Active investigation: DC police probe sexual assault allegation against Joe Biden

WashingtonExaminer reports the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia is actively investigating the complaint against Joe Biden brought by Tara Reade, the woman who accused Biden of sexually assaulting her in 1993, despite her allegation being impossible to prosecute since it is past the statute of limitations.

“This is an active, ongoing investigation, and there are no further details to provide at this time,” a Metropolitan Police Department spokesperson told the Washington Examiner Tuesday regarding Reade’s case. “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.”

The investigation remaining open, despite the alleged incident occurring past the statute of limitations, struck multiple experts as highly unusual.

Reade alleges that in 1993 when she worked as a staff assistant in Biden’s Senate office, he pushed her up against the wall and penetrated her with his fingers. Biden’s presidential campaign vehemently denies Reade’s allegations, although the former two-term vice president has yet to comment on the matter directly.

On April 9, Reade filed an incident report with the D.C. police that said she “disclosed that she was the victim of a sexual assault which was committed by Subject-2 in 1993.” Reade has confirmed that Subject-2 is Joe Biden, 77, who was a Delaware senator from 1973-2009 before becoming President Barack Obama’s vice president.

Reade, 56, said that she filed an incident report for “safety reasons,” for the purpose of establishing a paper trail in case “something happened to me” and to show that she is serious about her allegation since it is illegal to make a false police report. Since coming forward with her allegations against Biden, she regularly receives threatening and vulgar messages, she told the Washington Examiner.

Because the incident is past the statute of limitations, she told the Washington Examiner that she expected the police to do no more than note her complaint and not investigate it. Reade told the Washington Examiner that she has no plans to sue Biden in civil court, where D.C. has removed the statute of limitations on sex crimes.

Reade said that she was assigned a victim’s advocate within the police department and connected to another one through an outside nonprofit group. “They’re helping me mainly with safety planning,” she said. The D.C. police did not confirm that Reade was assigned a victim’s advocate, although experts say such aid is standard for any individual who claims they were assaulted.

Former police officers who have worked in D.C., and sex crime experts, say there could be numerous reasons why the case has yet to be closed.

“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,” said Wendy Murphy, a professor of sexual violence law at New England Law Boston and a former sex crimes prosecutor.

“Is it usual or typical? I think the answer is no. But this is also not a usual, typical case,” Murphy said.

Among the reasons that the case remains open nearly two weeks after Reade made her report, Murphy said, could be that the officers have concerns about safety, or they could think that what Reade reported leads to other revelations.

“You don’t waste resources reviewing something that has no purpose,” Murphy said.

The decision by the D.C. police department struck several former police officers as peculiar, citing the fact that there is ultimately little law enforcement can do should they believe Reade’s allegations.

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