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LAUSD Lawyer Gets Canned After Comparing Minor's Ability To Consent To Sex To Minding Traffic

LAUSD was not impressed with the lawyer's remarks (Photo by pattyphotoart via Shutterstock)
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Yesterday, we talked about how LAUSD's attorneys were arguing in a civil case that a 14-year-old could potentially consent to sex with her 28-year-old teacher. One of the lawyers made a choice statement in an interview with KPCC, and LAUSD made a smart move: they fired him. One of those statements that W. Keith Wyatt—who had a been a lawyer for the district for 27 years, according to the L.A. Times—made was: "Making a decision as to whether or not to cross the street when traffic is coming, that takes a level of maturity and that's a much more dangerous decision than to decide, 'Hey, I want to have sex with my teacher.'"

Yes, that's right: a lawyer compared the ability to determine whether or not to walk into oncoming traffic to the ability of a 14-year-old student to field inappropriate advances from an authority figure twice her age. Somehow, the onus is on a young girl, not an adult teacher who has a primary responsibility to not touch his students in a sexual way.

LAUSD General Counsel Dave Holmquist announced today that Wyatt would not be doing any more work for them.

Wyatt made these statements to KPCC to defend the arguments he made during the a civil trial filed by the girl's family against LAUSD. The case in question involved a Elkis Hermida, a 28-year-old math teacher at Thomas Edison Middle School in Southeast L.A., who carried on a sexual relationship with his 14-year-old student over the course of several months. LAUSD attorneys argued that the girl consented to the relationship, saying that she had willingly lied to her mother and met the teacher at a motel for sex. They also brought up her sexual past in the trial, something that would not be allowed in a criminal case under California's "rape shield" laws. In the criminal case, Hermida was found guilty and sentenced to three years behind bars.

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Holmquist called Wyatt's remarks "completely inappropriate" and said in a statement, "Respect and empathy must be at the core of how we approach these cases, and Mr. Wyatt's remarks did not reflect that commitment."

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