Tara Reade's former neighbor remembers discussing alleged Biden sexual assault

The former neighbor is a Democrat and Biden supporter who felt that she should come forward

Updated: April 27, 2020 - 7:41pm

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A former neighbor of one-time Joe Biden Senate staffer Tara Reade told Business Insider that she remembers speaking to Reade in the mid-1990s about Reade's allegation that Joe Biden sexually assaulted her in 1993.

The former neighbor Lynda LaCasse recalls Reade telling her details about the alleged assault either in 1995 or 1996.

"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."

"I don't remember all the details," LaCasse said. "I remember the skirt. I remember the fingers. I remember she was devastated."

LaCasse, a Democrat who plans to vote for Biden, said that Reade did not ask her to speak out. 

"I personally am a Democrat, a very strong Democrat," she said according to Business Insider. "And I'm for Biden, regardless. But still I have to come out and say this."

Lorraine Sanchez, who worked with Reade for California State Sen. Jack O'Connell between 1994 and 1996, told Business Insider that Reade had spoken about being sexually harassed by her former employer.

"[Reade said] she had been sexually harassed by her former boss while she was in DC," Sanchez said, "and as a result of her voicing her concerns to her supervisors, she was let go, fired."

Sanchez said she did not remember if Reade provided specifics about the kind of harassment or if Reade used Biden’s name.

According to Business Insider, Reade says that prior to the assault she had communicated to superiors in the Senator's office that she was not comfortable with the manner Biden looked at her and touched her, but she did not receive a response to the complaint.

While Reade recently began speaking out about the alleged assault, in 2019 she accused Biden of inappropriately touching her when she worked for him. “He used to put his hand on my shoulder and run his finger up my neck,” Reade said according to a 2019 story by The Union. “I would just kind of freeze and wait for him to stop doing that.”

The Biden campaign earlier this month rejected Reade's allegations as untrue. The campaign referred Business Insider to a previous statement when the outlet asked about the remarks of LaCasse and Sanchez.

Business Insider also noted that Marianne Baker, who was working as Biden's executive assistant in 1993, has stated: “I have absolutely no knowledge or memory of Ms. Reade's accounting of events, which would have left a searing impression on me as a woman professional, and as a manager."

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