In rare instance of accountability, a former student abused by one of his teachers will receive a $6 million settlement from the school district:
Vince Finaldi, an attorney for the former high school student, said the egregious conduct of Redlands Unified School administrators in the case warranted what may be one of the largest single-victim sex abuse settlements by a public agency.
“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.
Laura Whitehurst faced 41 felony counts of unlawful sex acts. She faced a potential 29-year prison sentence. She chose to plead guilty to six counts of lesser offences, resulting in a one-year jail sentence. She was released after six months and placed on probation. She was also required to register a sex offender, but otherwise faced no other penalty. She also shares custody of the child that resulted from her abuse of the student.
The former student’s attorneys argued that the school officials were culpable because they knew of the abuse but nothing to stop it. School district officials agreed to a settlement, although it appears for purely public relation reasons: Continue reading