LAUSD Rehires Lawyer Who Said Teen Was Mature Enough to Consent to Sex With Teacher

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The Los Angeles Unified School District has rehired an outside attorney it fired last fall after he said it was more dangerous for a teen to cross a street in traffic than to consent to sex with her teacher, district officials said Wednesday.

Elkis Hermida is seen in a photo posted to the Megan's Law website. (Credit: California Department of Justice)
Elkis Hermida is seen in a photo posted to the Megan’s Law website. (Credit: California Department of Justice)

The district announced last November that it would sever ties with the attorney, W. Keith Wyatt, who had argued in court that a 14-year-old girl was partly to blame for her own sexual abuse at the hands of her then-math teacher at Edison Middle School. The teacher, Elkis Hermida, was convicted of lewd acts with a minor and sentenced to three years in prison, but the girl has filed a civil case against L.A. Unified, claiming negligence.

General Counsel Dave Holmquist said the district had retained Wyatt and his Los Angeles firm, Ivy, McNeill & Wyatt, for two cases in February and three in June. Wyatt so far has billed the district $4,500 for his work; Holmquist said the attorney’s involvement in the cases has been “pretty minimal.”

“We have a 28-year-old history with this firm,” Holmquist said. “They have done outstanding legal work. We should not deny work to that firm because of what one particular lawyer did and said.”

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