Senator Hatch accused of ‘slut-shaming’ after sharing Utah man’s letter about Kavanaugh accuser

This article originally appeared on Good4Utah. Read it in its entirety here. 

SALT LAKE CITY(News4Utah) – Senator Orrin Hatch is receiving backlash after claims he floated on social media regarding individuals involved in the Brett Kavanaugh nomination process.

A Utah man recently announced he knows one of Kavanaugh’s accusers and he does not believe her allegations against him.

This man, Dennis Ketterer, wrote a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee this week explaining his previous relationship with Julie Swetnick.

Swetnick is the third woman to accuse President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee of sexual misconduct during his high school years.

In a declaration provided to the committee and released by her attorney Michael Avenatti, Swetnick claims she saw Kavanaugh at more than ten house parties in the early 1980s. She said at numerous parties Kavanaugh was drunk and engaging in what she called “highly inappropriate conduct,” including “fondling and grabbing of girls without their consent.”

Swetnick also alleges that she “became aware of efforts” by Kavanaugh and another classmate to spike drinks at parties with drugs or grain alcohol in order to cause girls to lose their inhibitions and their ability to say, “No.”

Kavanaugh vehemently denied the claims. In a statement, he called the allegations by Swetnick “ridiculous and from the Twilight Zone.”

Tuesday, Senator Hatch’s Office tweeted excerpts from Ketterer’s statement sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The same text and the full letter was also posted on the committee’s website.

Ketterer said he had a relationship with Swetnick in the 1990s. Ketterer’s statement appears to make assertions about Swetnick based on her alleged sexual preferences and interactions he had with her previously.  

Hatch received criticism on Twitter for sharing the uncorroborated statement about Swetnick that includes claims that many say has no relevance to her allegations. Twitter users called it “slut-shaming” and “disgraceful.”

Alliance for a Better Utah released the following statement:

“For all his hand-wringing over political tribalism, Senator Hatch has repeatedly chosen to put his own partisan agenda above the legitimacy of the Supreme Court. Considering Swetnick has not even been granted an interview with the FBI, it is befuddling why Hatch has chose to publicly smear her character in this way. Sharing salacious details about Swetnick’s personal life on Twitter is a blatant “slut-shaming” attempt to discredit her character in the court of public opinion. Even if all of Ketterer’s statements about Swetnick are accurate, they in no way diminish the severity of credibility of Swetnick’s allegations.”

The organization went on to say,

“spreading a message that Kavanaugh’s accusers are lying while simultaneously refusing to acknowledge the legitimacy of claims against Kavanaugh—signals to survivors of sexual assault that their experiences are immaterial in deciding who holds power in this country. We would hope Hatch would be more concerned with getting at the truth than discrediting women accusing Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct.”

This article originally appeared on Good4Utah. Read it in its entirety here. 

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