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Senate OKs Bill Barring Sexual Consent Of Minors As Defense

SACRAMENTO (AP) — The California Senate has advanced a bill that prevents defendants in civil cases from claiming the sexual consent of a minor as a defense.

It comes after the Los Angeles Unified School District successfully argued last year that a 14-year-old girl who had sex with a male teacher shared responsibility, despite her age.

The bill by Democratic Sen. Ricardo Lara was approved unanimously Thursday.

Lara, of Bell Gardens, told lawmakers that SB14 closes a loophole because defendants are not allowed to use similar arguments in criminal cases.

LAUSD removed the defense attorney after a civil jury cleared the district of wrongdoing.

The teacher in the case, Elkis Hermida, was sentenced in 2011 to three years in prison for lewd acts against a child.

The bill now moves to the Assembly.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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