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Believing Survivors of Sexual Assault: Part 2

By Tyler Bauer

For Part 1 of this piece, click here.

A False Accusation

This past Friday, it was reported that one of Brett Kavanaugh’s accusers was able to shine more light on Kavanaugh’s history of alleged sexual assaults. This accuser – Judy Munro-Leighton – admitted what I had been somewhat suspicious of since the beginning of the Kavanaugh accusations. Ms. Munro-Leighton admitted that the now-Supreme Court Justice did not sexually assault her. In fact, the two have never met.

The following is an unedited excerpt from a letter from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley to Attorney General Jeff Sessions:

 

Then, on October 3, 2018, Committee staff received an email from a Ms. Judy Munro-Leighton with a subject line claiming: “I am Jane Doe from Oceanside CA -- Kavanaugh raped me.”6 Ms. Munro-Leighton wrote that she was “sharing with you the story of the night that Brett Kavanaugh and his friend sexually assaulted and raped me in his car” and referred to “the letter that I sent to Sen. Kamala Harris on Sept. 19 with details of this vicious assault.” She continued: “I know that [‘]Jane Doe[’] will get no media attention, but I am deathly afraid of revealing any information about myself or my family.” She then included a typed version of the Jane Doe letter.

Committee investigators began investigating Ms. Munro-Leighton’s allegations. Given her relatively unique name, Committee investigators were able to use open-source research to locate Ms. Munro-Leighton and determine that she: (1) is a left-wing activist; (2) is decades older than Judge Kavanaugh; and (3) lives in neither the Washington DC area nor California, but in Kentucky. In order to investigate her sexual-assault claims, Committee investigators first attempted to reach her by phone on October 3, 2018, but were unsuccessful. On October 29, Committee investigators again attempted contact, leaving a voicemail. In response, Ms. Munro-Leighton left Committee investigators a voicemail on November 1, 2018.

Eventually, on November 1, 2018, Committee investigators connected with Ms. Munro-Leighton by phone and spoke with her about the sexual-assault allegations against Judge Kavanaugh she had made to the Committee. Under questioning by Committee investigators, Ms. Munro-Leighton admitted, contrary to her prior claims, that she had not been sexually assaulted by Judge Kavanaugh and was not the author of the original “Jane Doe” letter. When directly asked by Committee investigators if she was, as she had claimed, the “Jane Doe” from Oceanside California who had sent the letter to Senator Harris, she admitted: “No, no, no. I did that as a way to grab attention. I am not Jane Doe . . . but I did read Jane Doe’s letter. I read the transcript of the call to your Committee. . . . I saw it online. It was news.”

She further confessed to Committee investigators that (1) she “just wanted to get attention”; (2) “it was a tactic”; and (3) “that was just a ploy.” She told Committee investigators that she had called Congress multiple times during the Kavanaugh hearing process – including prior to the time Dr. Ford’s allegations surfaced – to oppose his nomination. Regarding the false sexual-assault allegation she made via her email to the Committee, she said: “I was angry, and I sent it out.” When asked by Committee investigators whether she had ever met Judge Kavanaugh, she said: “Oh Lord, no.”

In short, during the Committee’s time-sensitive investigation of allegations against Judge Kavanaugh, Ms. Munro-Leighton submitted a fabricated allegation, which diverted Committee resources. When questioned by Committee investigators she admitted it was false, a “ploy,” and a “tactic.” She was opposed to Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

 

None of this is to say that Kavanaugh is innocent or that the other accusers are necessarily lying. We simply don’t know that, and at this point, we may never know that. However, this does prove my point. We cannot blindly believe any individual or group, no matter the subject at hand. We shouldn’t vilify anyone until we can be sure of their guilt. The court of public opinion should not be so quick to reach a verdict.

 

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