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Moraga School District Settles Claim By Abuse Survivor

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Cunnane

The Moraga School District will pay one of its former students $2.85 million in compensation for years of abuse by two district teachers – one of whom is dead, the other in prison. District officials announced the settlement agreement at their meeting Tuesday night.

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, the district’s insurer will pay former Joaquin Moraga Intermediate School student and current Cal Berkeley swim coach Kristen Cunnane to end the lawsuit she filed against the district and three former administrators, district officials announced.

Cunnane had accused a male science teacher, Daniel Witters, with abusing her in the 1990s. Witters killed himself in 1996 and was never criminally charged. A second teacher, physical education instructor Julie Correa, was convicted of abusing Cunnane and sent to prison after admitting to the crimes in subsequent phone conversations with Cunnane as investigators listened in.

“First and foremost, we want to again apologize to Ms. Cunnane and to her family for the abuse she suffered as a child and for the pain it has caused,” Moraga schools Superintendent Bruce Burns said in a statement. “It is our hope that this settlement will help Ms. Cunnane continue to heal and allow the district to continue working to educate and protect the children entrusted to us.”

Three former students also have pending suits against the district, accusing top officials of going to extraordinary lengths to cover up the predatory activities of their teachers in order to minimize their liability. Burns said the district “continues to hope for and work toward a negotiated agreement in these cases.”