Virginia’s lieutenant governor, Justin Fairfax, has been accused of sexually assaulting two different women. With investigation’s pending and rumors continuing to circulate, four government staffers who worked for Fairfax have all resigned. Fairfax denies the allegations, but the problem continues to grow with each new detail that emerges. With one of those alleged rapes taking place on Duke University’s campus in 2000, the scope of the investigation is about to get even more massive.
Fairfax’s accuser, Meredith Watson, claims that a former Duke basketball player also raped her in during her sophomore year in 1999. According to reporting from The New York Times, that player is Corey Maggette, who played for the Blue Devils for only one season in 1998-99. In addition, the woman claims she brought the issue to an unnamed dean at the university, but that official “discouraged her from pursuing the claim further.”
Maggette played for head coach Mike Krzyzewski for one season when Duke finished 37-2, swept the ACC Tournament and regular season, and ultimately lost to the Connecticut Huskies in the 1999 national championship game. Maggette was selected with the 13th-overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft and played 14 NBA seasons with six teams. Today, he is a basketball analyst working for Fox Sports and won the BIG3 league title playing for the Power last year.
The 39-year-old Maggette denied the accusation against him on Monday evening in a statement through a spokesman.
“It has only been through media accounts and a statement from Meredith Watson’s lawyer that I first learned or heard of anything about these sexual assault allegations. I have never sexually assaulted anyone in my life and I completely and categorically deny any such charge.”
— Corey Maggette, via NYT
Duke University is investigating a claim that a player raped the woman, but Michael Schoenfeld, a spokesman for the university, did not specify who the player was or that Duke failed to act in any way, nor did he offer any further information. In addition, Coach K said he had “no knowledge” of the accusations and only heard about it through media reporting last week.
R. Stanton Jones, a lawyer and childhood friend of Ms. Watson, told The Times that she told him back in the summer of 2001 that she was raped twice at Duke and that one of the men was in fact Corey Maggette. Jones stated that although the two were not very close, it “seemed like the right thing to do” to come forward with this information now.
The New York Times reporting also uncovered a Facebook message exchange between Watson and her friends about a newspaper article involving Fairfax’s accusations. When one of her friends asked if she reported being raped in 1999, Watson says: “You know I didn’t report it after how the university responded when I reported Corey Maggette.”
There’s a massive undertaking coming with this information. For Duke, the high-standard of excellence set forth by the basketball program is impossible to overstate. Coach K and the Blue Devils are the standard when it comes to elite young men and basketball talent, but any accusation that the school would protect them is hard to swallow without legitimate proof.
It’s hard to separate fact from fiction at this stage, but one thing is clear: Meredith Watson coming forth with these claims against the lieutenant governor of Virginia, Corey Maggette and Duke University is way too big to simply ignore.