The leader of North Carolina’s Republican Party says that one of the women who has publicly accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct is a “criminal.”
“One way or another,” he wrote. “She either was a part of some massive criminal conspiracy to facilitate child rape, as an adult. Or more likely, she lied to Congress and her attorney knew it. She should go to prison, period.”
Swetnick submitted a sworn statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee last week that said she saw Kavanaugh “consistently engage in excessive drinking and inappropriate contact of a sexual nature with women during the early 1980s.”
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The News & Observer
Kavanaugh has denied the claims.
Swetnick’s lawyer, Michael Avenatti, reacted to the comments by calling for Woodhouse to resign, and on Monday, Woodhouse responded.
“Like I give a damn what that used car salesman says. Either she is telling the truth and broke the law, or she lied and broke the law. Pick one,” Woodhouse tweeted.
Then Avenatti fired back: “What garbage. Over a billion in verdicts and settlements. Cases tried all over the country. Trial lawyer of the year. You, on the other hand, are a misogynist pig who attacks sexual assault victims and women without facts. Go back to the 1940s - the women of NC deserve better.”
Swetnick said in her statement: “I observed Brett Kavanaugh drink excessively at many of these parties and engage in abusive and physically aggressive behavior toward girls, including pressing girls against him without their consent, ‘grinding’ against girls, and attempting to remove or shift girls’ clothing to expose private body parts.”
Swetnick said in the statement that she saw Kavanaugh at least 10 times “at parties where women were verbally abused, inappropriately touched, made ‘disoriented’ with alcohol or drugs and ‘gang raped,’” according to The New York TImes.
Swetnick said in the statement that she remembered seeing boys, including Kavanaugh, “lining up outside a bedroom where ‘numerous boys’ were ‘waiting for their ‘turn’ with a girl inside the room,’’ among other accusations.
The Times was not able to independently corroborate Swenick’s claims.
Swetnick also said in the statement that she was “the victim of one of these ‘gang’ or ‘train’ rapes where Mark Judge and Brett Kavanaugh were present.”
Swetnick has said she would be willing to be interviewed by the FBI, the Associated Press reported.
Kavanaugh also has denied the claims by Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez.
Ford, a UNC graduate, testified last week to the Senate Judiciary Committee that Kavanaugh assaulted her when they were teenagers at a party in suburban Maryland.
Ramirez has accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct when they were students at Yale University together.
The FBI has reopened Kavanaugh’s background investigation to look into some of the claims.
Woodhouse on Sunday followed up his original tweet with a second one, saying Kavanaugh should take legal action against Swetnick and Avenatti over the accusation.
“And Judge Kavanaugh should sue both the woman and her attorney, in civil court,” Woodhouse wrote.
“My stance is rape and sexual assault is a crime and should be treated as such, (by) trained law Enforcement,” Woodhouse tweeted when asked about his stance on sexual assault.
In an interview with The News & Observer Sunday, Woodhouse said, “We stand with sex assault victims 100 percent.” And on Twitter Sunday afternoon, he wrote that he commended Mecklenburg County’s GOP Vice Chair Sarah Reidy-Jones, who last week said she is a survivor of sexual assault, according to WBTV.
“However, this woman and her attorney are doing no favors to assault victims,” he said in an interview Sunday with The N&O. “To believe that a college adult would continue to go to child rape parties with minors and not do something about it would be a crime, and for hundreds of people to never talk about it would require an ongoing criminal conspiracy to keep it quiet.
“These things not only did not happen, they are impossible. So she needs to be prosecuted as a co-conspirator to child rape or for lying to Congress. Her attorney should also be held to account. Outrageous, impossible allegations greatly harm real victims who we stand with.”
The AP reported Sunday that Swetnick “has an extensive history of involvement in legal disputes, including a lawsuit in which an ex-employer accused her of falsifying her college and work history on her job application.”
Swetnick’s lawyer, Michael Avenatti, said her legal disputes “have no bearing on the credibility of her claims about Kavanaugh,” the AP reported.
On Twitter, Avenatti wrote that he and Swetnick would “thoroughly enjoy” embarrassing Republicans on the Judiciary Committee this weekend “when her story is told and is deemed credible,” the AP reported.
Only about 310 of every 1,000 sexual assaults are reported to police, according to The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN).
RAINN notes many concerns survivors may have that could prevent them from reporting their assault. They include: knowing the perpetrator, fearing retaliation, believing police wouldn’t or couldn’t help, believing it was a personal matter, believing it’s not important enough to report, not wanting to get the perpetrator in trouble and worrying there is not enough physical evidence.
More than 99 percent of rapists do not go to jail or prison, and perpetrators of sexual violence less likely to go to prison than robbery suspects, according to RAINN.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to online.rainn.org.