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.