MORAGA -- A newly released police report reveals how the young high-school student who tried to stop former science teacher Daniel Witters from abusing other girls by writing a warning letter to a middle school principal had long been groomed by her instructor. Another victim called the unidentified girl a "hero" who tried to stop a serial molester before he could abuse more girls, even though the letter was ignored until years later.

The girl's 1994 letter to school officials detailed her molestation at the hands of Witters four years earlier, when she was a student at Joaquin Moraga Intermediate School. The letter became incriminating evidence in a sex abuse scandal that revealed employees' failures to follow state law and report her letter and other suspicions to authorities. The girl wrote to then-Joaquin Moraga Principal Bill Walters, hoping he would take action "to prevent such an incident from occurring again." No action was taken; Witters went on to abuse more students.

"Whoever she is, she is my hero," said Kristen Cunnane, a Cal women's swim coach and former Joaquin Moraga student who was abused by Witters and another teacher. "She tried to save us."

A 95-page police report obtained by this newspaper detailed molestation accusations by numerous young girls, including the high-school girl who wrote that letter and is the earliest known victim.

Moraga police Detective Julie Valdez interviewed the unidentified girl at the police department on Nov. 25, 1996, days after Witters was placed on administrative leave amid a slew of accusations. He killed himself days after being suspended.

In the interview, the girl -- who spoke in confidence to the detective -- described her first physical contact with Witters, who in 1990 was in his first year at Joaquin Moraga, and how they developed an inappropriately close relationship. The girl told Valdez that the pair became very close and would have long talks after school and frequent phone conversations. She said they exchanged gifts and that the teacher would tell her he loved her.

It culminated with Witters molesting her in his car as he dropped her off from a 1990 graduation event. Four years after that incident, while in high school, she wrote her letter. She said she never heard from any district employee after dropping off the letter.

Other victim interviews by Valdez showed the extent of the trauma Witters inflicted on his victims. Valdez noted how one girl, on a number of occasions during an interview, would just "stare straight ahead and rock back and forth."

Contact Matthias Gafni at 925-952-5026. Follow him at Twitter.com/mgafni.