CA--Victims blast LAUSD for "horrific tactics" in abuse case

For immediate release: Thursday, Nov. 13

Statement by Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach CA, western regional director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (949 322 7434, [email protected])

It’s disgusting that a lawyer for the LA Unified School District blames a 14 year old for the child sex crimes of a teacher. And it’s disgusting that California law apparently allows this.   

Shame on lawyer Keith Wyatt, who attacked this wounded girl. And shame on L.A. Unified's top officials and California lawmakers for permit this kind of hard-ball victim-blaming.

KPCC reports that Wyatt argued that the 14 year old “bore some responsibility for what happened” and “introduced the girl's sexual history into the trial as part of their defense strategy.” Both tactics are appalling and mean-spirited. Again, school officials should be ashamed of themselves. They should fire and denounce Wyatt and those who approved this callous tactic.

The predator in this case is Elkis Hermida, who was convicted of lewd acts against a child and sentenced in July 2011 to three years in state prison.

We applaud this brave girl and her family. We hope these vicious tactics by LAUSD backfire and prompt more victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to publicly blast the district and pursue litigation against it.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have more than 18,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, [email protected]), Joelle Casteix (949-322-7434, [email protected])   

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