Julie Swetnick is alleging that, when she and Brett Kavanaugh attended high school together, he and his friends spiked women’s drinks to subdue them for gang rapes. Spiking a person’s drink is a surprisingly common crime.
Swetnick is the third woman to level accusations of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh, President Trump‘s Supreme Court nominee. Earlier, California professor Christine Blasey Ford, 51, alleged that Kavanaugh pinned her down on a bed and sexually assaulted her during a high school party, and Deborah Ramirez, 53, said he pulled down his pants and pushed his penis into her face during a party at Yale University.
On Wednesday, attorney Michael Avenatti, who represents Stormy Daniels (allegedly Trump’s former mistress) tweeted a sworn declaration by Swetnick, who lives in Washington, D.C., outlining the details of her allegations, along with emails written to Mike Davis, the chief counsel for nominations for the Senate Judiciary Committee, demanding his attention to Swetnick’s allegations.
Below is my correspondence to Mr. Davis of moments ago, together with a sworn declaration from my client. We demand an immediate FBI investigation into the allegations. Under no circumstances should Brett Kavanaugh be confirmed absent a full and complete investigation. pic.twitter.com/QHbHBbbfbE
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) September 26, 2018
Here is a picture of my client Julie Swetnick. She is courageous, brave and honest. We ask that her privacy and that of her family be respected. pic.twitter.com/auuSeHm5s0
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) September 26, 2018
“Below is my correspondence to Mr. Davis of moments ago, together with a sworn declaration from my client. We demand an immediate FBI investigation into the allegations,” tweeted Avenatti. “Under no circumstances should Brett Kavanaugh be confirmed absent a full and complete investigation.”
In the document, Swetnick, who states that she has had work clearances for jobs at the Treasury Department, the IRS, and more, says that in the early 1980s, she was introduced to Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge (whom Ford claims was present and complicit during her alleged attack), at a Washington, D.C., house party and subsequently witnessed them together at multiple gatherings.
In addition to stating that she witnessed Kavanaugh “drink excessively” at these events, Swetnick claimed he would “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. I likewise observed him be verbally abusive towards girls by making crude sexual comments to them that were designed to demean, humiliate and embarrass them…”
Swetnick wrote, “During the years 1981-82, I became aware of efforts by Mark Judge, Brett Kavanaugh, and others to ‘spike’ the ‘punch’ at house parties I attended with drugs and/or grain alcohol so as to cause girls to lose their inhibitions and their ability to say ‘No.’ This caused me to make an effort to purposefully avoid the ‘punch’ at these parties. I witnessed efforts by Mark Judge, Brett Kavanaugh, and others to ‘target’ particular girls so they could be taken advantage of; it was usually a girl that was especially vulnerable because she was alone at the party or shy.”
According to the statement, Swetnick observed Kavanaugh and others plying girls with alcohol to make them easy targets for gang rape, which would occur in bedrooms “by a train of numerous boys.” She wrote, “I have a firm recollection of seeing boys lined up outside rooms at many of these parties waiting for their ‘turn’ with a girl inside the room. These boys included Mark Judge and Brett Kavanaugh.”
Swetnick alleges that in 1982, she became the victim of a rape at which Kavanaugh and Judge were “present” and that afterward she confided in two people. “During the incident, I was incapacitated without my consent and unable to fight off the boys raping me. I believe I was drugged using Quaaludes or something similar placed in something I was drinking,” she said.
According to CNBC, Kavanaugh said of Swetnick’s claims, “This is ridiculous and from the Twilight Zone. I don’t know who this is and this never happened.”
The Wall Street Journal reported that Judge’s attorney denied Swetnick’s claims. And Trump tweeted: “Avenatti is a third rate lawyer who is good at making false accusations like he did on me and like he is now doing on Judge Brett Kavanaugh. He is just looking for attention and doesn’t want people to look at his past record and relationships — a total low-life!”
People have their drinks spiked frequently — according to a 2016 study of more than 6,000 students published in the journal Psychology of Violence, almost 8 percent (462 people) report they were drugged, and 1.4 percent (83 people) admitted to 172 incidents of drugging another person by slipping medication such as Xanax and Rohypnol (roofies) into a drink.
Surprisingly, the study found that women were much more likely to report sex or sexual assault as a motive for spiking someone’s drink, while men were more likely to say that their motivation for drugging another person was to “have fun” (which is quite vague). The study authors, who did not return Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment, wrote, “Even if a person is drugging someone else simply ‘for fun,’ with no intent of taking advantage of the drugged person, the drugger is still putting a drug in someone else’s body without their consent — and this is coercive and controlling behavior.”
The outcome of being drugged was typically more negative for female victims: sexual assault, blacking out, and getting sick. When people who drugged others were asked whether they or someone they knew had engaged in sexual behavior (unwanted touching, forced sex) with the victim, 29.1 percent answered “Yes.” Other victims were physically hurt while drugged.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, so-called date-rape drugs often go undetected because they have no color, smell, or taste, so victims may not realize they’ve been targeted. The drugs can make a person woozy and tired, rendering them powerless to give sexual consent. While spiking someone’s drink is illegal (the law varies by state), the drugs used in such cases may be legal. For example, roofies are illegal in the U.S.; however, drugs like Ketamine are used as anesthetics and 4-hydroxybutanoic acid (GBH) is used to treat sleep disorders.
Ruchi Dhami, a former research fellow at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University and director of market insights and development at American Addiction Centers, oversaw a survey of more than 900 people to determine the prevalence of drink and food spiking.
The survey found that 44 percent of men and 56 percent of women were drugged without their knowledge while in high school, college, or as adults not attending school, largely by friends or strangers. The most common place victims were targeted: house parties, like the ones attended by Kavanaugh’s alleged victims. Unfortunately, 52 percent of men and 62 percent of women did not report the crime.
“Some women feel as though there wouldn’t be a proper punishment,” Dhami tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “In our current climate, we’ve read about women’s claims not getting the proper investigation or sentencing for the crime. Another reason is victim-blaming — many believe they will be blamed for drinking in the first place.”
The ease with which women’s drinks are spiked is alarming. “We found that the act can take place undetected, without the victim’s knowledge,” says Dhami, and even if people take precautions. “Some even took their drink to the bathroom [rather than leaving it unattended], and some even brought their own drink. Spiking can happen within seconds, even while a person is holding their drink in their hand.”
Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:
- Mitch McConnell describes attorney questioning Kavanaugh and his accuser a ‘female assistant’
- ‘Please remember her humanity’: Actress Bridgit Mendler among family members sharing letter of support for Christine Blasey Ford
- Patti Davis, daughter of Ronald and Nancy Reagan, reveals she was sexually assaulted, calls Christine Blasey Ford ‘brave’