20:20 GMT03 June 2020
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    Several women have come out in the past year claiming that Joe Biden touched them in ways they felt were improper, but not abusive. Reade’s accusations represent the most serious legal (and quite possibly public image) issue for the Democratic presidential hopeful.

    Joe Biden’s sexual assault accuser, Tara Reade, filed a criminal complaint against the former vice president on Thursday, according to a police report seen by Business Insider.

    In it, Reade claimed that Biden pushed her up against the wall in a Senate corridor and penetrated her with his fingers. The incident allegedly took place in 1993, when she was working for Biden, the then-Democratic senator from Delaware.

    Reade, 56, initially claimed in April 2019 that Biden had inappropriately touched her several times and “used to put his hand on [her] shoulder and run his finger up [her] neck”. She also implied that Biden retaliated and eventually forced her out after she tried to speak out about his behaviour to the US Senate office.

    She recounted the incident in vivid detail in an interview last month. “He had me against the wall,” she recalled, saying that it happened either in the Capitol or in the Russell Senate Office Building.

    “And then his hands were down my skirt and up my skirt. And I was wearing–I wasn’t wearing stockings underneath. And then, with his hand, he went from there and entered me–with his hand–and as he was trying to kiss me, and saying things to me.”

    The woman now maintains that she filed the report because she had been “harassed so badly” for her revelations and because she wanted to spur a “deeper conversation about sexual harassment in the workplace and powerful men.”

    Reade told Business Insider that she was willing to testify under oath or cooperate with law enforcement if necessary. She acknowledged, however, that the statute of limitations for the alleged assault had expired, meaning that Biden won’t face criminal proceedings. The Biden campaign is yet to comment, although it flatly denied the claims last month.

    The story has gained little traction in left-wing mainstream media, who have been supportive of Joe Biden as he is on course to secure the Democratic nomination.

    Reade maintains that she does not pursue political motives; she urged Republicans in a tweet to “not use [her] assault for political gain” and pressure the media to question Biden more.

    She was just one of several women who have accused Biden of inappropriately touching them or violating their private space – for instance, putting his hand on one woman’s thigh or rubbing noses with another – but none described his actions as sexual assault or harassment.

    Joe Biden refused to apologise for his alleged behaviour at the time, saying only that he was sorry that “they took it a different way”, but that he had not intended to be inappropriate.

     

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    sexual assault, US Senate, United States, Joe Biden
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