Metro

Amherst College graduate vouches for Kavanaugh accuser in letter

President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Jacquelyn Martin/Associated Press
President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

A 1992 graduate of Amherst College is publicly backing one of Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s accusers ahead of Thursday’s highly anticipated hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee weighing Kavanaugh’s imperiled Supreme Court nomination.

Keith S. Koegler, a California lawyer who holds a bachelor’s in history from Amherst, submitted a two-page declaration to the committee in which he vouched for Christine Blasey Ford, the California research psychologist who alleges Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a house party decades ago when they were teenagers. Kavanaugh has denied the allegation.

Koegler’s letter was one of multiple declarations supporting Ford that were recently sent to the committee. All the writers, including Ford’s husband and two of her friends, maintain that Ford disclosed the alleged assault long before the scandal erupted publicly.

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Koegler wrote that he has known Ford and her husband for more than five years and considers them close friends. He said he met the Fords when he was coaching their son’s baseball team and their families have vacationed together.

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Koegler first heard Ford’s account of being assaulted in 2016, during a discussion of the six-month sentence given to former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner for sexual assault, the letter said.

“Christine expressed anger at Mr. Turner’s lenient sentence, stating that she was particularly bothered because she was assaulted in high school by a man who was now a federal judge in Washington D.C.,” wrote Koegler, who also holds a law degree from Vanderbilt. “Christine did not mention the assault to me again until June 29, 2018, two days after Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his resignation from the Supreme Court of the United States.”

She later told Koegler in an e-mail exchange that her alleged attacker was Kavanaugh, Koegler wrote.

“In all of my dealings with Christine, I have known her to be a serious and honorable person,” Koegler wrote in the declaration, which was signed and dated Monday.

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A second woman, Yale alumna Deborah Ramirez, has also made sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh dating back to their freshman year at the Ivy League school. Kavanaugh has adamantly denied those allegations as well.

The website for the state bar of California says Koegler has been licensed to practice law there since 1997. The independent California Lawyers Association lists his specialties as business and intellectual property law, according to the bar’s website.

Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.