School Argues Teacher Having Sex With 14-Year-Girl Was Consensual, Jury Agrees

LOS ANGELES, CA – A jury ruled in favor of the Los Angeles Unified School District’s argument in court that a 14-year-old girl bore at least some of the responsibility for having sex with her teacher.

Attorneys for the LAUSD argued in a civil case against giving financial compensation for emotional trauma that the students claims occurred. Elkis Hermida, the girl’s teacher, was convicted of lewd acts against a child and sentenced to three years in state prison for the crime. The girl is being denied compensation in a civil suit by the judge’s decision. [RELATED: Student Who Had Threesome With Teachers Claims Sex Was Voluntary]

Attorneys for the school argued that the girl was mature enough to consent to sex, saying: “Why is it her fault that she planned on having sex with her teacher? That she lied to her mother so she could have an opportunity to have sex with her teacher. That she went to a motel in which she engaged in voluntary consensual sex with her teacher. Why shouldn’t she be responsible for that?”Attorney W. Keith Wyatt argued.  [RELATED:This Catholic School Teacher Is Accused Of Raping Her 16-Year-Old Student 30 Times]

The LAUSD dropped attorney Wyatt over these statements, despite his success in making the case. Dave Holmquist, general counsel for the school district, said in a statement: “Our deepest apologies go out to the young woman and her family, who were hurt by the insensitive remarks of Mr. Wyatt.”

Wyatt’s arguments are interesting in light of several recent cases where female teachers are accused of statutory rape of their underage male students. His statements would not have been accepted in a criminal trial. However, since it was a civil case with a jury and there was a relevant federal court decision, the argument was allowed. The federal court decision from which Wyatt drew his argument was one involving instructions in incest cases.

Fatima Goss Graves, a vice president at the National Women’s Law Center, remarked to Los Angeles CBS Local that “It’s terrible, but not unusual that a school would try to muddy the waters by presenting such evidence. The law on whether and when that sort of evidence is permitted is sort of murky and one of the reasons why Congress is looking at additional law … that looks more like a criminal rape shield law.”

Attorney Holly Boyer is filing an appeal on behalf of the girl. Boyer said in a statement: “I was shocked. I’ve done sexual abuse cases against school districts before and I’ve never seen the persistence of this argument. I’ve never seen this at all that the victim willingly participated in this and that they should bear some responsibility in their injuries.”

Boyer may not have read many cases where the gender was reversed, as it is often cited in such cases of female teachers statutorily raping their male students that the young men are partially, if not fully, responsible for participating.

A related poll of Libertarian Republic readers had an eye-opening result:

Readers were asked: “Should it be called rape if a teacher has sex with an underage boy.”

The answers to the question were laid out thusly:

27.9% said – Yes, anyone who has sex with a minor is a rapist, regardless of gender.

35.2% said – No, young boys want sex. Don’t punish women for giving them what they want.

36.9% said – No, it’s not really rape, but the teacher should still be prosecuted.

One has to wonder if the results would have been different if the questions were more directly related to gender and controlled for each. It leads one to question whether there is a double standard for how society views individuals under a certain age and their ability to consent to sex. It also should cause citizens to pursue an understanding about the difference between statutory rape and forcible rape. [RELATED: Is It OK For Teachers To Rape Their Students If She’s Hot And They’re Young Males? (PODCAST)]

The civil case is currently under appeal.

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