Kavanaugh letter writer, Dennis Ketterer, shares his story on KSL
Shortly after his bombshell claim that Brett Kavanaugh accuser Julie Swetnick was a willing participant in the incident that she has described as a “gang rape,” Dennis Ketterer sat down with KSL Newsradio’s Dave & Dujanovic to share his side of the story.
Ketterer made headlines around the nation when Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, tweeted excerpts of his letter refuting Swetnick’s allegations of sexual abuse.
He spoke with KSL Newsradio’s Dave & Dujanovic to explain why he decided to come forward with his story and why he thinks we should believe him.
Dennis Ketterer’s statement to the Judiciary Committee
A Utah man named Dennis Ketterer reached out to the Hatch office this week with information about accuser Julie Swetnick, and her allegations against Judge Kavanaugh.
— Senator Hatch Office (@senorrinhatch) October 2, 2018
In the letter, Ketterer claims that he had a brief relationship with Julie Swetnick while working as a weatherman in Washington D.C. During the relationship, he claims, Swetnick told him things that contradict her allegations against Brett Kavanaugh.
Swetnick has alleged that, in 1982, a group of Kavanaugh’s friends led her into a closed room and gang-raped her against her will. In an interview with NBC News, Swetnick described the experience as traumatizing:
“My soul was broken … I felt like somebody took me and basically said, ‘You’re worthless. You are nothing to us. You are disposable.’”
Swetnick has not directly accused Brett Kavanaugh himself of participating. However, she says that he was at that party, that she witnessed him sexually harassing other girls, and that it is possible that he was one of the men who attacked her.
Ketterer’s statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee, however, claims that Swetnick expressed an interest in group sex:
“Julie told me that she liked to have sex with more than one guy at a time. … I asked her if this was just a fantasy of hers. She responded that she first tried sex with multiple guys while in high school and still liked it from time-to-time.
“Julie never said anything about being sexually assaulted, raped, gang-raped or having sex against her will. She never mentioned Brett Kavanaugh in any capacity.”
Dennis Ketterer speaks out
“I wrote the letter because I just had to do the right thing,” Ketterer told KSL Newsradio’s Dave & Dujanovic.
Ketterer says this “world started turning upside down” when he saw Julie Swetnick’s accusations reported on TV. He spoke to his wife and his priesthood leaders at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for guidance on what to do.
“I think I was looking for an excuse not to, initially,” Ketterer said. It was his wife who changed his mind. “She just hugged me and put her arms around me and told me, ‘If you don’t do the right thing, you’ll never be able to live with yourself.’”
One of his church leaders put him in touch with Sen. Hatch, who connected him with the Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa.
Dennis Ketterer says he that didn’t know that Sen. Orrin Hatch had posted parts of his statement on Twitter. His only complaint, though, was that Sen. Hatch hadn’t posted the entire thing.
“I really wish it weren’t excerpts,” Ketterer told Dave & Dujanovic. “But it was pretty long, pretty detailed.”
Who should we believe?
“There is evidence that Julie and I dated,” Dennis Ketterer claims. But that evidence is still being kept from the public.
Ketterer told Dave & Dujanovic:
“Do I have some evidence in the background? Yes. Has it been brought forward? Not yet.”
Ketterer was unwilling to explain exactly what that evidence was. He clarified, however, that there are no photographs of him and Julie Swetnick together. His relationship with Swetnick, he explained, was an affair that he’d tried to keep quiet.
“I didn’t want anyone to know unless I decided I was going to leave my wife,” Ketterer said. “So, no, there are no pictures and there are no restaurant receipts because we didn’t go to one.”
Dennis Ketterer says he decided to come out after seeing Brett Kavanaugh’s wife, Ashley, struggle through his confirmation hearing.
“I can’t speak to anything else … but in this case, I knew what I knew and I had to tell,” Ketterer said. “When I saw her, I knew I had no choice.”
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article stated that Ketterer called Swetnick’s alleged 1982 assault was “consensual”. This wording has been corrected to reflect that Ketterer did not describe or make any statement about the 1982 incident.
More to the story
Listen to what Dave & Dujanovic’s full interview with Dennis Ketterer on the Dave & Dujanovic podcast.