California has closed a legal loophole that allowed defendants in civil suits who are accused of sexually abusing minors to argue that the sex was consensual.
Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday signed into law SB 14, a bill authored by Democratic state Sen. Ricardo Lara of Bell Gardens. The bill passed the Assembly unanimously earlier this month.
KPCC revealed the loophole in a story in November following a civil suit involving a math teacher at Thomas Edison Middle School in Southeast Los Angeles.
Elkis Hermida was sentenced in 2011 to three years in prison for lewd acts against a child. In the civil suit that followed, a lawyer for the Los Angeles Unified School District argued that a 14-year-old girl could consent to sex with a 28-year-old teacher.
The case was ultimately decided in favor of the district.