Donald Trump’s supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has had two women accused him of sexual misconduct and a third woman has just gone public, accusing Kavanaugh of participating in “gang rapes” and rape “trains” in the 1980s. Here is everything we know about these allegations.
Sexual Misconduct Allegations
Christine Blasey Ford, a psychology professor at Palo Alto University, was the first woman to come forward. She says that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in the 1980s when they were both teenagers. She said in an interview with the Washington Post that at a party in Montgomery County, Maryland, Kavanaugh led her into a bedroom, pinned her to the bed and groped her, attempting to remove the bathing suit she was wearing and putting his hand over her mouth to stop her from screaming before she was able to escape.
Deborah Ramirez, was the second woman to come forward. She accused Kavanaugh of exposing himself at a drunken dormitory party when he was a freshman at Yale, claiming he “thrust his penis in her face, and caused her to touch it without her consent as she pushed him away”. She did acknowledge that there are significant gaps in her memories of the evening.
Julie Swetnick, the third accuser, has emerged accusing Kavanaugh of participating in “gang rapes” and rape “trains” in the 1980s. She alleged that Kavanaugh and others in the early 1980s spiked the drinks of girls at high school parties with intoxicants to make it easier for them to be gang-raped.
Analysing the Evidence
Christine Ford’s Testimony
Throughout Christine Ford’s entire testimony and subsequent questions, there has been no corroborating evidence brought forth of any kind. This means there has been no other person, event, detail, or evidence that shows anything outside of her testimony, aligning with her testimony.
Holes in Ford’s Testimony
1. Five witnesses Ford claimed had knowledge of the event rejected Ford’s story.
- Long-time friend and high school classmate Leland Ingham Keyser, whom Ford named as a witness, joined the other four people Ford claimed had knowledge of the event in rejecting Ford’s story.
2. Ford’s account of who attended the party has changed several times.
- According to the Washington Post report, Ford’s therapist’s “notes say four boys were involved, a discrepancy Ford says was an error on the therapist’s part. Ford said there were four boys at the party but only two in the room.” Ford’s polygraph contradicts this statement. In her polygraph, she said there were “4 boys and a couple of girls at the party.” During her testimony on Thursday, Ford revised her WhatsApp conversation with the Washington Post reporter “to clarify that more than four people may have been present at the party in question and that an individual named ‘PJ’ was not a ‘bystander’ to her alleged attack and that she does not allege that he knew about it.”
3. Ford did not name Kavanaugh in her therapy sessions.
- Her husband, however, told the Washington Post that Kavanaugh did come up during the sessions. As the Washington Post report said, “In an interview, her husband, Russell Ford, said that in the 2012 sessions … he recalled that his wife used Kavanaugh’s last name and voiced concern that Kavanaugh — then a federal judge — might one day be nominated to the Supreme Court.”
While these holes in Ford’s story do not mean she hasn’t suffered some kind of trauma or assault at the hands of one man or even many, there are enough gaps that indicate she does not have perfect credibility.
Deborah Ramirez’s Allegations
Ramirez gave the New Yorker six names to support her claim and could substantiate her accusations. When the New Yorker interviewed them, all six said it never happened.
“We can say with confidence that if the incident Debbie alleges ever occured, we would have seen or heard about it – and we did not.”
Julie Swetnick’s Allegations
Swetnick had a restraining order filed against her by an ex-boyfriend, Richard Vinneccy. Richard told Politico “Right after I broke up with her, she was threatening my family, threatening my wife and threatening to do harm to my baby at that time, … I know a lot about her. … She’s not credible at all. Not at all.”
Holes in Swetnick’s allegations
60 men women who attended Kavanaugh’s high school or sister schools signed a letter saying they had never heard of Swetnick or anything like the overt, systemic gang raping that she described.
In Kavanaugh’s Defense
In light of allegations of sexual assault, 65 women say Kavanaugh always “treated women with respect.”
- “We are women who have known Brett Kavanaugh for more than 35 years and knew him while he attended high school between 1979 and 1983. For the entire time we have known Brett Kavanaugh, he has behaved honorably and treated women with respect. We strongly believe it is important to convey this information to the Committee at this time.”
This article may seem pro-Kavanaugh as we deconstruct the allegations against Kavanaugh. However, we would like to remind you of the importance of facts and evidence when discussing criminal allegations. While these holes and gaps in the accusers’ allegations do not imply that Kavanaugh is innocent, it is not enough to implicate Kavanaugh in any way beyond their words.
Is the Burden of Proof on the Accused or the Accuser?