A former student who impregnated a California high-school teacher received a $6 million settlement from the school district Friday, the Los Angeles Times reports. The victim's attorney, Vince Finaldi, says it's the largest child sexual abuse settlement against a public entity in US history, reports the Redlands Daily Facts. "That number didn't get there by accident," Finaldi says. He says that the Redlands Unified School District knew that Laura Whitehurst was sexually abusing students and did nothing about it and thus the district had no choice but to settle. A spokesperson for the district denies it knew anything about the abuse and says the district wanted to avoid further costly legal battles, KABC reports.
Whitehurst was arrested in July 2013 and convicted of having sexual relationships with the victim, who was 17 at the time, and two other students. She served six months in jail and now shares custody of her child with the victim, who says Whitehurst used religion to keep him quiet and in the relationship. The school district says the $6 million settlement will not affect its budget for teachers and other educational expenses. "We hope that this tragic and unfortunate episode will now be behind us," the district spokesperson tells the Daily Facts. (This teacher was just sentenced for abuse that occurred 22 years ago.)