Lawyer taken off 14 cases after furor over trial claim that teen consented to sex with teacher
A California school district yanked 14 litigation matters from its outside counsel, W. Keith Wyatt, after a firestorm over a trial argument that a 14-year-old middle-school student sexually abused by her teacher was partly to blame because she consented.
Wyatt at least arguably fanned the flames of public outrage by initially defending the strategy in a post-trial interview, but later apologized and said his remarks didn’t reflect the views of the Los Angeles Unified School District. Although the district has distanced itself from Wyatt, it is still maintaining ties with his firm, Ivie, McNeill & Wyatt, which will assign four other cases Wyatt had been handling to other attorneys, KPCC reports.
Meanwhile, in the state capital, Sen.Ted Gaines (R-Roseville) says he plans to introduce a bill that would close a legal loophole that allows lawyers to contend in civil cases that a minor consented to sex with an adult. Presently, in a civil case under California common law, whether the minor consented is a question for the jury to decide.