Teacher Tara Stumph, pictured with her firefighter husband,

The former Arroyo Grande High School teacher convicted earlier this year of having sex with a 16-year-old student has responded to a lawsuit from that student’s family by filing a counterclaim, alleging the victim has defamed her “to various classmates, family and other members of the community.”

Tara Stumph pleaded no contest in April to having sex with a person under 18 and was sentenced to 180 days in jail, a sentence she started serving May 1. Both Stumph and her former employer, Lucia Mar School District, were named as defendants in a lawsuit by the victim’s family. The victim’s family and the school district are set to enter a binding mediation process with Santa Barbara mediator Henry Bongiovi.

Stumph’s teaching license was revoked after her conviction, but she will not be required to register as a sex offender upon her release from San Luis Obispo County Jail. She alleges in her counterclaim that the victim’s statements damaged her reputation and career. Stumph is suing for indemnity for any judgments rendered against her, a judicial determination that any injuries to the plaintiff were caused by the school district, civil damages and attorneys fees and costs.

Tara Stumph

The next hearing in the civil case is scheduled for Oct. 12.


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