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Mon Nov 5, 2012, 05:41 PM

School District Claims Student ‘Was Herself Responsible’ For Being Raped [View all]

Source: Think Progress

School District Claims Student ‘Was Herself Responsible’ For Being Raped
By Ian Millhiser posted from ThinkProgress Justice on Nov 5, 2012 at 4:50 pm


Kristen Cunnane at the time of her abuse

Two teachers at Moraga middle school in northern California sexually abused Kristen Cunnane in the 1990s. One, former P.E. teacher Julie Correa, received an eight year sentence for committing multiple sex crimes against Cunnane. The other, former science teacher Daneil Witters, committed suicide after several students came forward with allegations against him in 1996.

Now an adult, Cunnane filed a lawsuit against the school district that employed these two teachers, seeking compensation for being raped and abused for several years. In response to her legal complaint, the district offered a surprising defense:



Defendants allege that Plaintiff was herself careless and negligent in and about the matters alleged in the complaint, and that said carelessness and negligence on said Plaintiff’s part proximately contributed to the happenings of the incident and to the injuries, loss and damages complained of, if any there were . . . .

Alternatively, defendants allege that Plaintiff was herself responsible for the acts and damages of which she claims herein, and by reason thereof is stopped from obtaining any damages as result thereof.




Just in case this dry legal language is not clear, the school district claims that Cunnane was “herself responsible” for the fact that she was repeatedly sexually abused by her school teachers, beginning at age 12. Or, just in case a jury won’t buy that claim, that she was “careless and negligent” in the matter of her own rape.

Read more: http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/11/05/1141331/school-district-claims-student-was-herself-responsible-for-being-raped/

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