A woman who accused Virginia lieutenant governor Justin Fairfax of sexual assault says that former Duke basketball and NBA player Corey Maggette raped her while they were in college, the New York Times reports.
Meredith Watson said last Friday that Fairfax raped her while the two were students at Duke 19 years ago. Watson also said on Friday that an unnamed Duke basketball player raped her in 1999, and that Fairfax knew about it when he allegedly assaulted her.
NY Times identifies Maggette as Watson’s accused rapist
On Monday, the Times identified the alleged attacker as Maggette, citing a childhood friend of Watson’s. The Times reports that the friend said Watson told multiple friends years prior to the Fairfax allegation that Maggette had raped her in college.
R. Stanton Jones, a childhood friend of Watson’s and a Washington law partner, told the Times that Watson told him in 2001 that Maggette had raped her.
“Meredith told me she had been raped twice at Duke,” Mr. Jones said. “And she told me that one of the men who raped her was the Duke basketball player Corey Maggette. That was a name I knew because I’m a basketball fan.”
The Times also cited Facebook messages from 2017 provided by Watson spokeswoman Karen Kessler that it could not independently verify.
Maggette ‘categorically’ denies allegation
The Times reached out to Maggette, who denied the allegations in a statement.
“It has only been through media accounts and a statement from Meredith Watson’s lawyer that I first learned or heard of anything about these sexual assault allegations,” Mr. Maggette said in a statement. “I have never sexually assaulted anyone in my life and I completely and categorically deny any such charge.”
Maggette played on Final Four team, in NBA
Maggette played for Duke during the 1998-99 season that saw the Blue Devils lose to Connecticut in the national championship game. Maggette played 14 seasons in the NBA and is currently an analyst for Fox Sports West covering the Los Angeles Clippers.
Maggette was absent from Monday’s broadcast of the Clippers game against the Minnesota Timberwolves for reported “personal reasons.”
A Fox Sports West spokesman addressed the allegations when prompted by the Times.
“Fox Sports takes allegations of misconduct seriously, and we are looking into the matter,” a spokesman said. We have no further comment at this time.”
Scandal in Virginia
Watson is the second woman to accuse Fairfax of raping her, calling the alleged attack “premeditated and aggressive.” Fairfax is under pressure to step down from his job as lieutenant governor, labeling the accusation part of a “vicious and coordinated smear campaign.”
The accusations are part of a larger scandal that has engulfed Virginia state politics, with calls for Governor Ralph Northam to resign after racist yearbook photos from college surfaced.
Watson’s attorney: Duke dean ‘provided no help’
Duke acknowledged the accusations of an unnamed player being accused of rape on Friday, telling USA Today that school officials were “looking into” the matter.
Watson’s attorney Nancy Erica Smith made public the accusation against a Duke player in a statement to USA Today. She said Duke officials discouraged Watson from pursuing the allegation.
“He revealed that Ms. Watson was the victim of a prior rape,” Smith wrote. “That is true. Ms. Watson was raped by a basketball player during her sophomore year at Duke. She went to the Dean, who provided no help and discouraged her from pursuing the claim further. Ms. Watson also told friends, including Justin Fairfax. Mr. Fairfax then used this prior assault against Ms. Watson, as he explained to her during the only encounter she had with him after the rape.
Duke response: ‘Gathering information’
Duke declined to acknowledge that Maggette was the accused in a statement given to the Times, stating the school is “gathering information” about the allegation.
“We are in the process of gathering information to determine what policies and procedures were in place during the time period in which these events are alleged to have occurred, and whether they were activated and followed,” said Michael Schoenfeld, a spokesman for Duke. “We are not able to provide further information or comment on any individual at this time.”
Head coach Mike Krzyzewski said on Saturday that he had “no knowledge” of the accusations.
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