NEWS
25/09/2018 6:02 AM IST | Updated 26/09/2018 12:42 AM IST

Brett Kavanaugh Claims Past Virginity As Defense Against Sexual Assault Claims

The Supreme Court nominee said he can’t have been a predator because he was a virgin in high school.

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s latest defense against two sexual misconduct allegations is that he was a virgin in high school and for “many years thereafter.”

Kavanaugh claimed Monday in a Fox News interview that he couldn’t have sexually assaulted anyone as a teenager because of his virginity. Christine Blasey Ford, who goes by Christine Blasey professionally, has accused him of attacking her at a party more than 35 years ago when they were both in high school.

Kavanaugh and Blasey are scheduled to give their separate accounts of the incident on Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“We’re talking about allegations of sexual assault. I have never sexually assaulted anyone,” Kavanaugh told Fox News. “I did not have sexual intercourse, or anything close to sexual intercourse, in high school or many years thereafter.”

Blasey alleges that Kavanaugh pinned her down, groped her and attempted to take off her clothes during a party. She contends that he was drunk at the time and that he only stopped after a classmate threw himself on top of them, giving her a chance to run away.

It should go without saying that virginity does not mean a person is not capable of drunkenly groping another person against her will. 

Kavanaugh’s statement on his virginity was called into question on Tuesday when history professor Stephen Kantrowitz tweeted that Kavanaugh told him a different story during their freshmen year at Yale University. 

Kantrowitz told HuffPost in an emailed statement that he was compelled to reveal a private conversation with Kavanaugh due to the “tremendous importance of honesty and integrity to serving as a Justice of the Supreme Court.” 

“Contrary to his assertion that he remained a virgin ‘for many years’ after high school, during our freshman year he described losing his virginity,” Kantrowitz wrote. “I remember this distinctly because it was the first time I had had such a conversation with an acquaintance who was not a friend. I have no first-hand knowledge of any of the allegations against Judge Kavanaugh, but I thought this conversation was relevant as it goes to the question of his truthfulness.”

A second woman, Deborah Ramirez, has accused Kavanaugh of exposing himself and thrusting his penis at her face when they were both college students at Yale during the 1983-84 school year. Ramirez says they were both intoxicated at that party and that she isn’t entirely sure of her memories. 

The New Yorker, which first published Ramirez’s account on Sunday, was not able to independently confirm if Kavanaugh was at the Yale party she described, but interviewed several of Ramirez’s classmates, who recalled hearing about the alleged incident in vague terms.

Kavanaugh has also pointed to a letter signed by 65 women he has known for decades attesting that the judge has always treated them with “decency and respect.” This letter is also not evidence that he did not commit sexual assault. A person can treat hundreds of women well and still mistreat some other women.

A New York Times report on Monday that examined a copy of Georgetown Preparatory School’s 1983 yearbook shed new light on Kavanaugh’s behavior in high school.

The phrase “Renate alumni,” printed under a group photo of nine football players, including Kavanaugh, is a reference to Renate Schroeder Dolphin, then a student at a nearby Catholic girls school, the Times reported.

The football players used the phrase as a way to brag about their alleged sexual conquests, two of Kavanaugh’s classmates told the Times.

Dolphin was one of 65 women who say they knew Kavanaugh in high school and signed a letter defending his character following Blasey’s accusations. Dolphin told the Times she was unaware at the time of the apparent reference to her in the yearbook.

“I learned about these yearbook pages only a few days ago,” Dolphin said in a statement to the paper. “I don’t know what ‘Renate Alumnus’ actually means. I can’t begin to comprehend what goes through the minds of 17-year-old boys who write such things, but the insinuation is horrible, hurtful and simply untrue. I pray their daughters are never treated this way. I will have no further comment.”

A Kavanaugh representative told the Times the phrase “Renate alumni” referred to Kavanaugh and Dolphin attending “one high school event together and nothing else.”

“Judge Kavanaugh was friends with Renate Dolphin in high school,” the representative said in a statement. “He admired her very much then, and he admires her to this day.”

The statement continued: “Judge Kavanaugh and Ms. Dolphin attended one high school event together and shared a brief kiss good night following that event. They had no other such encounter. The language from Judge Kavanaugh’s high school yearbook refers to the fact that he and Ms. Dolphin attended that one high school event together and nothing else.”

Dolphin, in a statement issued by her lawyer, denied kissing Kavanaugh.

Arthur Delaney contributed to this report.

This article has been updated to include the report about Kavanaugh’s high school yearbook and a statement from Stephen Kantrowitz.