Dennis Ketterer is a former meteorologist who sent a letter to Senator Orrin Hatch describing his past relationship with Julie Swetnick. She is one of the women who has accused Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct.
Swetnick, who was being represented by lawyer Michael Avenatti, initially claimed that Kavanaugh and Mark Judge had been present at a party in 1982 where she was allegedly gang-raped. She described Kavanaugh as a “sloppy” and “mean” drunk who would frequently act inappropriately with girls at parties. Kavanaugh denied Swetnick’s allegations and said they were from the “Twilight Zone.” He also has said he has never met Swetnick.
In a letter, Dennis Ketterer casts doubt on Swetnick’s claims. He shared intimate details of stories he claims Swetnick told him during their brief relationship in the mid-90s. The Senate Judiciary Committee published the letter in full on the government website. You can also read it below.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Dennis Ketterer Claims He Had a Relationship with Swetnick in the 1990s, Even Though He Was Married at the Time
The letter Dennis Ketterer sent to Congress begins by describing how he met Julie Swetnick in 1993. He was working as a meteorologist at the ABC affiliate WJLA-TV at the time.
He wrote that Swetnick approached him at a bar in Washington, D.C. He initially thought she may have been a call girl. Ketterer was 350 pounds and explained that he would not have expected a beautiful woman to approach him.
Ketterer says he and Swetnick had a nice conversation and exchanged contact information. He wrote that they got together a few times at her apartment. In the letter, Ketterer explained that his marriage was on the rocks and he was enjoying the attention from Swetnick.
However, he also described her in less-than-flattering terms. He referred to Swetnick as an “opportunist.” “I felt she only had interest in my 350lb self because I was on television and well-known.”
2. Ketterer Claims Swetnick Confided in Him That She Enjoyed Sex with Multiple Partners
Dennis Ketterer asserts that he and Julie Swetnick never had sex. He claims she was “very sexually aggressive” and that there was physical contact. But he says that line was never crossed.
Ketterer goes on to recount the last conversation he ever had with Swetnick. He wrote in the letter that Swetnick shared her sexual preferences with him. “Things got derailed when Julie told me that she liked to have sex with more than one guy at a time. In fact sometimes with several at one 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. She brought it up because she wanted to know if I would be interested in that.”
Ketterer said the relationship ended that night. He shared in the letter that her alleged talk about group sex had him concerned about contracting AIDS. He writes that Swetnick never mentioned Brett Kavanaugh. He also says Swetnick never claimed to have been sexually assaulted or raped in the past.
3. Ketterer Claims That Swetnick’s Own Father Told Him That She Had ‘Psychological Problems’
Dennis Ketterer ran for Congress in 1996. He ran in Maryland’s 8th district as a Democrat but did not win the primary election.
In the early stages of his campaign, Ketterer said he thought about asking Swetnick to join the team. He did not have her phone number, so he called her father. He claims that Swetnick’s parents told him she had “psychological and other problems” and that Ketterer would not want her on his campaign.
Ketterer explained that when he heard Julie Swetnick’s name come up as an accuser against Brett Kavanaugh, he felt the need to speak up. In the letter, he describes how the decision to come forward was difficult for him. He claims that he was himself a victim of sexual assault as a child and understood how painful it was for victims to not be believed. Ketterer added that in his past, he was “accused of something significant that I didn’t do,” but did not supply details.
Ketterer ended his letter by stating that he does not believe Julie Swetnick’s accusations against Brett Kavanaugh. He wrote that he wanted to tell Mrs. Kavanaugh that “her husband was being mischaracterized.”
4. Swetnick’s Attorney Michael Avenatti Slammed Ketterer’s Letter as Baseless & Accused Senate Republicans of ‘Slut Shaming’ His Client
Julie Swetnick is being represented by attorney Michael Avenatti. He shared his thoughts about Dennis Ketterer’s letter on Twitter on October 2, calling its content “garbage” and that it shows the “GOP is desperate.” Avenatti went on, writing that Ketterer’s allegations about Swetnick “are false and without any basis. We demand that the FBI interview my client & him, and that anyone found to have submitted false info be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Avenatti then took out his anger on Republican leaders in Congress. He sent a follow-up tweet that reads, “Survivors and women everywhere should be outraged by the conduct of @ChuckGrassley & @LindseyGrahamSC in “slut shaming” my client and releasing an unsubstantiated letter that calls her a “whore.” And they do this while hiding similar letters and info about Kavanaugh. #Disgraceful”
Dennis Ketterer initially sent his letter about Swetnick to Utah Senator Orrin Hatch. Once the letter was released on the Judiciary Committee’s website, Hatch’s office shared a link to it on Twitter. A group of Senator Hatch’s constituents have also criticized the senator for releasing the letter to the public.
The Alliance for a Better Utah is an advocacy organization that, according to its website, promotes progressive ideas and pushes for government transparency. Communications director Katie Matheson shared a statement on the group’s Facebook page, accusing Senator Hatch of putting his “own partisan agenda above the legitimacy of the Supreme Court.” The statement goes on, “Considering Swetnick has not even been granted an interview with the FBI, it is befuddling why Hatch has chosen to publicly smear her character in this way. Sharing salacious details about Swetnick’s personal life on Twitter is a blatant “slut-shaming” attempt to discredit her character in the court of public opinion. Even if all of Ketterer’s statements about Swetnick are accurate, they in no way diminish the severity or credibility of Swetnick’s allegations.”
5. Dennis Ketterer Worked for Several Years as a TV Meteorologist & Has Been Married Since 2015
Dennis Ketterer spent the majority of his professional career as a meteorologist. The video above is a resume reel that showcases his work at WBOC-TV in Salisbury, Maryland.
According to his Facebook page, Ketterer worked for WJLA-TV in Washington, D.C. as chief meteorologist from October 1992 until July 1995. As referenced earlier, he met Julie Swetnick in 1993 in a Washington, D.C. bar.
Ketterer lists several other jobs on his social media page but does not list dates. His other work experiences include WMAR-TV in Baltimore and KMGH-TV in Denver.
Senator Orrin Hatch identified Ketterer as a “Utah man” but it is unclear exactly when Ketterer relocated to Utah. His Twitter page lists his location as Centerville, Utah. Ketterer has not tweeted since November of 2016.
He has been married to Kathy Barlow Ketterer since July of 2015. In the letter to Congress, Ketterer mentioned having children. His Facebook page includes pictures of at least one grandchild.
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