Duke to investigate sexual assault allegation against former basketball player

Duke is investigating a claim that a former basketball player assaulted a woman in 1999, the university announced Saturday

In a series of statements released Friday, Meredith Watson said through her attorney that a former Duke player sexually assaulted her during that time, though the name of the player was not released.

Watson also claimed Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax assaulted her when they were at Duke together in 2000. She is the second woman to come forward and allege Fairfax assaulted her.

“Ms. Watson was raped by a basketball player during her sophomore year at Duke,” the statement said, via Bloomberg. “She went to the Dean, who provided no help and discouraged her from pursuing the claim further. Ms. Watson also told friends, including Justin Fairfax.”

After Duke’s Saturday night win against Virginia, both the school and coach Mike Krzyzewski released statements revealing the allegation was being looked into.

“Duke first learned of the allegations involving a student-athlete last night when they were reported by the media,” the statement said, via ESPN. “Coach Krzyzewski confirms that he had no knowledge of the alleged conduct from 1999. The university is looking into the matter and will have no further comment at this time.”

Krzyzewski said he had recently learned of the allegations, and stated he had no prior knowledge about the claims.

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“I think there was an allegation made, right?” Krzyzewski said. “So, I’m not sure that’s true or not, but there’s an allegation. I didn’t find out about it until late last night, and I have no knowledge about it. … Our university will take care of whatever actions and give whatever information that’s needed to be done. I think our [athletic director] has put out a statement that we’ll give to you. It’s very … something like that is serious. So, our school looks at it that way, and we’ll do whatever we can to make sure that we answer whatever questions are posed to us.”

The 1999 Duke team was one of the best teams in school history. They reached the title game that season, but lost to UConn.

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