Duke rape allegation, ‘looking into’ recent rape accusation

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Duke rape allegation, ‘looking into’ recent rape accusation.

A former Duke basketball player, who has not been publicly identified, has been accused of raping a woman in 1999.

The allegation comes from Meredith Watson, who has also accused Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of sexual assault.

USA Today reported the news Friday night.

Meredith Watson, in a statement released earlier Friday by her lawyer, said Fairfax committed a “premeditated and aggressive” sexual assault of Watson while both were students at Duke in 2000. In a statement later Friday, Watson described an incident with an unspecified Duke basketball player because “Fairfax has chosen to attack his victim again.”

“He revealed that Ms. Watson was the victim of a prior rape,” Nancy Erika Smith, Watson’s attorney, wrote in the second statement. “That is true. Ms. Watson was raped by a basketball player during her sophomore year at Duke. She went to the Dean, who provided no help and discouraged her from pursuing the claim further. Ms. Watson also told friends, including Justin Fairfax. Mr. Fairfax then used this prior assault against Ms. Watson, as he explained to her during the only encounter she had with him after the rape.

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A person with knowledge of the alleged sexual assault by the Duke basketball player told USA TODAY Sports the incident occurred in 1999. That person was granted anonymity because details of the incident have not been made public.

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Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, who has run the Blue Devils program for nearly 40 years, was asked about the allegation on Saturday night after his team’s win at Virginia.

“I think there was an allegation made, right? So I’m not sure that’s true or not, but there’s an allegation,” Krzyzewski said at his postgame press conference. “I didn’t find out about it until late last night and I have no knowledge about it. You know, playing, obviously — and that is hugely important. And our university will take care of whatever actions and give whatever information that’s needed to be done. I think our AD has put out a statement that we’ll give to you. But something like that is serious, so our school looks at it that way and we’ll do whatever we can to make sure that we answer whatever questions are posed to us.”

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After Krzyzewski’s press conference, Duke handed out the following statement to the media: “Duke first learned of the allegations involving a student-athlete [Friday] night when they were reported by the media. Coach Krzyzewski confirms that he had no knowledge of the alleged conduct from 1999. The university is looking into the matter and will have no further comment at this time.”

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