Updated: Apr 28
| Washinton Examiner
A former neighbor of the woman who accused former Vice President Joe Biden of sexual assault publicly vouched for the accuracy of the allegation.
Tara Reade recently came forward to allege Biden, when she worked for him as a Senate staff assistant in 1993, pushed her up against the wall and penetrated her with his fingers. Biden's presidential campaign has vehemently denied the allegation.
In the time since Reade came out with her allegation, her brother and an unnamed friend have backed up her story, saying they were told either about the assault or harassment at the time.
A former neighbor of Reade's from the 1990s, Lynda LaCasse, corroborated Reade's version of events to Business Insider on Monday. "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."
"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, before acknowledging that she doesn't "remember all the details," but does "remember the skirt. I remember the fingers."
LaCasse, a former medical staff coordinator and emergency room clerk, and Reade lived next to one another in 1995 and 1996 in an apartment complex near the beach in Morro Bay, California. LaCasse said Reade confided in her because they had a close connection as they were both mothers and their young daughters would swim in the complex's pool together.
"She didn't ask me to come forward," LaCasse said. "I volunteered to do that just recently. 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." Business Insider also found another person with whom Reade interacted in the 1990s who said she was told of the alleged assault.
After she left Washington, D.C., Reade worked for California state Sen. Jack O'Connell, at which time one of his legislative staffers, Lorraine Sanchez, began mentoring Reade. The two worked with one another from 1994-1996.
"Reade said she had been sexually harassed by her former boss while she was in D.C.," Sanchez said, adding, "and as a result of her voicing her concerns to her supervisors, she was let go, fired."
Sanchez said she didn't remember whether Reade mentioned Biden by name or even went into detail about the alleged assault, but she does remember "reassuring her that nothing like that would ever happen to her here in our office, that she was in a safe place, free from any sexual harassment." Earlier this month, Reade filed an incident report with the District police that said she “disclosed that she was the victim of a sexual assault which was committed by Subject-2 in 1993." Reade said she filed an incident report for “safety reasons,” establishing a paper trail in case “something happened to me." Reade said she wanted to show that she was serious about her allegation because it is illegal to make a false police report.