Lt. governor accuser identifies Corey Maggette as Duke player in 1999 sexual assault

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Virginia lawmaker Patrick Hope said late on Friday that he would introduce articles of impeachment for Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax on Monday “if he has not resigned before then.” (Feb. 9)
AP

Corey Maggette has been identified as the unnamed Duke men’s basketball player who allegedly sexually assaulted Meredith Watson, USA TODAY Sports confirmed through a friend of the accuser Monday night.

Watson is the second woman to come forward to accuse Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of sexual assault.

Maggette’s one year at Duke before an NBA career that stretched 14 seasons coincides with the alleged rape (1999), first reported by USA TODAY Sports on Friday. The New York Times was the first to report that Watson identified the alleged perpetrator as Maggette to a friend.

The friend, Washington D.C.-based attorney R. Stanton Jones, confirmed in an email to USA TODAY Sports that Watson told him she was raped by Fairfax and Maggette.

“When Meredith told me she’d been raped twice at Duke, it made me realize that nothing really awful had ever happened to me in my then very young life,” Jones told USA TODAY Sports. “That realization, and the horror of what Meredith told me about what she’d been through in college, had a big impact on me then and has stuck with me ever since.”

Maggette denied the accusation when reached by The New York Times.

“I have never sexually assaulted anyone in my life and I completely and categorically deny any such charge,” Maggette said in the statement issued through a spokesperson.

A spokesperson for Watson’s attorney has not returned multiple messages left by USA TODAY Sports since Saturday night. That spokesperson, Karen Kessler, provided The New York Times with a Facebook message exchange between Watson and another friend in March 2017, in which Watson named Fairfax and Maggette. The Times was unable to independently verify the message’s veracity.

“Ms. Watson came forward to address the Justin Fairfax denials,” Kessler told USA TODAY Sports in a text message on Saturday when asked for specifics about the 1999 incident with the Duke player. “This is our focus and should be yours.”

Maggette has worked as a broadcaster since retiring from the NBA in 2013 and is an analyst at Fox Sports West.

“Fox Sports takes allegations of misconduct seriously, and we are looking into the matter,” Fox Sports West said in a statement. “We have no further comment at this time.”

Watson’s attorney, Nancy Erika Smith, said in a statement released Friday that Watson “went to the dean, who provided no help and discouraged her from pursuing the claim further.”

More Virginia politics: Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax could face articles of impeachment

Accuser vs accused: What both sides say in latest assault claim against Virginia Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax

Related: Second woman accuses Virginia Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax of ‘premeditated and aggressive’ sexual assault

Duke athletics director Kevin White said in a statement on Saturday that Duke had no knowledge of the alleged 1999 rape until Friday night when USA TODAY Sports and other outlets began to address it.  

“The university is looking into the matter and will have no further comment at this time,” White said.

Duke University also is investigating the allegation against Maggette.

“We are in the process of gathering information to determine what policies and procedures were in place during the time period in which these events are alleged to have occurred, and whether they were activated and followed,” Duke said in a statement to USA TODAY Sports. “We are not able to provide further information or comment on any individual at this time.”

Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said after Saturday’s game against Virginia that he had “no knowledge” of the incident until Friday.

“I think there was an allegation made, right?” Krzyzewski said. “So, I’m not sure if it’s true or not, but there is an allegation.”

Follow USA TODAY Sports’ A.J. Perez on Twitter @byajperez.

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