Education

LAUSD rehires controversial lawyer in student sex abuse case

FILE: Los Angeles Unified has rehired a lawyer who had angered some with his remarks on a civil lawsuit involving a student who had sex with her teacher.
FILE: Los Angeles Unified has rehired a lawyer who had angered some with his remarks on a civil lawsuit involving a student who had sex with her teacher.
Kevin T. Quinn/ Flickr Creative Commons

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Los Angeles Unified has rehired a lawyer it fired last year after he made statements regarding a student sex abuse case that angered many people.

While representing LAUSD in a civil lawsuit, lawyer W. Keith Wyatt  argued that a 14-year-old girl was mature enough to consent to sex with her 28-year-old teacher. He told KPCC in November that the teen’s decision was less dangerous than deciding whether to cross a street in traffic.

"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,'" Wyatt said.

LAUSD reassigned 14 lawsuits away from Wyatt’s firm after his comments, which the district called insensitive and inappropriate. The school district said Wyatt would no longer represent the district although his firm would be kept on.

The district confirmed Thursday that Wyatt has now been rehired.  “We believe that the suspension was sufficient to drive home our concerns about statements he made,” said spokeswoman Shannon Haber via email.

Haber said Wyatt worked for the school district on five cases earlier this year and was paid about $4,500.