DA In California Launches an Investigation Into Tara Reade

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Posted: May 27, 2020 10:25 PM
DA In California Launches an Investigation Into Tara Reade

Source: AP Photo/Donald Thompson

For years, Tara Reade testified in Monterey County as an expert in as many as 20 criminal trials, including one murder trial where her testimony was deemed "critical." The Monterey County District Attorney is now investigating whether Reade lied about her resume and list of credentials, the New York Times reported. During that time, she went by the name Alexandra Tara McCabe.

During a murder trial in 2018, Reade testified under oath that she has a bachelor's degree from Antioch University and a law degree from Seattle University, NBC reported. Antioch University stated Reade worked at the college as an administrator and attended the university for only three semesters but never graduated

POLITICO followed up with Seattle University Law School, who confirmed that Reade graduated with a law degree under the name Alexandra McCabe. The university failed to confirm or deny whether Reade had a valid bachelor's degree, a requirement to attend the law school. 

Monterey County Chief Assistant District Attorney Berkley Brannon said his office has found at least eight invoices where Reade was paid for her expert testimony, although he declined to state how much the county forked over. Brannon's office never vetted Reade's resume because she was one of a handful of experts the DA's office had used over the years. 

"At the time, we did not contact the schools she said she attended to see if they would disclose her records. We did not require that she provide proof of all the extensive professional training and experience listed on her CV (curriculum vitae),” Brannon told The Associated Press.

"If a witness called by the prosecution takes the stand at trial and does not tell the truth, and we are confident of that, we have an ethical obligation to inform the defense," Brannon told NBC. "If the false testimony was material—there is a reasonable likelihood of a different outcome at the trial because of the false testimony—the defendant may be entitled to a new trial. That type of analysis depends on the facts and the strength of the evidence in each individual case."

Criminal defense attorney Rolando Soltesz, who represents 2018 murder defendant Victoria Ramirez, said he wants the DA's office to take a second look at the case because of Reade's involvement and expert testimony.

The Sixth District Appellate Program, a law firm in San Jose that represents indigent clients, has reached out to attorneys throughout the region to determine how many cases Reade testified in. The law firm will help determine whether or not to appeal those convictions. 

The Monterey County Weekly provided this timeline of key events in Reade's life:

Feb. 26, 1964: Tara Reade Moulton is born in Monterey County. At age 3 months, Reade moves out of California. Her late mother, Jeanette Altimus, was an artist on Cannery Row.

Early 1990s: Serves as a congressional intern in the office of U.S. Rep. Leon Panetta.

December 1992-August 1993: Serves as a legislative aide for U.S. Sen. Joe Biden.

1994-1996: Works as a staff assistant for California State Sen. Jack O’Connell.

2004: Graduates from Seattle University School of Law.

Mid-2000s: Moves to the Monterey Bay area.

2007: Files a lawsuit against her employer, YWCA Monterey County, claiming workplace discrimination and harassment.

2007-2009: Serves as executive director of nonprofit Animal Friends Rescue Project in Pacific Grove; her position ends after the board moves to terminate her.

2009: Completes the 10-month training program Leadership Monterey Peninsula.

Feb. 13, 2009: Publishes a personal essay about her experience with domestic violence in The Women’s International Perspective, a local web-based publication on global affairs.

Early 2010s: Co-hosts a weekly radio show called Soul Vibes, on the now-defunct local station KNRY.

2010-2011: Works as an education instructor at Hartnell College.

2012: Files for bankruptcy. The list of people she owed money to, according to court documents, includes many local entities: Aladdin Bail Bonds in Salinas; Animal Hospital at the Crossroads, Central Coast Cardiology, Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, Cottage Vet Care, Credit Bureau of Monterey, Credit Consulting Services in Salinas, Grove Market, Hartnell College Parking Enforcement, Monterey Bay Urgent Care, Monterey County Revenue Division and Oceanview Vet Hospital.

2013: Starts a GoFundMe campaign for her local nonprofit, Gracie’s Pet Food Pantry.

2014-2016: Volunteers for Pregnant Mare Rescue in Watsonville, then leaves amid accusations of wrongdoing.

2017: The U.S. Internal Revenue Service revokes the status of her nonprofit Gracie’s Pet Food Pantry for failure to file Form 990s (filed by nonprofits) for three consecutive years.

April 3, 2019: Publicly accuses Joe Biden of inappropriately touching her in 1993 while he was her boss.

October 2019: Testifies as an expert witness in Monterey County Superior Court in the trial of a man convicted of assaulting his wife.

March 25, 2020: Accuses Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden of sexually assaulting her in 1993.

May 7, 2020: Interviewed by Megyn Kelly on YouTube.