LA Schools Blame Girl for Sex With Teacher
District wins civil suit brought by family of 14-year-old
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 14, 2014 4:35 PM CST

(Newser) – The LA school district is taking flak for going after one of its own middle-school girls in court over a sexual abuse case. Attorneys for the district argued that the 14-year-old should be held responsible for a sexual relationship with a teacher and thus deserved no money for emotional trauma. They also presented the girl's sexual history in court—and won the case. Consider this quote from one of those attorneys, Keith Wyatt, to KPCC:

  • "She lied to her mother so she could have sex with her teacher. She went to a motel in which she engaged in voluntary consensual sex with her teacher. Why shouldn't she be responsible for that?"

Critics contend that the answer is obvious: An eighth-grader can't consent to a sexual relationship with a 28-year-old teacher. Or as a non-district attorney puts it in the Los Angeles Times: "The belief that middle-school children can consent to sexual activity is something one would expect to hear from pedophile advocates, not the second-largest school district in the US." The issue was a no-brainer in criminal court, where teacher Elkis Hermida was convicted of lewd acts against a child and sentenced to three years in prison. But as KPCC points out, the age of consent isn't as clear cut in civil cases. Critics of the Los Angeles Unified School District just wish it weren't a school district that exploited the discrepancy. Meanwhile, Wyatt's quote has caused so much outrage that the district says it will no longer use him for legal matters, reports AP.