PHOENIX, Arizona, May 16. KRISTEN Cunnane, the associate head coach of the women's swimming team at UC-Berkeley, will get $2.85 million in a settlement reached with the Moraga School District over allegations that the district covered up reports that Cunnane was sexually abused by former teachers in the 1990s.
The settlement, announced Tuesday, puts an end to a lawsuit filed last September by Cunnane that charged three administrators with ignoring statements and other evidence that she and other students were repeatedly being sexually abused at Joaquin Moraga Intermediate School.
Superintendent Bruce Burns released a statement, saying: “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. 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.”
Late Tuesday, Cunnane released a statement through attorney Paul Llewellyn.
“I am grateful that the district, its insurers and I have reached a resolution, and that current students and staff will not be adversely affected in any way,” she said. “I look forward to continuing to raise awareness around preventability and encouraging school districts everywhere to do everything they can to keep their schools safe. I also hope that sharing my experience has helped others who may be in the grips of abuse or struggling with its consequences.”
According to an article in the San Jose Mercury News, Llewellyn and the district met in court in March to argue their cases. The district's attorneys argued that Cunnane filed her lawsuit past the statute of limitations, while Llewellyn said the late filing came shortly after Cunnane became aware of the district cover-up.
The newspaper also reports that three other women are suing the district on sexual abuse allegations, but those cases are still pending.