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School District Calls Tween Rape Victim “Careless,” “Responsible” In Her Own Sexual Abuse

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A California school district is defending itself in the sleaziest way possible from a lawsuit by a former student who was allegedly sexually abused by two of its teachers. Yup, Moraga School District says it’s her own damn fault.

Kristen Cunnane, who is now 30, was allegedly raped and sexually abused by her physical education teacher, Julie Correa, at Joaquin Moraga Intermediate School, starting in eighth grade and continuing over four years. At one point, Kristen told her science teacher, Daniel Witters, about the abuse; instead of reporting the abuse to the authorities, he allegedly molested her. (Two other women have also alleged abuse by Witters; he committed suicide.)

But instead of seeing an adolescent girl who may have been exploited by the adults around her, Moraga School District is trying to discredit her abuse, calling her “negligent,” “careless,” and “herself responsible for the acts and damages of which she claims.” Holy lack of accountability, Batman! According to their statement:

[T]his is a significant case that could have serious consequences for our school district. She is demanding several million dollars in damages. As a result, at this point in the proceedings we have an obligation not to waive any potential legal lines of defense. … Ms. Cunnane and the media have seized on only one of the nine potential areas and over-exaggerated its importance.

The line “we have an obligation not to waive any potential legal lines of defense” seems to be suggesting she has sued for too much money and their best defense in covering their asses is victim blaming. However, Kristen Cunnane says she has not specified any damages in her lawsuit; it is the two other women who alleged abuse by science teacher Daniel Witters who are suing for $15 million.

The crazy thing is that some people might actually agree Kristen and the other students are at fault here: everyone from adult women to young girls are told they “wanted” or “encouraged” sexual abuse to happen, including situations where the adult is clearly in a position over power over the child.

This would be enough to make me want to yank my kids out of that school system.

[Raw Story]
[San Jose Mercury News]
[KTVU]
[Contra Costa Times]

Contact the author of this post at Jessica@TheFrisky.com. Follow me on Twitter.

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