Walnut Creek high school teacher to serve two years in state prison for sex with former student

Mark Christopher Litton, a Walnut Creek resident and former English teacher who was once described by students as “creative and inspired,” pleaded no contest to charges that he had sex with an underage girl who had been a student of his at Miramonte High School

Litton, now 35, pleaded no contest to two charges of statutory rape, two counts of sexual penetration of a person under the age of 18, and one count of oral copulation of a person under the age of 18. This is what Contra Costa Deputy District Attorney Johanna Schonfield told the Contra Costa Times. 
For his no-contest plea, Litton will be sentenced to two years in state prison. The Times says that the judge will not require Litton to register as a sex offender.
Back in September, I reported that Litton was charged with five counts, stemming from two separate encounters with “Jane Doe” on July 2 and July 4, 2009 in Walnut Creek. Litton’s address shows that, at the time of these encounters, he lived in a second-floor apartment in an older building not far from downtown Walnut Creek and the Mercer complex. 

Litton was 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, 2009. He was also charged with unlawful sexual interourse and sexual penetration of a minor on July 4, 2009

After his arrest, in September, Litton was placed on unpaid leave and his teaching credential was suspended following his arrest. 

Students and parents described Litton as a “creative” and “inspired” teacher. His arrest provoked heated and heartfelt debate, on this blog and others, 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 be considered unhealthy 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.

At some point following Litton’s arrest, I contacted the deputy district attorney in charge of Litton’s prosecution. I asked for more information about the circumstances of Litton’s sexual contact with the victim? Was there consent involved? Can you say a 17-year-old can give consent? What’s going on with the the alleged victim? My understanding is that she had graduated from Miramonte when she had sex with Litton; does that make a difference? How and why did she end up at his apartment? What was the nature of their relationship prior to the encounter that got Litton into very serious trouble? 

Those were among my questions. I also wanted to find out how many months shy of 18 the victim was.

The prosecutor declined to answer pretty much these questions. Litton’s attorney also declined to comment. 

So, lots of unanswered questions surrounding this case. Maybe everyone prefers it that way. 

Meanwhile, Litton is still in custody at the Contra Costa County Jail in Martinez, awaiting transport to the state prison system. The Acalanes Union High School District, which initially put him on unpaid leave following his arrest, has terminated his employment.

14 thoughts on “Walnut Creek high school teacher to serve two years in state prison for sex with former student

  1. Such a tragedy all around. My neighbor down the street is married to a man who was her teacher. It happens. I feel bad for the Littons.


  2. Shouldn't the headline have read “Orinda high school teacher to serve two years in state prison for sex with a former student” ?


  3. Agreed. Mr. Litton was a fantastic teacher and his efforts in the classroom should not be disgraced by his efforts in the bedroom…


  4. Mark Litton was an eagle scout; His mother taught/directed the GATE program in the WCSD, and the dude was featured on the smothers brothers' show for his exceptional yo-yo skills.

    Mr. Litton had a privileged life; He was one of those students that the teachers and administrators all adored – capable of absolutely no wrongdoing……

    Shockingly, this “model citizen” grew up to be the type of morally deficient scumbag who has sex with under aged women. More importantly, He was a high school teacher who decided to cheat on the mother of his child(ren) with a former student. I would go as far to say that this makes him a professional sex predator, and a piece of Sh>t.

    A good deal of us grew up in WC in the shadow of “perfect” youths like Mark Litton. We may not have been model students, but atleast we dont ruin our marriages (while ruining the lives of at least two other people) by getting thrown in jail for having sex with minors.


  5. Whats “morally deficient” about a girl in her full sexual prime bombarding and forcing herself on a man she obviously was in love with?
    Also your definition of morality is a skewed one created by who?
    The age of consent in this country is skewed and incorrect.
    For HUNDREDS OF YEARS males and females alike have procreated and were sexualy active starting at the age of 13. The girl in question was 17 ( and less than a month from 18)and on HER OWN FREE WILL showed up to Mr. Litton's home, ON TWO SEPARATE occasions. Additionally the girl only came forward because he told her they couldn't be together.
    If the roles were opposite you'd NEVER HAVE EVEN HEARD ABOUT THIS CASE.

    This case shows that Gender equality does not exist in this country.

    THe only persons live who was ruined in this case was a man who was put between a rock and a hard place, and got screwed by the law. A female teacher would have walked scot free.


  6. I would love to know the real names of the posters of the preceding comments. Were you neighbors or schoolmates of his at Las Lomas? Why do you hate him so?


  7. I am offended by the anonymous comment regarding the age of consent. That is beside the point.
    If this had been a woman, then I think we would all be more horrified than it being done by a man. However, it is a crime regardless of how “in love” the minor thought she was. He is an adult and an educator that was entrusted with the education and well being a child. I would like to say that I think all people who hurt a child should go to jail for life with no possible parole or probation to have a second chance to screw up another kid.
    I don't understand this country's reluctance to take full responsibility for each and every childs safety, and education and over all happiness to the best of our ability as parents, teachers, and as a society.


  8. I would say the girl has some morality issues herself. She's old enough to know that she should not sleep with married older men who have little children. Everyone at Miramonte knows Litton is married and has children. He talked about his children and showed us pictures of them in class. Where did she get the idea that she was going to be getting anything more from him than sex? Not that Litton shouldn't to be blamed himself. I feel so sorry for his wife and children. His wife is young and beautiful; why couldn't he have been faithful?


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