Student who impregnated teacher awarded $6 million
Fourth Estate Staff
Redland, CA, United States (4E) – The Redland Unified School District have to pay $6 million to a former student whose sexual relationship with his former teacher resulted with him fathering her child.
The student, who was only 17 at that time, is the plaintiff in the lawsuit filed against the district which concerns the teacher, identified as Laura Whitehurst .
Whitehurst was convicted of having sex with him and other students in her classes. The teacher was arrested in 2013 after a complaint from the parents of the 17-year-old was filed.
An attorney for the former student, Vince Finaldi , said in a statement that the egregious conduct of the Redlands Unified School District warranted the payment. This is the largest payment made regarding such cases and Vinaldi pointed out that the size of the settlement represents the gravity of the damage done to the victim and his family. Vinaldi continued to say, “It also highlights the extreme malfeasance and neglect by school officials who turned a blind eye to the criminal conduct of a teacher.”
Whitehurst faced 41 felony counts of unlawful sex acts meaning she could have been imprisoned for 29 years. She then pleaded guilty to four counts of unlawful sexual intercourse and two counts of oral copulation with a person under the age of 18. She reportedly had sexual contact with three of her students in Citrus Valley and Redlands high schools.
She was then sentenced to a year in jail and was released after six months. She is under probation and is registered as a sex offender. Whitehurst reportedly shares the custody of the child with the former high school student, who is now 21.
The lawsuit against the school district alleged that the school officials knew about the romance of Whitehurst but did not notify his family about it. Also, a colleague of Whitehurst reportedly knew about the romantic relationship. Allegedly, Whitehurst demanded that the victim should go with her during doctor’s appointments and told the principal to excuse his absences as he accompanies her to her monthly check-ups.
Although the settlement was made, the officials of the school district did not admit that there was any wrongdoing. They blamed only Whitehurst . Tom DeLapp a spokesman for the district, said in a statement, “All of this is put to rest now and, in fact, we hope that this tragic and unfortunate episode will now be behind us as a school district.”