How a future Trump Cabinet member gave a serial sex abuser the deal of a lifetime

November 29, 2018 § Leave a comment

How a future Trump Cabinet member gave a serial sex abuser the deal of a lifetime

BY Julie K. Brown Nov. 28, 2018

On a muggy October morning in 2007, Miami’s top federal prosecutor, Alexander Acosta, had a breakfast appointment with a former colleague, Washington, D.C., attorney Jay Lefkowitz.

It was an unusual meeting for the then-38-year-old prosecutor, a rising Republican star who had served in several White House posts before being named U.S. attorney in Miami by President George W. Bush.

Instead of meeting at the prosecutor’s Miami headquarters, the two men — both with professional roots in the prestigious Washington law firm of Kirkland & Ellis — convened at the Marriott in West Palm Beach, about 70 miles away. For Lefkowitz, 44, a U.S. special envoy to North Korea and corporate lawyer, the meeting was critical.

His client, Palm Beach multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein, 54, was accused of assembling a large, cult-like network of underage girls — with the help of young female recruiters — to coerce into having sex acts behind the walls of his opulent waterfront mansion as often as three times a day, the Town of Palm Beach police found.

The eccentric hedge fund manager, whose friends included former President Bill Clinton, Donald Trump and Prince Andrew, was also suspected of trafficking minor girls, often from overseas, for sex parties at his other homes in Manhattan, New Mexico and the Caribbean, FBI and court records show.

Facing a 53-page federal indictment, Epstein could have ended up in federal prison for the rest of his life.

But on the morning of the breakfast meeting, a deal was struck — an extraordinary plea agreement that would conceal the full extent of Epstein’s crimes and the number of people involved.

Not only would Epstein serve just 13 months in the county jail, but the deal — called a non-prosecution agreement — essentially shut down an ongoing FBI probe into whether there were more victims and other powerful people who took part in Epstein’s sex crimes, according to a Miami Herald examination of thousands of emails, court documents and FBI records.

The pact required Epstein to plead guilty to two prostitution charges in state court. Epstein and four of his accomplices named in the agreement received immunity from all federal criminal charges. But even more unusual, the deal included wording that granted immunity to “any potential co-conspirators’’ who were also involved in Epstein’s crimes. These accomplices or participants were not identified in the agreement, leaving it open to interpretation whether it possibly referred to other influential people who were having sex with underage girls at Epstein’s various homes or on his plane.

As part of the arrangement, Acosta agreed, despite a federal law to the contrary, that the deal would be kept from the victims. As a result, the non-prosecution agreement was sealed until after it was approved by the judge, thereby averting any chance that the girls — or anyone else — might show up in court and try to derail it….

Now President Trump’s secretary of labor, Acosta, 49, oversees a massive federal agency that provides oversight of the country’s labor laws, including human trafficking. He also has been on a list of possible replacements for former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who resigned under pressure earlier this month….

But court records reveal details of the negotiations and the role that Acosta would play in arranging the deal, which scuttled the federal probe into a possible international sex trafficking operation. Among other things, Acosta allowed Epstein’s lawyers unusual freedoms in dictating the terms of the non-prosecution agreement.

“The damage that happened in this case is unconscionable,” said Bradley Edwards, a former state prosecutor who represents some of Epstein’s victims. “How in the world, do you, the U.S. attorney, engage in a negotiation with a criminal defendant, basically allowing that criminal defendant to write up the agreement?”….

The Herald also identified about 80 women who say they were molested or otherwise sexually abused by Epstein from 2001 to 2006….

Now, more than a decade later, two unrelated civil lawsuits — one set for trial on Dec. 4 — could reveal more about Epstein’s crimes. The Dec. 4 case, in Palm Beach County state court, involves Epstein and Edwards, whom Epstein had accused of legal misdeeds in representing several victims. The case is noteworthy because it will mark the first time that Epstein’s victims will have their day in court, and several of them are scheduled to testify.

A second lawsuit, known as the federal Crime Victims’ Rights suit, is still pending in South Florida after a decade of legal jousting. It seeks to invalidate the non-prosecution agreement in hopes of sending Epstein to federal prison. Wild, who has never spoken publicly until now, is Jane Doe No. 1 in “Jane Doe No. 1 and Jane Doe No. 2 vs. the United States of America,” a federal lawsuit that alleges Epstein’s federal non-prosecution agreement was illegal.

Federal prosecutors, including Acosta, not only broke the law, the women contend in court documents, but they conspired with Epstein and his lawyers to circumvent public scrutiny and deceive his victims in violation of the Crime Victims’ Rights Act. The law assigns victims a series of rights, including the right of notice of any court proceedings and the opportunity to appear at sentencing….

Acosta has never fully explained why he felt it was in the best interests of the underage girls — and their parents — for him to keep the agreement sealed. Or why the FBI investigation was closed even as, recently released documents show, the case was yielding more victims and evidence of a possible sex-trafficking conspiracy beyond Palm Beach.

Upon his nomination by Trump as labor secretary in 2017, Acosta was questioned about the Epstein case during a Senate confirmation hearing.

“At the end of the day, based on the evidence, professionals within a prosecutor’s office decided that a plea that guarantees someone goes to jail, that guarantees he register [as a sex offender] generally and guarantees other outcomes, is a good thing,’’ Acosta said of his decision to not prosecute Epstein federally….

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/article220097825.html

A Culture of Secrecy Is Helping Propel Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, FBI “did not want to learn the truth” about Deborah Ramirez’s allegations against Kavanaugh

October 5, 2018 § Leave a comment

–  A Culture of Secrecy Is Helping Propel Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court

–  Alyssa Milano: We can’t let Trump and Kavanaugh be America’s face

–  FBI “did not want to learn the truth” about Deborah Ramirez’s allegations against Kavanaugh, Boulder woman’s attorney says

A Culture of Secrecy Is Helping Propel Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court
This is why we haven’t heard more from Kavanaugh’s high school peers.
Pema Levy October 4, 2018

When Brett Kavanaugh was nominated to the Supreme Court in July, his high school social network had his back. Within 24 hours, more than 100 alumni of Georgetown Prep, the elite Jesuit high school outside Washington, DC, that Kavanaugh attended from 1979 to 1983, had signed a letter urging the Senate Judiciary Committee to confirm him.

“The network itself starts when you’re in school,” Paul Murray, a classmate of Kavanaugh’s who organized the letter, explained the next day to WAMU, the Washington-area NPR affiliate. “It’s a close-knit school. We are tight classes. Friendships lead to business, and so you have a lot of people that have been successful.” Murray added, “Most people, if they had 150 of their high school friends when they’re 53 years old stand behind you, I think that says a lot.”

Murray’s comments were clearly meant as praise to both Kavanaugh and the school they attended.

But in light of the sexual assault claims now leveled against the Supreme Court nominee, they expose a dark reality of the elite prep-school world in which boys depend on each other to advance socially and economically and protect each other’s reputations. It helps explain why several women who went to sister schools in the 1980s have come forward to describe the rape culture that pervaded the prep-school scene in the Washington area, but exceedingly few men have gone on the record with similar recollections. It also helps explain why Kavanaugh’s Yale classmates have been willing to speak to the press (and presumably the FBI) when they believed Kavanaugh was whitewashing his past as a hard partier in college, while very few of his high school classmates have stepped forward to describe Kavanaugh as anything but a Boy Scout who had the occasional beer, the same image he presented to the public and the Senate.

“I think we can legitimately ask why more men aren’t coming forward, especially on behalf of the women they knew,” says Alexandra Lescaze, a 1988 graduate of the all-girls National Cathedral School in a wealthy neighborhood of Washington, DC. “I think that many men are afraid. I think they are all considering their past actions and wondering whether they ever could be accused of something. I think they want to stay on the down low and not put themselves out there.”

After Julie Swetnick accused Kavanaugh of hanging around boys who spiked punch at parties and gang raped inebriated girls, some of his classmates and alumni of other local high schools sent a second letter to the Judiciary Committee calling her accusations nonsense. “We never witnessed any behavior that even approaches what is described in this allegation,” they wrote.

Swetnick’s allegations remain unconfirmed, but it’s unlikely none of those signatories saw behavior similar to what she described. Two days before Swetnick’s allegations were made public, Lescaze, now the executive director of the Hillman Foundation and a documentary filmmaker, recalled similar behavior in an article in Slate:

I distinctly remember being at a Beach Week party with my then-boyfriend when it dawned on us that there was a drunk girl in a room down the hall, and boys were “lining up” to go in there and, presumably, have their way with her. We didn’t know for sure, but my boyfriend and my friend’s boyfriend went to interrupt it and sent her on her way down the stairs. All I remember about her is that she was in the class above us and had dark hair. My friend has told me she remembers boys saying, “I’m next,” which was why our boyfriends went to stop it. That was the only time I can clearly remember a situation that was so obviously a “lineup,” as it was referred to by some at school. My friend remembers witnessing another, and though there weren’t lineups of this nature at every party, they happened often enough that we had a term. We didn’t call it rape.

It was not always so formal a queue. I remember another time when boys were sitting in kind of a campfire circle that could have started as a game of spin the bottle. But by the time I walked through the room there was a girl who was drunk and in the center of the circle, and the boys were taking turns putting their hands up her skirt instead of kissing her.

Women who endured this 1980s prep-school scene recall a specific power structure to explain how the boys got away with aggressive sexual behavior and why the women stayed silent about it. Today, the women are increasingly coming forward to share their memories, including personal stories of assault. “I can’t even tell you how many people I’ve heard from,” says Lescaze of the notes she received following her Slate article. “It makes me shaky. I just can’t believe how many people have been holding this for so long. It’s just like another collective #MeToo scream that’s happening in unison here.” She’s heard from a few men as well, she says, but far fewer. “They know these things happened,” she says, “but we are not seeing enough men stand up and speak.”

Meanwhile, Kavanaugh’s high school friends are sticking with him. A few have defended him publicly, though most have remained out of the press. One spoke anonymously to the New Yorker, after the FBI declined to interview him, and described Kavanaugh as a member of group that preyed on Georgetown Prep classmates and girls at other schools.

The paucity of male voices from the prep-school world is “a key indicator of the culture of secrecy and the code of what it means to go to that prep school,” says Deirdre Bowen, a law professor at Seattle University School of Law who attended Georgetown Prep’s sister school, Academy of the Holy Cross, while Kavanaugh was at Georgetown Prep.* “You count on everybody to keep your secrets, and you also know that if you were not to keep someone’s secrets, there’s retribution.”

In the elite prep-school world, boys depend on each other to advance socially and economically and protect each other’s reputations.

Bowen didn’t know Kavanaugh in high school, but she knew some of his friends, and she knew the culture of their elite world. (Bowen did note there were a number of students receiving financial aid who did not have an upper-class background.) The boys would band together, promote each other, and protect each other. “In the 1980s, males all knew that they were going to go to college and that the doors were open for them in a predictable future,” she recalls. “Who you knew and what your reputation was was the most crucial part.” The crew that Kavanaugh was part of, a group that included jocks, knew their futures were guaranteed if they stuck together. The more they showed off their masculinity to each other, she says, the closer the group was—and the more need for secrecy about what went on.

For women, there was an entirely different reason to stay silent about the culture of assault: Their reputations would depend on not falling prey to the boys. “Our concern was not about engaging in bad behavior and making sure that everybody kept our secret,” Bowen says. “It was protecting ourselves and our reputation because those secrets wouldn’t be kept by the boys. They would be made fun of by the boys, or information would be spread about us as to who is easy access and who is not.”

One example is the well-known Renate Alumnius entries by multiple boys in Georgetown Prep’s 1983 yearbook, including Kavanaugh, who appeared to be bragging about their alleged sexual exploits with a girl they sometimes mocked as easy. Girls who were assaulted were also objects of scorn. “The girls that this did happen to were called sluts, absolutely,” says Lescaze, referring to victims of rape and abuse. “And they made up nicknames for them that sort of everybody knew. And they were not nice nicknames. And often, those are the ones that those boys put in their yearbook pages.” She recalls one nickname in particular that made reference to a girl’s genitals….

https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2018/10/a-culture-of-secrecy-is-helping-propel-kavanaugh-to-the-supreme-court/

Alyssa Milano: We can’t let Trump and Kavanaugh be America’s face
By Alyssa Milano Tue October 2, 2018

(CNN)  If professor Christine Blasey Ford is to be believed, and I believe she is, Brett Kavanaugh is a sexual predator.
If any number of women are to be believed, and I believe they are, Donald Trump is a sexual predator.

Both Kavanaugh and Trump have denied allegations against them. I wish so deeply that the alleged sexual violence — and overall cruelty toward those who are vulnerable — committed by those who wear the mantle of our nation’s government began and ended with these two men. It does not. It exists at every level of our national institutions, and even at agencies working on behalf of our government who are tasked with the sacred duty of caring for children.
Until we root out the institutionalization of sexual violence and child abuse in our government, too many will continue to be victims — some in our name, under the false premise of protecting our borders.

Hidden behind the glare of the cameras pointed at Judge Kavanaugh is the ongoing plight of immigrant children in the United States. A New York Times article recently told the tale of hundreds of immigrant children from around the country being moved to a government-run tent city in Texas under the cover of darkness. There are no schools. There is limited access to legal services, and the children are frequently forced to represent themselves in immigration court….

https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/01/opinions/migrant-children-separated-brett-kavanaugh-alyssa-milano/index.html

FBI “did not want to learn the truth” about Deborah Ramirez’s allegations against Kavanaugh, Boulder woman’s attorney says
Attorney forwards sworn statement to FBI of Kavanaugh suitemate who volunteered to be interviewed
By The Denver Post October 4, 2018

The FBI, or those overseeing its investigation, “did not want to learn the truth” behind Deborah Ramirez’s allegations of sexual misconduct by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, the Boulder woman’s attorney alleged in a letter to the bureau’s director.

Washington, D.C.-based attorney William Pittard wrote in a two-page letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray released Thursday morning that the bureau ended its probe of the allegations against Kavanaugh in four days “without permitting its agents to investigate.”

Following the FBI’s interview of Ramirez in Boulder last weekend, her attorneys provided a list of 20 witnesses believed to have additional information that could corroborate her account. Ramirez’s attorneys previously have said they don’t believe the FBI contacted any of those people.

“We are deeply disappointed by this failure,” Pittard wrote. “We can only conclude that the FBI — or those controlling its investigation — did not want to learn the truth behind Ms. Ramirez’s allegations.”

Kavanaugh repeatedly has denied all allegations of sexual misconduct.

Pittard attached a sworn statement by Richard Oh, a California emergency room doctor who was one of Kavanaugh’s suitemates at Yale University. Oh, who said he told the FBI he was willing to be interviewed, recalled a female student who “emotionally reported” an incident similar to the one described by Ramirez.

Later Thursday, Pittard sent a second letter to Wray with another statement from a witnesses Ramirez named who wasn’t interviewed by the FBI. That person, whose name is redacted, said Ramirez in 1991 or 1992 recounted an incident that occurred at Yale involving “a male classmate (who) exposed his penis to her without her consent.”

“The information provided by Ms. Ramirez is corroborated, and your agents should have been permitted to develop that information,” Pittard wrote in the second letter. “Both Ms. Ramirez and the search for the truth have been ill-served.”

Ramirez, who works for Boulder County, told the The New Yorker in an article published Sept. 23, that Kavanaugh exposed himself and thrust his genitalia in her face during a party in a dorm room at Yale University when they were both students in the early ’80s. Kavanaugh, a federal appeals court judge, has denied the alleged incident ever happened….
https://www.denverpost.com/2018/10/04/deborah-ramirez-fbi-investigation-kavanaugh/

Kavanaugh – Swetnick sex abuse allegations, ‘belligerent and aggressive’ drinker, bar fight, text messages to refute accuser’s claim before it became public

October 2, 2018 § Leave a comment

–  Kavanaugh accuser Julie Swetnick speaks out on sexual abuse allegations

–  Text messages suggest Kavanaugh wanted to refute accuser’s claim before it became public

–  Police questioned Kavanaugh after bar fight in 1985

–  Brett Kavanaugh was ‘belligerent and aggressive’ drinker, Yale classmate says

Kavanaugh accuser Julie Swetnick speaks out on sexual abuse allegations

“I felt like somebody took me and basically said, ‘You’re worthless. You are nothing to us. You are disposable.'” by Kate Snow Oct.01.2018

….In an exclusive broadcast interview with NBC News, Swetnick claims she saw Kavanaugh behave inappropriately at parties in the early 1980s.

“He was very aggressive — very sloppy drunk, very mean drunk. I saw him — go up to girls and paw on them, try to, you know, get a little too handsy, touching them in private parts. I saw him try to shift clothing,” she told Snow.

Swetnick said that it was only after Christine Blasey Ford came forward in a Washington Post article from September 16 to allege in Kavanaugh had attacked her during at a party that she realized she had a similar story to tell.

NBC News was unable to independently corroborate Swetnick’s claims and has not spoken with anyone who says they saw Swetnick at parties with Brett Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh has said he does not know Swetnick and has called her claims a farce.

Swetnick provided NBC News with the names of four friends who she said went to the parties with her. One is deceased, while two others did not respond to requests for comment. A fourth told NBC News he didn’t remember Swetnick and didn’t think he’d socialized with her.

Swetnick says she saw boys gathered outside closed rooms at parties but did not know what was happening behind those closed doors until she says she herself was attacked around 1982.

“My body was violated,” she said, sighing. “My soul was broken … I felt like somebody took me and basically said, ‘You’re worthless. You are nothing to us. You are disposable.'”

She described feeling unwell, being “shoved into a room” and then being raped by more than one man.

She says Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge were in the same part of the house earlier that evening but she cannot be sure if they were involved….

Swetnick said she told her mother and a police officer about the attack shortly afterward. Both her mother and the officer are now deceased. NBC News filed a public records request for related documents, but local officials said a response could take up to 30 days….

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/supreme-court/kavanaugh-accuser-julie-swetnick-speaks-out-sexual-abuse-allegations-n915641

Text messages suggest Kavanaugh wanted to refute accuser’s claim before it became public
A former classmate of the Supreme Court nominee has reached out to the FBI but hasn’t received a response.
by Heidi Przybyla and Leigh Ann Caldwell Oct.01.2018

WASHINGTON — In the days leading up to a public allegation that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh exposed himself to a college classmate, the judge and his team were communicating behind the scenes with friends to refute the claim, according to text messages obtained by NBC News.

Kerry Berchem, who was at Yale with both Kavanaugh and his accuser, Deborah Ramirez, has tried to get those messages to the FBI for its newly reopened investigation into the matter but says she has yet to be contacted by the bureau.

The texts between Berchem and Karen Yarasavage, both friends of Kavanaugh, suggest that the nominee was personally talking with former classmates about Ramirez’s story in advance of the New Yorker article that made her allegation public. In one message, Yarasavage said Kavanaugh asked her to go on the record in his defense. Two other messages show communication between Kavanaugh’s team and former classmates in advance of the story.

In now-public transcripts from an interview with Republican Judiciary Committee staff on September 25, two days after the Ramirez allegations were reported in the New Yorker, Kavanaugh claimed that it was Ramirez who was “calling around to classmates trying to see if they remembered it,” adding that it “strikes me as, you know, what is going on here? When someone is calling around to try to refresh other people? Is that what’s going on? What’s going on with that? That doesn’t sound — that doesn’t sound — good to me. It doesn’t sound fair. It doesn’t sound proper. It sounds like an orchestrated hit to take me out.”

The texts also demonstrate that Kavanaugh and Ramirez were more socially connected than previously understood and that Ramirez was uncomfortable around Kavanaugh when they saw each other at a wedding 10 years after they graduated. Berchem’s efforts also show that some potential witnesses have been unable to get important information to the FBI….
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/supreme-court/mutual-friend-ramirez-kavanaugh-anxious-come-forward-evidence-n915566

Text messages between Brett Kavanaugh and his classmates seem to contradict his Senate testimony David Choi

Judge Brett Kavanaugh and his staff were reportedly sending text messages to former classmates to underplay allegations that he exposed himself during a party at Yale University.
One of Kavanaugh’s friends said in a message that she corresponded with “Brett” and “Brett’s guy.”
A recipient of the text messages said she forwarded them to the FBI because “they merit investigation by the FBI and the Senate.”

She said she conveyed the contents of the messages to the FBI twice, but has not heard back as of Monday morning.
The timing of the text messages sent from Kavanaugh and members of his team may renew the inquiry surrounding testimony he gave to the Judiciary Committee last week.
Kavanaugh previously testified that he had not discussed or heard of Ramirez’s allegations from The New Yorker.
But Kavanaugh later appeared to contradict himself by saying he had heard that one of his accusers was “calling around to classmates trying to see if they remembered it.”

Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, and his staff were reportedly sending text messages to former classmates to underplay allegations that he exposed himself during a party at Yale University.

The text messages, which were obtained by NBC News, were reportedly between Kavanaugh’s friends, Kerry Berchem and Karen Yarasavage. Based on the contents of the messages, Kavanaugh himself may reached out to his classmates to undercut the claims made by former classmate Deborah Ramirez, who told The New Yorker that Kavanaugh had exposed himself in front of others at a dorm-room party during the 1983-84 school year.

According to one message, Yarasavage said that Kavanaugh had asked her to defend him on the record, NBC News reported. Other messages indicate that Kavanaugh’s surrogates had communicated with his former classmates before the story’s publication….
https://www.businessinsider.com/did-brett-kavanaugh-commit-perjury-testimony-new-yorker-article-deborah-ramirez-2018-10

Police questioned Kavanaugh after bar fight in 1985
Anchor Muted Background By Kate Sullivan, CNN
Mon October 1, 2018

Washington (CNN) Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was accused of starting an altercation while he was a student at Yale, according to a 1985 police report obtained by CNN, after police responded “in regards to an assault.”
In the New Haven, Connecticut, police department report, a man named Dom Cozzolino said Kavanaugh had thrown ice on him and Kavanaugh’s friend Chris Dudley had thrown a glass that hit him in the ear.
“The argument between the two started when Mr. Cozzolino stated that Brett Kavanaugh threw ice at him for some unknown reason and he then got hit in the ear with a glass,” the report says.

Dudley denied the allegations, according to the report, “and Mr. Kavanaugh didn’t (want) to say if he threw the ice or not. “

The police report does not indicate whether anyone was arrested, and New Haven’s police chief, Anthony Campbell, told CNN there are no other records he is aware of involving Kavanaugh….

Chad Ludington, a former classmate of Kavanaugh’s, has said Kavanaugh did not tell the truth about his drinking in his testimony Thursday to the Senate Judiciary Committee. In Ludington’s statement released Sunday he also mentions an altercation involving Kavanaugh: “On one of the last occasions I purposely socialized with Brett, I witnessed him respond to a semi-hostile remark, not by defusing the situation, but by throwing his beer in the man’s face.”

Ludington told CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time” anchor Chris Cuomo that the altercation happened after a UB40 concert, when he and a group of friends were drinking at Demery’s.
They were sitting near a man who they thought looked like the lead singer of UB40, Ali Campbell, and were trying to figure out whether it was him, Ludington told Cuomo.
The man noticed Ludington, Kavanaugh and the others looking at him and — according to Ludington — aggressively asked them to stop.

Ludington told Cuomo he initially remembered Kavanaugh then threw his beer at the man, but recently found out from the report that there were ice cubes in the thrown drink.
“We weren’t drinking water, so it must’ve been some sort of mixed drink,” Ludington told Cuomo.
The man next then “took a swing at Brett,” Ludington continued, and then they were “two guys fighting — that was all very quick.”

Dudley then took his drink and “proceeded to smash it up against the guy’s head,” Ludington recalled.
There was some shouting, and then the police showed up, Ludington said. They looked around and asked questions, he said, and then Dudley was put in a squad car and taken to jail….
https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/01/politics/nyt-police-kavanaugh-bar-fight/index.html

Brett Kavanaugh was ‘belligerent and aggressive’ drinker, Yale classmate says
John Bacon, USA TODAY Oct. 1, 2018

Another Yale classmate of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh challenged the truthfulness of the Supreme Court nominee’s Senate testimony, saying Kavanaugh was often “belligerent and aggressive” when he drank.

Charles “Chad” Ludington, an associate professor of history at North Carolina State University, released a statement saying Kavanaugh “has not told the truth” when denying he never blacked out and downplaying his drinking as a young man.

“On many occasions, I heard Brett slur his words and saw him staggering from alcohol consumption,” Ludington wrote. “When Brett got drunk, he was often belligerent and aggressive.”

Ludington said he would not discuss Kavanaugh with the media but would tell his story to the FBI. The agency is conducting a one-week investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against the federal judge that date back to high school.

Last week, Seattle physician and Yale classmate Liz Swisher said Kavanaugh was a “sloppy drunk” in college. Freshman-year roommate James Roche said Kavanaugh was a “notably heavy drinker, even by the standards of the time, and … became aggressive and belligerent when he was very drunk.”

Roche said he believed Deborah Ramirez, another Yale classmate, who accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct. Kavanaugh denied the allegations.

The New York Times reported Monday that in September 1985, Kavanaugh was involved in an altercation at a bar in which he was accused of throwing ice at another patron. The Times report cited a police report of the New Haven incident and said Kavanaugh was not arrested.

According to the police report, the victim in the case said that after Kavanaugh hurled the ice, a friend of Kavanaugh’s threw a glass and hit the victim in the ear, causing him to bleed. The man was treated at a hospital and Kavanaugh, speaking to officers, did not want “to say if he threw the ice or not,” the Times quoted the police report as saying.

Ludington said he was a varsity basketball player and Kavanaugh enjoyed socializing with athletes. Ludington said he “cringed” when he watched Kavanaugh describe his drinking on a Fox News TV interview and in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“In recent days, I have become deeply troubled by what has been a blatant mischaracterization by Brett himself of his drinking at Yale,” Ludington wrote. “Brett was a frequent drinker, and a heavy drinker.”…

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/10/01/brett-kavanaugh-yale-classmate-drinking-statement/1484822002/

Avenatti: New client will go public with Kavanaugh accusations by Wednesday

September 25, 2018 § Leave a comment

Avenatti: New client will go public with Kavanaugh accusations by Wednesday
By Emily Birnbaum – 09/24/18

Michael Avenatti, the lawyer who says he has “credible information” about more sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, said Monday that he expects his new client will appear for an on-camera interview within the next 48 hours.

Avenatti told The Hill that he anticipates his client will go public with her accusation against Kavanaugh in a television interview within the next two days.

“We anticipate that that is what is going to occur,” Avenatti said, confirming an earlier report from Politico.

He said he does not know which media outlet she will appear on, adding, “We have not finalized the details.”….

Avenatti on Sunday tweeted a screenshot of an email he sent to Mike Davis, the chief counsel for nominations for the Senate Judiciary Committee. In the email, Avenatti said he is “aware of significant evidence of multiple house parties in the Washington, D.C. area during the early 1980s, during which Brett Kavanaugh, Mark Judge and others would participate in the targeting of women with alcohol/drugs to allow a ‘train’ of men to subsequently gang rape them.”

“There are multiple witnesses that will corroborate these facts and each of them must be called to testify publicly,” Avenatti wrote.

Avenatti has declined to disclose most of the details about his client, though he told Politico that “she’s had multiple security clearances over the years, including public trust and secret security clearance.”

Avenatti’s client would be the third woman to publicly accuse Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct….

https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/408151-avenatti-new-client-will-go-public-with-kavanaugh-accusations-in-next-48

Avenatti promises new Kavanaugh accuser to come forward in next 48 hours
Sophie Tatum By Sophie Tatum, CNN Mon September 24, 2018
Washington (CNN)

Michael Avenatti said Monday night that he has new information regarding allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Avenatti, the lawyer also representing adult film star Stormy Daniels who is suing President Donald Trump, said on CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time” that he has multiple clients and “at least one” is prepared to come forward publicly within the next 48 hours.

“At this point, Chris, it’s clients. We’re going to make a public disclosure within the next 48 hours of detailed allegations, as well as the identity of at least one of my clients relating to what she witnessed and experienced concerning Brett Kavanaugh and Mark Judge, and ultimately we’re going to let the American public decide who’s telling the truth,” Avenatti told CNN’s Chris Cuomo.
Avenatti had previously alluded to representing an additional accuser who would be coming forward soon. In an interview with Fox News earlier Monday, Kavanaugh vehemently denied allegations Avenatti alluded to on Twitter.

….Despite Republican efforts to keep Kavanaugh’s confirmation on track, the process continues to be a slog following accusations of sexual assault and inappropriate sexual behavior from two women who have come forward on the record.

In the first alleged instance, the accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, said Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her while the two were at a party during their high school years. She said Judge was in the room when the alleged assault happened. Judge has denied the allegation.

The second alleged incident took place while Kavanaugh and that accuser, Deborah Ramirez, were attending Yale. Ramirez claimed Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a college party.
Kavanaugh has repeatedly denied the allegations.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/24/politics/michael-avenatti-brett-kavanaugh-cnntv/index.html

Kavanaugh accuser ‘faces death threats’, The truth about false assault accusations by women – false accusations are rare, Grace Road

September 19, 2018 § Leave a comment

–  Christine Blasey Ford: Kavanaugh accuser ‘faces death threats’

–  The truth about false assault accusations by women

–  ‘I lost my entire family to a cult’: How one woman escaped Grace Road

– False Memory Syndrome Foundation (FMSF) “a pseudoscientific syndrome that was developed to defend against claims of child abuse.”

– False allegations of child sexual abuse by children are rare

– Recovered Memory Data

– Memory disturbances and dissociative amnesia in Holocaust survivors

– False memory syndrome proponents tactics

Christine Blasey Ford: Kavanaugh accuser ‘faces death threats’
The woman who accuses US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of attempting to rape her will not testify to the Senate next week, says her lawyer.

Christine Blasey Ford’s attorney told CNN her client has been “deflecting death threats and harassment”.

Lawyer Lisa Banks said before her client goes to Congress, she wants an FBI investigation into Judge Kavanaugh.

The nominee, who denies the claim, has met officials at the White House for a second day….

Prof Ford, a psychology lecturer in California, has accused Judge Kavanaugh of drunkenly trying to remove her clothing in 1982 when they were both teenagers in a Washington DC suburb.

Judge Kavanaugh, 53, has called the allegation “completely false.”…

Prof Ford’s legal team say they have written to Senate Judiciary Committee declining its offer to testify.

Her lawyer told CNN on Tuesday night: “It’s premature to talk about a hearing on Monday because she [Prof Ford] has been dealing with the threats, the harassment and the safety of her family and that’s what she’s been focused on for the last couple of days.”….

She said that since going public with her allegation in the Washington Post on Sunday, Prof Ford has been trying to work out where her family are going to sleep at night.

The legal team’s letter says that Prof Ford’s family has been forced to move out of their home, her email has been hacked and she has been impersonated online….

The correspondence says “a full investigation by law enforcement officials will ensure that the crucial facts and witnesses in this matter are assessed in a non-partisan manner, and that the Committee is fully informed before conducting any hearing or making any decisions”.

The development comes a day after Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Chuck Grassley announced plans for the hearing….
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-45568450

The truth about false assault accusations by women
Katty Kay Presenter, BBC World News
18 September 2018

According to various academic studies over the past 20 years, only 2-10% of rape accusations are fake (Prof Ford’s lawyer says she believes this was attempted rape).

Two to 10% is too many, but it is not a big proportion of the total. Fake rape accusations get a lot of attention….

False rape accusations very rarely lead to convictions or wrongful jail time.

A useful article in Quartz by Sandra Newman points to research from the British Home Office showing that in the early 2000s, of the 216 cases that were classified as false allegations, only six led to an arrest.

Of those, only two had charges brought against them and those two were found to be false. …

The idea that lots of men are going to prison because they’ve been falsely accused of rape isn’t supported by the facts.

Moreover, official figures suggest the number of rapes and sexual assaults which are never reported or prosecuted far outweighs the number of men convicted of rape because of fake accusations. Indeed it far outweighs the number of fake accusations, period.

Figures from the US Bureau of Justice Statistics suggest only 35% of all sexual assaults are even reported to the police….

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-45565684

What kind of person makes false rape accusations?
By Sandra Newman May 11, 2017
Innocent men rarely face rape charges

….Let’s start with the idea that false rape accusations ruin lives, and are therefore a universal risk to men. Generally, feminists dismiss this idea by arguing that false accusations are rare—only between 2% and 10% of all reports are estimated to be false. What’s equally important to know, however, is that false rape accusations almost never have serious consequences.

This may be hard to believe, especially considering that rape is a felony, punishable with years of prison. However—to start with this worst-case scenario—it’s exceedingly rare for a false rape allegation to end in prison time. According to the National Registry of Exonerations, since records began in 1989, in the US there are only 52 cases where men convicted of sexual assault were exonerated because it turned out they were falsely accused. By way of comparison, in the same period, there are 790 cases in which people were exonerated for murder.

Furthermore, in the most detailed study ever conducted of sexual assault reports to police, undertaken for the British Home Office in the early 2000s, out of 216 complaints that were classified as false, only 126 had even gotten to the stage where the accuser lodged a formal complaint. Only 39 complainants named a suspect. Only six cases led to an arrest, and only two led to charges being brought before they were ultimately deemed false. (Here, as elsewhere, it has to be assumed that some unknown percentage of the cases classified as false actually involved real rapes; what they don’t involve is countless innocent men’s lives being ruined.)

So the evidence suggests that even in the rare case where a man is the subject of a false rape complaint, chances are that the charges will be dropped without him ever learning about the allegations. This raises an obvious question: Why would false accusers go through the trouble of making a report to police, only to instantly withdraw it?…

https://qz.com/980766/the-truth-about-false-rape-accusations/

‘I lost my entire family to a cult’: How one woman escaped Grace Road
A South Korean church which believes global famine is imminent has set up base in Fiji, where it’s gained considerable influence but faced growing allegations of abuse. One woman who fled what she believes is a cult told the BBC’s Yvette Tan she lost her family in the process – but has no regrets.

Seoyeon Lee had one chance to escape and she took it, running down the road in Fiji in her pyjamas and flip-flops.

“I was crying and I looked hysterical,” she told the BBC.

The then 21-year-old was being pursued by members of Grace Road – including her own mother – who she says had tricked her into going to the Pacific island nation.

“I would have killed myself if they’d made me stay,” she says.
‘I think it’s a cult’

A year earlier, in 2013, Seoyeon had come home to South Korea from the US, where she was studying, for the summer. Her mum was suffering from uterine cancer but had refused treatment.

She told Seoyeon she would only seek treatment if she went with her to Grace Road Church.

“It was very bizarre,” said Seoyeon. “There were people screaming, crying, speaking in tongues and the sermon was about how the end times were coming.

“I told my mum, I think it’s a cult but she didn’t believe me.”….

South Korea has a significant Christian population, and in recent decades many small, fringe churches have sprung up, some of them developing cult-like characteristics.

Grace Road, which insists it is not a cult, started out small in 2002, but now numbers about 1,000 followers, according to Prof Tark Ji-il of Busan Presbyterian University, who has closely studied Korean cults….

“When my dad died, we were left a certain sum of money. I’m pretty sure my mum took all that and gave it to the church,” she said. “They make you sell your property, quit your job, cut off your friends.”

The group has built up a sizeable business empire, from construction to restaurants to agriculture.

“Farming is our original mission because we need to prepare for the famine, we need to be self-sufficient,” Daniel Kim, president of GR Group and Ms Shin’s son told the BBC….

‘No choice but to stay’

But over the past year, a bleak picture has emerged of life inside Grace Road.

Five church members who had returned to South Korea accused Ms Shin of confiscating their passports and holding them against their will. They alleged the church used forced labour and issued ritual beatings so harsh that they led to the death of one follower….

In July, Ms Shin was arrested while back in South Korea on charges of assault and confinement. She was alleged to have abandoned the church members, confiscated their passports, and overseen a brutal regime.

Then in August, Fijian and South Korean authorities conducted a joint raid on the church in Fiji, arresting Mr Kim and several other senior members as part of a slavery investigation.

They were released without charge, but according to Fiji’s police commissioner, investigations are “ongoing”.

A documentary by South Korean broadcaster SBS last month included footage of Ms Shin beating her followers.

Chief Chun Jae-hong of the Korean National Police Agency told SBS that many had “donated their entire fortune to the church, so even if they go back they are penniless… so they have no choice [but to stay]”….

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-45492913

False Memory Syndrome

The term False Memory Syndrome was created in 1992 by the False Memory Syndrome Foundation (FMSF)[1]. It has been called “a pseudoscientific syndrome that was developed to defend against claims of child abuse.”[1] The FMSF was created by parents who claimed to be falsely accused of child sexual abuse.[1] The False Memory Syndrome was described as “a widespread social phenomenon where misguided therapists cause patients to invent memories of sexual abuse.”[1] Research has shown that most delayed memories of childhood abuse are true[2]. In general, it has been shown that false allegations of childhood sexual abuse are rare, with some studies showing rates as low as one percent[3][4] and some studies showing slightly higher rates[3]. It has been found that children tend to understate rather than overstate the extent of any abuse experienced[3]. It has been stated that misinformation on the topic of child sexual abuse is widespread and that the media have contributed to this problem by reporting favorably on unproven and controversial claims like the False Memory Syndrome[5].  https://childabusewiki.org/index.php?title=False_Memory_Syndrome

False allegations of child sexual abuse by children are rare

“allegations made by child victims match closely with confessions of pedophiles”

“The evidence indicates that very few (children) lied originally.”

“children tend to minimize and deny abuse, not exaggerate or over-report such incidents”

How often do children’s reports of abuse turn out to be false? Research has consistently shown that false allegations of child sexual abuse by children are rare. Jones and McGraw examined 576 consecutive referrals of child sexual abuse to the Denver Department of Social Services, and categorized the reports as either reliable or fictitious. In only 1% of the total cases were children judged to have advanced a fictitious allegation.  https://ritualabuse.us/research/false-allegations-of-child-sexual-abuse-by-children-are-rare/

Memory disturbances and dissociative amnesia in Holocaust survivors http://blogs.brown.edu/recoveredmemory/scholarly-resources/holocaust/
The following articles provide compelling scientific evidence in support of the phenomena of dissociation and recovered memory in Holocaust survivors. In addition to supporting the phenomenon in general, these articles also counter the argument that recovered memory is (a) no more than a recent cultural “fad” and (b) specific to false accusers of sexual abuse.
http://ritualabuse.us/research/memory-fms/memory-disturbances-and-dissociative-amnesia-in-holocaust-survivors/

Recovered Memory Data with information on recovered memory corroboration, theories on recovered memory, legal information, physiological evidence for memory suppression, replies to skeptics and books and articles on memory   http://ritualabuse.us/research/memory-fms/recovered-memory-data/

Recovered memory corroboration rates – There are many studies that show fairly high corroboration rates for recovered  memories.  http://ritualabuse.us/research/memory-fms/recovered-memory-corroboration-rates/

False memory syndrome proponents tactics

False memory syndrome proponents have done the following to try and ensure that only their point of view is in the public view.

1) Harassing debate opponents

2) Misrepresenting the data in the field

3) Controlling the media

https://ritualabuse.us/research/memory-fms/false-memory-syndrome-proponents-tactics/

Secret letter accuses Brett Kavanaugh of decades-old sexual misconduct

September 15, 2018 § Leave a comment

Brett Kavanaugh letter’s contents are revealed
By Bob Fredericks September 14, 2018

The woman who wrote a letter to lawmakers accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct claimed he held her down and tried to force himself on her during an alcohol-fueled high school party in the ’80s, according to a New Yorker article published on Friday.

Kavanaugh was a student at the Jesuit-run Georgetown Preparatory School in Bethesda, Maryland, and met the woman, who attended a nearby high school, at the party, according to the report, authored by Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer.

The woman wrote that Kavanaugh held her down and tried to force himself on her after he and a pal, who both had been drinking, turned up the volume on music that was playing to drown out her protests, the magazine reported.

Kavanaugh, she said, also covered her mouth with his hand, but she was eventually able to get free and flee.

Even though the alleged incident took place decades ago, the woman said that the memory was so troubling, she had to seek psychological treatment.

The woman, who did not want to be identified, first approached  California Democratic Rep. Anna Eshoo in July not long after President Trump nominated Kavanaugh to fill the seat of retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. Eshoo turned it over to California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, who said Thursday she had handed it over to the Justice Department.

Kavanaugh, 53, denied that the incident ever happened.

“I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time,” he said in a statement.

Kavanaugh’s buddy from the party said he had “no recollection of that,” according to the magazine.

Since he was nominated and was in the headlines, the woman told friends that the development had revived the painful memories of the incident and that she was struggling over whether to go public….

https://nypost.com/2018/09/14/brett-kavanaugh-letters-contents-are-revealed/

Dianne Feinstein Refers a Kavanaugh Matter to Federal Investigators
By Nicholas Fandos and Catie Edmondson

Sept. 13, 2018

WASHINGTON — The senior Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee referred information involving Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, to federal investigators on Thursday, but the senator declined to make public what the matter involved.

Two officials familiar with the matter say the incident involved possible sexual misconduct between Judge Kavanaugh and a woman when they were both in high school. They spoke anonymously because they were not authorized to discuss the matter.

The statement by Senator Dianne Feinstein of California came a week before the Judiciary Committee is to vote on his nomination. “I have received information from an individual concerning the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court,” Ms. Feinstein said in a statement. “That individual strongly requested confidentiality, declined to come forward or press the matter further, and I have honored that decision. I have, however, referred the matter to federal investigative authorities.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/13/us/politics/brett-kavanaugh-dianne-feinstein.html

Secret letter accuses Brett Kavanaugh of decades-old sexual misconduct

By Bob Fredericks

September 13, 2018

Democrat Sen. Diane Feinstein at the last minute sent a letter to the Justice Department describing allegations of sexual misconduct involving Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and a woman — when they were both high school students.

Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said the information came from a woman who wanted to remain anonymous, and declined to detail the letter’s contents — even to her annoyed fellow Dems.

But according to a pair of vague reports in The New York Times and The Intercept that cited multiple sources, the letter includes the allegations against the 53-year-old Trump nominee.

“I have received information from an individual concerning the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court,” Feinstein said in a statement.

“That individual strongly requested confidentiality, declined to come forward or press the matter further, and I have honored that decision. I have, however, referred the matter to federal investigative authorities.”

The FBI said it was not investigating the judge over the letter, CNN reported Thursday night.

The information came in a letter that was first sent to the office of California Democratic Rep. Anna Eshoo, who passed it along to Feinstein during the summer. It was unclear why she waited until now to pass it along to the feds.

The woman making the claims is being represented by Debra Katz, a lawyer who works with #MeToo survivors, The Intercept reported.

Joseph Abboud, a lawyer at Katz’s firm, said the firm was declining to comment….
https://nypost.com/2018/09/13/secret-letter-may-accuse-brett-kavanaugh-of-sexual-misconduct/

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