton said he would recommend two years of house arrest followed by one year probation if she takes the deal.

CBS affiliate WPEC reports Kaitlyn's mother told the station that their family met with a team of lawyers to discuss the options.

If Kaitlyn goes to trial and is found guilty, it's possible that she could apply to not have to register as a sex offender under a "Romeo and Juliet" law because the girls were no more than four years apart in age, State Attorney Colton previously said.

On Thursday night, a rally to "Free Kate" was held at Riverview Park in Sebastian to spread word about the case and raise money. The station reports supporters said they attended the rally to relax before the family makes the "huge announcement" that her mother says Kaitlyn can't stop thinking about.

"Let Kaitlyn see the supporters [and] not think about that for an hour. Just to be able to come out here... breathe a little bit. Give it a last go around and just keep praying," Hunt Smith said.

The family reportedly expects Kaitlyn and her lawyers will announce their decision before noon Friday.

Complete coverage of Kaitlyn Hunt on Crimesider

  • Stephanie Slifer

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