DC Police Investigating Staffer's Sexual Assault Allegations Against Joe Biden
Washington, DC – The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) confirmed on Tuesday that it is actively investigating former staff assistant Tara Reade’s complaint of sexual assault against former Vice President and Presidential hopeful Joe Biden.
“This is an active, ongoing investigation, and there are no further details to provide at this time,” an MPD spokesperson told the Washington Examiner. “Cases that are handled by the Metropolitan Police Department’s Sexual Assault Unit go through a multi-review prior to being assigned a disposition. This case is progressing through the review process.”
Reade, who confirmed the complaint she filed was against the former Vice President, has alleged that Biden pushed her up against a wall and penetrated her with his fingers in 1993 while she was working as a staff assistant in his Senate office.
Biden was a Democratic U.S. Senator from Delaware from 1973 to 2009, when he and former President Barack Obama’s were sworn into office, the Washington Examiner reported.
The statute of limitations for criminal prosecution of the complaint expired in 2008, 15 years after the alleged crime was committed.
Reade, now 56, said she filed the complaint with the police now for “safety reasons,” the Washington Examiner reported.
She said that ever since she came forward with allegations against Biden, she has been plagued with vulgar and threatening messages.
Reade said she filed the incident report with MPD to create a paper trail in case “something happened to me,” the Washington Examiner reported.
She said she never expected the DC police to investigate her complaint because it had been too long since the incident occurred.
Reade said MPD assigned an in-house victim’s advocate to help her through the process, but that she had also found an outside advocate to support her through a non-profit organization, the Washington Examiner reported.
“They're helping me mainly with safety planning,” she said.
The former Biden staffer has said she doesn’t plan to file a civil lawsuit against the Presidential hopeful despite the fact that DC has done away with the statute of limitations on sex crimes, the Washington Examiner reported.
A sex crimes expert at New England Law Boston said there could be a number of reasons MPD was investigating the 27-year-old criminal allegations.
“Sometimes they receive information that is never going to lead to a criminal charge, but nonetheless, does invoke some of their obligations as public safety officials,” Professor Wendy Murphy, a former sex crimes prosecutor, told the Washington Examiner.
“Is it usual or typical? I think the answer is no. But this is also not a usual, typical case,” Murphy added.
She said the case could still be open because police believe Reade’s allegations may lead to other complaints, or because they’re worried about the former Biden staffer’s safety, the Washington Examiner reported.
“You don’t waste resources reviewing something that has no purpose,” the former prosecutor said.
A former MPD veteran officer told the Washington Examiner he thought the fact the case was still open was very unusual.
“I wouldn’t expect a department to look into this for that long, maybe just take a report and close it out,” the former DC police officer said. “It would also automatically be closed. They wouldn’t spend time investigating something they can’t prosecute.”
“I’m sure the D.C. PD has plenty of work without creating it,” he added. “Obviously, it’s a very high-profile case, so high-profile cases get a lot more attention, unfortunately, than if the victim or offender wasn’t a known public figure. In spite of that, I wouldn’t expect them to proceed on something that had no chance of getting prosecution.”