Reade’s former neighbor Lynda LaCasse, a Biden supporter, told Insider that Reade told her about the alleged assault in detail in 1995 or 1996: “This happened, and I know it did because I remember talking about it.”
Business Insider reports in March, when a former aide to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden accused the candidate of sexually assaulting her in 1993, two people came forward to say that the woman, Tara Reade, had told them of the incident shortly after it allegedly occurred — her brother, Collin Moulton, and a friend who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retribution.
Now two more sources have come forward to corroborate certain details about Reade’s claims. One of them — a former neighbor of Reade’s — has told Insider for the first time, on the record, that Reade disclosed details about the alleged assault to her in the mid-1990s.
“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.
The other source, Lorraine Sanchez, who worked with Reade in the office of a California state senator in the mid-1990s, told Insider that she recalls Reade complaining at the time that her former boss in Washington DC had sexually harassed her, and that she had been fired after raising concerns.
In interviews with Insider, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and politics podcaster Katie Halper (who broke the story of the assault allegations), Reade has said that in the spring or summer of 1993, she was told to meet Biden in a semi-private corridor to deliver a duffel bag. There, she said, Biden pushed her up against a wall, reached under her skirt, and penetrated her with his fingers. When she resisted his advances, Reade said, Biden expressed annoyance and said, “Aw man, I heard you liked me.” Then, she said, he pointed a finger at her and said, “You’re nothing to me.” After that, she said, he shook her by the shoulders and said, “You’re OK, you’re fine,” before walking away.
Prior to the alleged assault, Reade said, she had already complained to her superiors in Biden’s office that the way Biden looked at her and touched her made her uncomfortable. She got no response, she said, and after the alleged assault was abruptly relieved of her duties managing interns. She said she later filed a complaint about her treatment — but not the about the assault allegation — with a Senate human resources office.
The Biden camp has denied Reade’s allegations. “Women have a right to tell their story, and reporters have an obligation to rigorously vet those claims,” Kate Bedingfield, Biden’s communications director said in a statement earlier this month. “We encourage them to do so, because these accusations are false.”
Asked to comment specifically on LaCasse and Sanchez’s comments, Bedingfield referred Insider to her prior statement. She did not respond to a request to interview Biden about Reade’s accusations.
Insider sought access to Biden’s senatorial papers, which are housed at the University of Delaware, to search for records that may shed light on Reade’s claims. The university denied the request, saying Biden’s papers “will remain closed to the public until two years after Mr. Biden retires from public life.”
“I remember she was devastated.”
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.”