Former neighbor recalls Tara Reade telling her details of sexual assault by Biden in the mid-90s (Update)

Former neighbor recalls Tara Reade telling her details of sexual assault by Biden in the mid-90s (Update)

I think this is the end of the media stonewall of Tara Reade’s story. I genuinely can’t imagine how they could continue to ignore her now. Business Insider just reported a significant break in the story which adds to her credibility. Two additional people have come forward saying they recall Reade talking about a sexual assault she experienced and both heard about it in the mid-90s. One of the individuals was a neighbor who says Reade not only named Biden but described the details of the assault which Reade made public last month.

“This happened, and I know it did because I remember talking about it,” Lynda LaCasse, who lived next door to Reade in the mid-1990s, told Insider…

LaCasse told Insider that in 1995 or 1996, Reade told her she had been assaulted by Biden. “I remember her saying, here was this person that she was working for and she idolized him,” LaCasse said. “And he kind of put her up against a wall. And he put his hand up her skirt and he put his fingers inside her. She felt like she was assaulted, and she really didn’t feel there was anything she could do.”

LaCasse said that she remembers Reade getting emotional as she told the story. “She was crying,” she said. “She was upset. And the more she talked about it, the more she started crying. I remember saying that she needed to file a police report.” LaCasse said she does not recall whether Reade supplied any other details, like the location of the alleged assault or anything Biden may have said.

“I don’t remember all the details,” LaCasse said. “I remember the skirt. I remember the fingers. I remember she was devastated.”

Business Insider verified that LaCasse and Reade were neighbors in 1995 when they both lived in an apartment complex in California. LaCasse said Reade told her about the experience with Biden one night when they were both discussing violent incidents from their past. LaCasse says she lost touch with Reade for many years but they reconnected in 2016. However she says Reade never asked her to come forward to back up her story. LaCasse also says she is a lifelong Democrat and (oddly) that she still intends to vote for Biden despite believing Reade’s story about him.

BI also spoke with a second person who remembers Reade telling them about sexual harassment in the mid-90s. Lorraine Sanchez worked with Reade in the office of California State Senator Jack O’Connell from 1994-96. She says Reade told her “she had been sexually harassed by her former boss while she was in DC.” Sanchez told BI she doesn’t recall if Reade specifically mentioned Biden or the details of the harassment, but she does recall reassuring Reade that nothing like that would happen in O’Connell’s office.

Up to this point there have been three people who Reade claims knew about the alleged assault. One was Reade’s friend who has given several interviews but has asked that her name not be used. You can listen to her interview with podcast host Katie Halper here.

The second was Reade’s brother and the third person was her mother. It appeared unlikely there would be any way to back up the claim that Reade’s mother knew about the allegation because she passed away in 2016. But last Friday a recording of Reade’s mother calling into Larry King Live in 1993 was identified. While her mother never mentioned sexual assault, she did say her daughter had experienced problems involving a prominent senator and that these problems would have been newsworthy.

The media has been slow-walking this story since it broke last month. It took the NY Times 19 days to mention it. Outlets like NBC News and CNN were similarly slow to engage. But with this report, the situation has changed.

Reade’s allegations have frequently been compared to those against Judge Kavanaugh by Christine Blasey Ford, including by Reade herself. In light of this new development there can no longer be any doubt that the comparison is unfair to Reade. There are now five people who say they knew something about this story decades ago, two of whom heard the exact details Reade revealed in a podcast last month. Dr. Ford never had any corroboration approaching this.

The media’s excuse for protecting Biden from these allegations should be over. All of the excuses about Reade changing her story have to be put away now that we know her story has been consistent with what she is now saying since 1995. That means Biden is finally going to have to answer these allegations himself. It’s about time. As Reade’s neighbor said, “This happened.”

Biden should be careful how he denies this. There could be several more people out there who Tara Reade told about this decades ago. And that’s not all the Biden camp should be worried about. Because one thing we’ve seen in previous cases of alleged sexual assault is that once the silence protecting a powerful public figure ends, additional accusers come forward. That could happen in this case too.

Update: Two weeks ago I wrote about Michelle Goldberg’s piece for the NY Times claiming Reade seemed “almost engineered in a lab to inspire skepticism.” Now it seems she’s changing her tune.

One down about 1,000 more progressive hypocrites to go.


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