September 17, 2009

English teacher pleads not guilty to five felony counts of sex with 17-year-old former student

Miramonte High English teacher Mark Christopher Litton, a Walnut Creek resident, has pleaded not guilty to five counts involving his sexual relationship with a former student.

The complaint, filed in Contra Costa County Superior Court, offers a few more details about a case that has disturbed a large number of people in our area.

Litton, 34, appeared in court Tuesday to answer to five counts, stemming from two separate encounters with "Jane Doe" on July 2 and July 4 in Walnut Creek. Litton's address shows that he lives in a second-floor apartment in an older building not far from downtown Walnut Creek and the Mercer complex. I stopped by his apartment to see if he had any comment, but no one was home.

Litton is charged with committing unlawful sexual intercourse, sexual penetration of a person under the age of 18, and oral copulation with a minor on July 2. He is also charged with unlawful sexual interourse and sexual penetration of a minor on July 4.

He has retained a private attorney and will be back in court September 24.

On this blog and others, his arrest has provoked heated and heartfelt debate about the sexuality of teenagers, particularly teenage girls; the age at which a person can reasonably give consent to sexual relationships; teacher/student relations; and the dynamics of power and authority in sexual relationships. A few of us, including myself, looked back on on our own teen years and recalled situations in which we got ourselves mixed up in situations that might not be considered healthy and that could be construed as illegal.

We also remembered teachers in our local schools who, we knew, were mixing it up with students; we even remembered cases of high school teachers who went public with their affairs with students, once the students graduated from high school.


Anonymous said...

Ahh, the memories...

Oh wait, I am OUTRAGED by it.. How could he? Darn pedifile.

It is also different if the 17 YO is a boy with a female 18+ to 30 something. Which is wierd. I guess it's easier to manipulate girls?

I think people forget their teenage years. Maybe a brain dump when we start having kids.

Anonymous said...

I always have a tough time deciding on who is wrong or wronged when it comes to this topic. I remember high school quite well, and how naughty we teenage girls could be. Even back then, before it was fashionable to dress like a ho or pole dancer, people opted to believe teenagers were not capable of protecting themselves. We could have taught those limited vision oldsters a thing or two.

Anonymous said...

This is a tough one. How did the girl get to his apartment? Is this something she willingly did? Regardless, if she is old enough to drive herself, walk up to the front door, go in... I think shes old enough to know what she was doing. And the teacher, he knows better, but Im sure she told him dont worry, I wont tell anyone -- all in the heat of the moment. This case really doesnt sound like she was "forced" to do anything. We will probably never know and this guy will watch his future go down the drain because of a good time that was thrown in his face and he couldnt resist. And of course the girl will go down as a hero to her parents for telling them about it and she will go on with her life and have more fun and tangle up college boys instead.

Anonymous said...

All in the heat of the moment?

That was quite a moment lasting at least from 2nd all to the 4th of July. ;-)

Anonymous said...

I am a young male teacher at an East Bay high school.

In some ways it doesn't matter whether this is true or not. If it's true then it just reinforces the idea that guys like me are sexual predators waiting to happen. If it's not true, then it shows you that people readily believe that male teachers are predators, and that it is an easy way for students to take out anger on us.

Cases like this overshadow the fact that we work 50-60 hour weeks for very little money, because we like what we do. Ironically, forging close relationships with students, just when they need the most guidance, is almost discouraged because of fear of charges like this. No matter what happens, or what is true or not, this mans career is over.

I have a few rules when it comes to all of my students:
Only call their homes, and ask to speak to their parents first.
Only communicate through school email.
Never be alone in a room with any student.
Never touch them. Anywhere. Ever.

I'll be lucky to make $45,000 this year. I can't afford much of a lawyer.

Anonymous said...

this is such a crap accusation.

go to church, heathens. or better yet, the las lomas football game and watch the 'cheerleaders'.

you should all be castrated.

Anonymous said...

thank you for showing us another viewpoint anonymous teacher.

Soccer Mom said...

Dear Readers, includng Anonymous Teacher,
Thanks very much for offering your viewpoints. Yeah, I'm having a tough time with this one, too, especially after reading in the Contra Costa Times yesterday that the alleged victim was a 2009 graduate of Miramonte. Which means she was a high school graduate when the sex occurred. Now, I want to know when she will turn 18, and will be asking the cops and prosecutor about it.
Sure, it looks like Mr. Litton behaved inappropriately as a teacher. But shouldn't that be an issue for the school district and his employment. Some readers have suggested he's married. If that's the case, then he behaved like a louse as a husband.
But, does this case warrant a police investigation and criminal prosecution? That's what I want to know. Maybe there is more to this and I hope the police and prosecutors will make that clear.

Anonymous said...

He confessed. His wife and 2 children are not happy. There is definetly more to the story. And, to all of you who think this is some sort of a travesty for Litton...would you want your teenage kid preyed on by a 33 year old teacher?

Anonymous said...

I doubt there was anything predatory going on here but, assuming this guy had sex with a 17 year old it was stupid, stupid, stupid of him to "go for it". It is never appropriate for a 33 year old to have sex with a teenager (ew!) and it's against the law, plain and simple. He's a teacher and apparently a husband and a father and he compromised his life thinking with the little head. What a shame.

Anonymous said...

he did not confess, he pleaded not guilty get your facts straight, just because some 17 year old says he is guilty dose not mean he is. we guys get blamed for a bunch stuff we don't do. i had him freshmen year and he was a great teacher and talked about his family a lot. so if your accusing him you better have a good fucking reason to.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with the last poster. If he did have sex with her he made a stupid mistake and will have to pay for it, but I have seen many cases where students claim the teacher had sex with them and the teacher ends up innocent. Either way his career as a fantastic teacher, from my own experience is over. He wrote my letter of recommendation for college and my mother and I thought he was a great man. So don't dare persecute him until he is proven guilty. Because either way his life is ruined, whether he broke the law or not!

Anonymous said...

status now? called martinez county and they said he's at San quentin.... anyone know if he plead no contest and is actually serving time- or is this conjecture??

Anonymous said...

Yes, he is in San Quintin Prison for 2 years, with time he served already being counted. He will not be required to register as a sex offended but has lost his credential. Rumor is that he left Northgate under similar circumstances. Any truth to that?

techos decorativos said...

Well, I do not actually believe it is likely to have success.