New Questions About Old Moraga Schools Sex Abuse Cases

Moraga School District officials tell a local newspaper they will investigate how the district handled allegations of repeated sex abuse of students by one of their teachers.


Moraga School District officials plan to look into the district's handling of sexual abuse allegations against a Joaquin Moraga Intermediate school teacher, even though that teacher committed suicide in 1996 after denying the allegations.

District officials told the Contra Costa Times they will examine how former JM principal Bill Walters and other district employees handled complaints made by students against science teacher Dan Witters before his death. The newspaper reported that Walters -- who is still a principal with the district -- was aware of reports of abuse but failed to report complaints of abuse to local law enforcement.

Witters was reported missing from his Danville home in 1996, a day after school officials ultimately suspended him from teaching at JM and told him he was being investigated by Moraga police for alleged misconduct with students. His body was found with his pickup truck at the base of a cliff off Highway 1 in Big Sur several days later. No suicide note was ever found.

In a strange twist that rocked the close-knit district, the Witters case dovetailed with reports of abuse that surfaced after a former JM student detailed her trauma at the hands of another teacher  -- -- in 1996 and '97.

Correa was convicted on multiple felony counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor and sentenced to eight years in prison last year after she was taped making incriminating statements during a telephone conversation with her accuser.

2nd Generation Moraga June 22, 2012 at 09:48 PM
@McGruff: Unless you work in the DA's office, your opinion is simply your opinion. I'm going to go out a on limb and suggest that the District Attorney's office WOULD have brought charges against ANYONE that they believed was guilty of a crime related to this case. The fact that they have not pursued a criminal case against anyone other than Correa says a lot to this citizen. Again - "the fullest extent of the law" - is often a different standard than what the frenzied community may desire. Thankfully, that is why we have laws and not mob rule.
Ryan June 22, 2012 at 09:59 PM
be careful, that limb you are climbing out on seems shaky and broken to me. They can't pursue charges now because the statue of limitations has expired. They did not pursue a case against the enablers in 96' because the MPD did not bring them a case to review. The DA's office cannot pick and choose what crimes to prosecute, the Police departments have to build that case first then the DA determines what charges to bring. Just my opinion but you can take a book of law's word for it if you like. Also, the DA's office did not bring charges against Correa, the AG did. Due to a conflict of interest. Also, where is this frenzied mob you speak of? I was at the commons yesterday and didn't see many pitchforks and people burning at the stake which was surprising. Maybe they are all at RLP protesting those pesky dogs.
2nd Generation Moraga June 22, 2012 at 10:16 PM
McGruff: All the answers are in your post. "The fullest extent of the law" - is often a different standard than what the frenzied community may desire. I'd love to go back and convict everyone that got off, unfortunately the "law" doesn't allow for that. Hindsight is always 20/20.
Fritz 'Congodog' Stoop June 23, 2012 at 01:12 AM
I am 'zero tolerant' about crimes against children. I will accept psychological explanations that may have contributed to the perpetrator's perverse behavior, but only as evidence in the sentencing phase of their trial. They must be initially treated as if they were suspected carriers of the Ebola Virus or some such deadly contagion, that is removed from contact with children immediately. If the damning information is at all credible, willful delays make those that fail to act accessories. Support, treatment and decisions regarding the suspect's future can all take place after the children are protected. The presumption of innocence is a powerful philosophical symbol of free democratic society, but the handling of crimes against innocence must trump this presumption. There is just to much at stake and at risk when the little ones are involved. That this principal was not removed and allowed to retire with full benefits is an outrage. Surely even people without children can comprehend this.
lovelafayette June 25, 2012 at 06:21 PM
Does anyone know if the decision not to charge anyone ( statute of limitations) was made by MPD or the DA? All I have read attributes the decision to MPD. MPD is part of the problem as from all accounts their investigation died when Witters died, MPD did not look for other victims of sexual abuse or charge Walters. MPD may have a conflict of interest here, they failed to investigate in 1996/7 and it is possible a DA investigation now will fault MPD, so is MPD really motivated to pursue this? Moraga parents need to file complaints with the DA asking CCC to investigate possible conspiracies and chlld endangerment against Walters/MSD/MPD. William Lynn was just convicted for covering up child sexual abuse by Catholic priests UNDER HIS SUPERVISION, MANY years ago, guilty of child endangerment and conspiracy. The timelines in previous posts point to conspiracy by supervisors: Walters calling Witter instead of MPD, MPD killing the case after Witter died? Several years ago I tried to file a police report about a criminal unlicensed contractor with Lafayette PD, the officer refused to take my report saying in HIS opinion no crime had been committed! I called the CCC DA, who charged him WITHIN 72 HOURS with felonies and obtained his guilty plea ( to lesser charges) . Moraga parents cannot let the MSD and MPD get in the way of justice, again.


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