An unnamed man from San Diego was awarded $2.1 million Wednesday after being sexually abused by a female teacher.
A jury sided with the 19-year-old former student after he sued the San Diego Unified School District for negligence, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune. The trial lasted two and a half weeks. (RELATED: Former Chipotle Manager Awarded $8 Million By California Jury)
The student’s attorneys argued the school district should have done more to prevent the abuse and could have been more vigilant in recognizing several red flags.
Former Crawford High School Spanish teacher Toni Sutton, 40, was previously sentenced to prison two years ago for having sex dozens of times with the unnamed student. The abuse lasted the span of eight months, back in 2015 and 2016, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
She was forced to register as a sex offender for life, after pleading guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor and oral copulation with a minor, according to Fox 5 San Diego.
She would sleep with the student in her classroom with the door locked and had sex with him in her car and at her house.
Court documents obtained by The San Diego-Union Tribune show Sutton had bought the boy food and had “groomed” him outside of the classroom for a sexual relationship. She first took advantage of him when he was only 15 years old. The documents also show several teachers had knowledge of what was going on and did nothing.
“Nobody ever follows up on anything here,” one of the student’s attorneys, Michael Kirby, said during the trial. “There was no exercise of reasonable care in this case.”
The jury said the school was 40 percent to blame and must pay $840,000. They laid the remaining 60 percent on Sutton, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune. Sutton has since been fired and stripped of her teaching license.
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