Since going public last month with her story of overcoming three years of rape by her middle school P.E. teacher, Kristen Cunnane had been overwhelmed with support from friends, family, community members and total strangers.

The Cal women's swimming assistant coach had even organized a Monday swim clinic at her old Moraga swim club, a chance to speak to the children on the Moraga Country Club Waves at the same pool in which she was a swimmer from ages 4 to 17.

And then she got a call from the Waves swim coach Wednesday, telling her the country club's board of directors has banned her from speaking there.

According to Cunnane and others familiar with the situation, some parents sympathize with retiring Los Perales Elementary School principal Bill Walters, who has been criticized for not alerting police in 1994 after a girl complained she had been sexually abused by a teacher.

That teacher later was accused of molesting other students and killed himself.

This newspaper uncovered Walters' illegal failure to report child molestation allegations against deceased science teacher Dan Witters through a public records act request based on a tip from Cunnane that she was among the students in 1996 who reported being molested by Witters. She told her P.E. teacher, Julie Correa, who kept Cunnane's disclosure secret and soon after began sexually abusing the 14-year-old.


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Cunnane, who grew up in Moraga, said some country club members may be worried that hosting her talk might suggest the club is taking sides with her and against the school district.

"My speech had nothing to do with my abuse; it had to do with my love for that country club and the opportunities swimming has given me," Cunnane said by phone Wednesday. "I'm not angry, I'm just disappointed. This is why people don't come forward, because it affects every part of their lives."

Calls and emails to the Moraga Country Club board president, vice president, general manager and assistant general manager were not returned Wednesday.

Cunnane's family has a long history at the club. Her father's company built the country club and most of the surrounding residences, and both parents are still paying members.

In a community where nearly every child joins the neighborhood swim club, Cunnane says she owes her swimming success to the Moraga Country Club swim team.

She even started her coaching career with the Waves' current coach, Dave Schurhoff.

"He's one of the reasons I wanted to become a coach and one of the biggest supporters throughout my life," she said.

When one country club member got wind of the cancellation of the clinic -- which would have included a six-time NCAA individual/relay women's swim champion from the prestigious UC Berkeley team -- she started calling the club's brass and was told the board made the decision.

Ironically, Cunnane -- who works at UC Berkeley with the head coach of the U.S. Women's Olympic team -- got some good news Wednesday, too.

The NCAA officially named her the women's swimming assistant Coach of the Year.

"It was the same day that I'm told I can't come and do a clinic for rec swimmers," she said. "When I came forward, my only intention was to hold someone who raped me accountable and get my life back."