Catholic University of America’s dean was placed on leave for the rest of the fall semester Friday after he questioned an accusation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in a tweet.
— Zoe (@ZoeAnnaBP) September 27, 2018
“[Julie] Swetnick is 55 y/o,” dean Will Rainford said in a now-deleted tweet Wednesday, according to Campus Reform. “Kavanaugh is 52 y/o. Since when do senior girls hang with freshmen boys? If it happened when Kavanaugh was a senior, Swetnick was an adult drinking with & by her admission, having sex with underage boys. In another universe, he would be victim & she the perp!”
He sent an apology asking for forgiveness through a letter on Thursday, Campus Reform reported.
“On Sept. 26, 2018, I tweeted a message that unfortunately degraded Ms. Julie Swetnick, a woman who accused Judge Brett Kavanaugh of abusive behavior when he was a teenager,” Rainford wrote. “My tweet suggested that she was not a victim of sexual assault. I offer no excuse. It was impulsive and thoughtless and I apologize.”
More than 40 CUA students walked out of class in protest over Rainford’s tweet on Thursday, The Tower, a CUA paper, reported. They created a petition that included asking for Rainford’s resignation, have a woman in the dean’s position and having the university donate to Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN).
University President John Garvey issued a statement Friday condemning Rainford’s tweet, but also said CUA did not hold a stance on the Kavanaugh allegations from three women.
“While it was appropriate for him to apologize and to delete his Twitter and Facebook accounts, this does not excuse the serious lack of judgment and insensitivity of his comments,” Garvey wrote.
Associate dean Marie Raber will be the acting dean for the rest of the semester, according to Garvey’s statement.
Students will be holding a march on campus on Monday, The Tower reported.
Julie Swetnick was one of Kavanaugh’s accusers who claimed he engaged in “abusive and physically aggressive behavior toward girls,” according to an allegation released by lawyer Michael Avenatti Wednesday. (RELATED: Liberty University President Gives An Okay For 300 Students To Support Kavanaugh Amidst Yale Protesters)
Christine Blasey Ford was the first woman who claimed Kavanaugh forced himself onto her at a party when they were in high school.
Deborah Ramirez said Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a party in the 1983-1984 school year at Yale, according to The New Yorker on Monday.
Another anonymous complaint sent to Colorado Republican Sen. Cory Gardner claimed that Kavanaugh physically assaulted a woman while intoxicated in 1998, The Daily Caller News Foundation reported Wednesday. It is unknown when the letter was sent to Gardner.
A man who called Rhode Island Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse’s office and claimed Kavanaugh sexually assaulted a friend took back his statement, calling it a mistake.
Kavanaugh and Ford testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.
CUA did not immediately respond to TheDCNF’s request for comment.
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