The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) claimed that a 14-year-old girl was mature enough to agree to sex with her 28-year-old math teacher even though the age of consent in California is 18 years old.
The teacher, Elkis Hermida, was convicted in 2011 of lewd acts against a child and sentenced to three years in jail.
The teen sued the LAUSD for the emotional trauma of the six-month relationship with Hermida (video below).
According to CBS Los Angeles, LAUSD attorney W. Keith Wyatt fought the lawsuit by using the child's sexual history and age to claim that she was also responsible. The judge ruled in favor of the LAUSD in November of 2013.
“Why is it her fault that she planned on having sex with her teacher?" Wyatt recently told radio station KPCC. "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?”
Wyatt also compared having sex to crossing the street.
"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,'" added Wyatt.
However, law professor Marci Hamilton of the Benjamin N. Cardozo Law School in New York told KPCC, "If this is a correct interpretation of California law, California is in the dark ages and against the great weight of the social science on brain and emotional development."
"This reasoning is incoherent, especially in the school context," added Hamilton. "It would have the court focus on the child's consent without taking the authority and power of the adult into account ... This reasoning takes a page out of the old 'consent' defenses for rape based on a woman's sexual history, which have been thoroughly discredited."