The former Senate aide who accused Joe Biden of sexual assault shared details of the alleged incident in a conversation in the mid-1990s, her former neighbor confirmed Wednesday.
Lynda LaCasse told The Washington Post in a text message that while she lived near Tara Reade in 1995 and 1996, Reade told her that “Joe Biden sexually assaulted her.”
“She said that he had put her up against a wall, put his hand up her skirt and his fingers inside her,” LaCasse said.
She did not offer other details, referring The Post to Business Insider, which published an interview with LaCasse on Monday. The Post repeatedly left messages seeking to interview LaCasse, but she did not reply until Wednesday’s text.
“I am a very strong Democrat, and am supporting Joe Biden during this election,” LaCasse said in the message. “I believed Tara at the time she told me that Mr. Biden assaulted her, and I continue to support her now. I feel that the truth needs to be told.”
Biden has not commented about Reade’s accusation, despite growing calls by Democrats to do so, and he has declined requests for an interview.
His deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield denied Reade’s account.
“He firmly believes that women have a right to be heard — and heard respectfully,” she said. “Such claims should also be diligently reviewed by an independent press. What is clear about this claim: It is untrue. This absolutely did not happen.”
Biden has faced growing calls from Democrats who want to hear him address the allegations. His refusal has put other Democrats in the position of defending him while also advocating that women alleging sexual harassment or assault should be supported.
Several of the women who are believed to be on Biden’s vice presidential list have declared that they believe his campaign’s denial. Other Democrats have refused to comment, with many neither defending him nor calling on him to explain further.
Reade, who worked for Biden for nine months ending in 1993, said in interviews with The Post last year that Biden had put his hands on her shoulders and neck when she was working in his Senate office.
She said that she had complained about it to three senior aides in the office, but those aides told The Post they had no recollection of Reade making a claim.
Last month, in a podcast interview, Reade alleged that the then-senator had assaulted her after pushing her against a wall somewhere on Capitol Hill.
Lorraine Sanchez, who worked with Reade in California after her tenure in Washington, was quoted by Business Insider as saying that Reade had told her she “had been sexually harassed by her former boss while she was in DC and as a result of her voicing her concerns to her supervisors, she was let go, fired.” Sanchez has not responded to multiple messages left by The Post.
A 1993 call to Larry King’s CNN talk show also has surfaced in recent days. In the clip, a woman whom Reade identified as her now-deceased mother called to report unspecified “problems” her daughter was having with her employer, whom she called “a prominent senator.” The caller said her daughter did not want to go public with her account “out of respect for” the unnamed senator.
The Post published an in-depth examination of her account two weeks ago, in which one of her friends confirmed that Reade had told her of the incident shortly after she said it had occurred.
Reade’s brother, Collin Moulton, also told The Post that she had told him in 1993 that Biden had touched her neck and shoulders. Several days after the interview, he said in a text message that he recalled her telling him that Biden had put his hand “under her clothes.”
Several women last year said Biden had been overly affectionate in a way that made them uncomfortable. Reade’s accusation that Biden had penetrated her was the first allegation of sexual assault made against him.
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