The Slatest

New Accuser Says Kavanaugh Targeted Women for Sexual Assault, Was Present When She Was Raped

Swetnick, seated in a button-down shirt, smiles while looking into the camera.
Julie Swetnick. Michael Avenatti/Twitter

A woman represented by Democratic activist and attorney Michael Avenatti saw Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh repeatedly engage in inappropriate, nonconsensual sexual conduct when she knew him during high school, she says in a sworn declaration released Wednesday morning.*

The woman, a Maryland native named Julie Swetnick, says in a sworn declaration that she met Kavanaugh and his Georgetown Prep classmate Mark Judge at a D.C.-area party in 1980 or 1981. (Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Kavanaugh of attempting to sexually assault her, says Judge was present during the assault, which she believes took place in 1982.) Swetnick thereafter became friendly with the pair, she says, and attended a number of subsequent house parties with them.* At those parties, she says, she witnessed Kavanaugh “engage in abusive and physically aggressive behavior toward girls,” behavior that included “attempting to remove or shift girls’ clothing to expose private body parts.” (Ford had previously accused Kavanaugh of holding her down and attempting to remove her clothes.)

Even more seriously, she says that Kavanaugh and Judge participated in efforts to “cause girls to become inebriated and disoriented so they could then be ‘gang raped’ in a side room or bedroom by a ‘train’ of numerous boys.” She says that she has a “firm recollection” of individuals including Kavanaugh and Judge “lined up outside rooms at many of these parties waiting for their ‘turn’ with a girl inside the room”—and that in “approximately 1982” she was “the victim of one of these ‘train’ or ‘gang rapes’ where Mark Judge and Brett Kavanaugh were present.” (She says she believes she was drugged before it took place.)

Kavanaugh denies the allegations and says he does not know who Swetnick is.

While Swetnick does not say specifically that Judge and Kavanaugh raped her, only that they were “present,” her declaration severely contradicts Kavanaugh’s claim, made in a Monday Fox News interview, that he had never “saw or heard of” any incident in which multiple male students took advantage of a female student sexually when he was in high school. Judge, who has said that he has “no recollection” of the incident that Christine Blasey Ford alleges took place, published a book in 1997 called Wasted: Tales of a Gen X Drunk that includes a character named “Bart O’Kavanaugh” who becomes drunk and vomits. On Wednesday, Kavanaugh released a calendar he kept in 1982 that includes an apparent reference to drinking with Judge (” ’skis w/Judge”). Republicans have said they do not plan to call Judge as a witness in Kavanaugh’s ongoing confirmation process, which is expected to continue Thursday with Ford’s testimony. (Judge’s attorney has denied Swetnick’s allegation.)

Swetnick, per her declaration, has training in computer systems engineering and has worked for federal agencies including the IRS, the U.S. Mint, and the Department of Defense.

On Sunday, the New Yorker published a report in which a Yale classmate of Kavanaugh’s named Deborah Ramirez said that she remembers Kavanaugh exposing his penis to her during a party. (That story also included an allegation by one of Judge’s ex-girlfriends that he once told her “ashamedly” about an incident in which he and a number of other boys had sex with a drunk woman, though he allegedly said he believed it to be consensual.) The Republican-led Judiciary Committee does not have any apparent plans to call either Ramirez or Swetnick to testify.

This post has been updated with new information.

Correction, Sept. 26, 2018: This post originally misstated that the declaration was released Monday.

Correction, Sept. 27, 2018: This post also misstated that Swetnick had attested to being “extremely close” with Kavanaugh and Judge; her declaration actually says she observed them to be extremely close with each other.