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Male student molested by a female teacher awarded $2.1 M

The former teacher Toni Sutton, 40, was ordered to register as a sex offender after pleading guilty to the child sex-abuse charges, authorities say.

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A jury in San Diego decided Wednesday that a 19-year-old man who sued a California school district after she was sexually abused by a female teacher will receive $2.1 million.

The jury found that the San Diego Unified School District was negligent in failing to prevent the former Spanish teacher Toni Sutton of the molestation of the student over an eight-month period beginning when he was 15 and she was 37, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

The district must pay $840,000 of the $2.1 million, the newspaper reported, adding that district officials have not yet decided on whether to appeal.

Jury awards former student $2.1 million for abuse by a teacher at Crawford High https://t.co/pxBS07F4LG pic.twitter.com/1gwLsREIiA

— San Diego Union-Tribune@sdut) August 9, 2018

Sutton, now 40, who was sentenced to imprisonment of two years ago in the case, had sex with the student in her Crawford High School class, her car and her house dozens of times, the report said.

Sutton pleaded guilty in 2016 to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor and oral copulation with a minor. She was ordered to register as a sex offender for life, FOX 5 San Diego reported.

The lawsuit argued that the district ignored red flags about Sutton’s behaviour. The key to their case was expert testimony that the school district policy for prevention of sexual abuse of students “do not meet the standard,” the Union-Tribune reported.

The financial award is also an expression of the jury’s consideration of the emotional damage and the need for counseling of the student experience after Sutton was arrested, the report said.

Defense attorneys denied that district employees were negligent, and said that they responded appropriately once they realized that Sutton had been abuse of the student.

In an earlier case in 2009, a female student was awarded $1.25 million – of which the San Diego district had to pay $650,000 after a male teacher was found to have molested a female student.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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