A third person has corroborated Tara Reade’s specific sexual assault allegation against former vice president and presumptive 2020 Democratic Party presidential nominee Joe Biden.
Lynda LaCasse is Reade’s former next-door neighbor and a Democrat who plans to vote for Biden. She told Business Insider on Monday that Reade described the alleged sexual assault to her in 1995 or 1996.
“This happened, and I know it did because I remember talking about it,” LaCasse said in an interview with Rich McHugh.
“I think we need to listen to people,” she said when asked about concerns over Reade’s credibility that have been raised by Biden’s defenders. “I don’t see why somebody would put themselves through all that. She wouldn’t put herself through all that for a non-credible story. She’s an honest and above-board person.”
LaCasse’s description aligns with how Reade has personally described the events in various interviews.
“I remember her saying, here was this person that she was working for and she idolized him,” she 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 also specifically identified Biden as the culprit:
She had told me about this guy, and I didn’t really know who Joe Biden was, but she had worked for the senator. She told me his name, and she said that he had put her up against the wall. She was working for him at the time. He had put her up against the wall, and he had put his finger inside of her. She was talking about how dirty she felt. I remember that [inaudible] get over it.
“She was crying,” LaCasse added. “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.”
Reade did not file a police report at the time of the incident or after speaking with LaCasse. She did file a report in early April with the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) in Washington, D.C. Two MPD spokespersons have confirmed that there is an active investigation into Reade’s claims.
“This is an ongoing investigation and there are no further details to provide at this time,” MPD Public Information Officer told Law&Crime in an email last week.
Reade has repeatedly alleged that Biden pushed her up against a wall and forcibly penetrated her against her will with his fingers in 1993 somewhere near the U.S. Capitol or Russell Senate Office Building.
“[H]e had me against the wall,” Reade initially told podcast host Katie Halper. “And then his hands were down my skirt and up my skirt. And I was wearing–I wasn’t wearing stockings underneath. And then, with his hand, he went from there and entered me–with his hand–and as he was trying to kiss me, and saying things to me.”
Biden has not personally addressed the allegations and there is no record of any journalist directly asking the former Delaware senator about the alleged assault. Law&Crime has made repeat efforts to have such questions answered by Biden himself but the Biden campaign has declined.
LaCasse is the third person to back Reade’s sexual assault claim.
The first person is her brother, Collin Moulton, who told the Washington Post that he was told about the alleged assault in 1993 and elaborated in an interview with Business Insider that his sister told him that Biden “had his hand under her clothes at some point.”
The third person is a friend of Reade’s who recently spoke with the New York Times specifically about the sexual assault but has thus far refused to go on the record.
A friend said that Ms. Reade told her about the alleged assault at the time, in 1993. A second friend recalled Ms. Reade telling her in 2008 that Mr. Biden had touched her inappropriately and that she’d had a traumatic experience while working in his office. Both friends agreed to speak to The Times on the condition of anonymity to protect the privacy of their families and their self-owned businesses.
Additional details have validated other aspects of Reade’s story. McHugh also recently spoke with a woman who corroborated Reade’s account of sexual harassment and a 1993 video of CNN’s Larry King Live appears to corroborate Reade’s account without specifically mentioning sexual assault.
LaCasse was quizzed as to why she’s coming forward now.
“I have to support her just because that’s what happened,” LaCasse said. “If this was me, I would want somebody to stand up for me. It takes a lot of guts to do what she’s doing.”
She also said that Reade had not personally asked her to come forward and that she was doing so entirely of her own volition.
“I’m just kind of coming forward,” LaCasse said. “I didn’t think, you know, I didn’t realize it was such a huge thing.”
“So you came forward on your own decision, not because she asked you?” McHugh pressed.
“No,” she averred. “On my own decision. I didn’t even know it was a big thing. Really.”
LaCasse elaborated on her decision-making process:
I think this has happened before, you know. “Why are they coming? Why is this happening now?” And even when I put this little blurb, when it first came out I put it on Facebook. And I think I had comments, “Well, how come it’s only happening now. Why didn’t she do this years ago?” And these are people who are Democrats, people who are voting for Biden, they’re Biden supporters. So yeah, they want to know why she’s coming out now. And so they’ll want to know why I’m doing this now, too. And you know, this is the time I chose to do it. This is when I had time to do it.
“And I don’t care if they criticize me,” she added. “I’ve been criticized a lot in my life. I went through like, I don’t know, 10 years of a custody battle. So I can–I’m tough.”
[image via Image via YouTube/the Hill screengrab, Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images]
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