Laura Whitehurst lawsuit: Does a school district bear culpability after a teen student impregnated a school teacher whom sexually preyed on him?
A former California student has won a $6 million settlement against a school district after fathering a baby with his former school teacher, Laura Whitehorse in 2013.
Only 16 at the time, the unnamed student eventually filed a lawsuit against Redlands United School District before the entity settled with the now 21 year old ex student. In its settlement, the school district placed all the blame on the now 29 year old teacher, while conceding no fault of its own.
Offered District spokesman Tom DeLapp via the latimes: ‘In the long run, $6 million is high, but it could have been much higher if this had been left to an empathetic jury in another city looking past the facts to find a financial scapegoat for the unprofessional, criminal actions of one individual.’
The former AP English teacher gave birth to a girl in June 2013 after engaging in a year-long relationship with the student, CBS News reported.
The teacher had faced 41 felony counts of 41 felony counts of unlawful sex acts but instead took a plea bargain in which Laura Whitehurst agreed to plead guilty to only 6 counts. Prior to taking the plea, Whitehurst potentially faced 29 years jail.
At the time the teacher was eventually convicted of having sex with the former infringed student along with having had sex with two other teen students.
In turn, Whitehurst, as part of her plea bargain, was sentenced to a year in jail and released after only six months.
Offered the student in 2013 after demanding that a judge decline offering Whitehurst a plea deal: ‘Physically, I feel sick to my stomach thinking about the manipulation I was subjected to.’
A suit against the school district was brought against the school district the following year after the student’s lawyer, Vince Finaldi, claimed the district ‘turned a blind eye’ to the improper conduct.
‘The size of this settlement represents the gravity of the damage done to this young victim and his family and it also highlights the extreme malfeasance and neglect by school officials who turned a blind eye to the criminal conduct of a teacher and failed to protect a student,’ Finaldi said.
The suit claimed that the district failed to inform the student’s parents after there was reason to believe sexual abuse was taking place.
Sexual contact between Whitehurst and the student began in 2012 when the boy was 16.
In the suit, the student told of being stalked by Laura Whitehurst prior to their relationship and that she told him she could not get pregnant.
During deposition, the unnamed student told of Whitehurst giving him alcohol and telling him it was a ‘miracle pregnancy’ because she did not believe she could get pregnant. The former student told of Whithurst also giving him a bible on his 17th birthday along with frequently taking him to church.
The student was present at the birth of their daughter and share custody of the baby.
However, there is a no contact order between Whitehurst and the student. Indeed.