11:58 GMT14 August 2020
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    On 1 May the presumptive Democratic nominee in the 2020 Presidential elections Joe Biden broke the silence about sexual assault accusations dating back to 1993 made against him by his former Senate staffer Tara Reade, saying he remembers no inappropriate encounter or complaint.

    Former Senate staffer Tara Reade claims a barrage of online harassment has been targeting her over her sexual assault allegation against former US Vice President Joe Biden, reports Fox News.

    "I find it astounding - the hypocrisy that Democrats are talking about women being able to tell their story safely… I'm a Democrat, a lifelong Democrat, but yet here I am trying to talk about my history with Joe Biden and I'm just the target of online harassment," Tara Reade was quoted as saying on Saturday.

    Reade, who earlier in April formally filed a criminal complaint regarding the assault dating to 1993, when Biden represented the state of Delaware in the US Senate, claims a spate of fake social media accounts have been impersonating her.

    In particular, claims the woman, one Facebook account under the handle "@TaraReada" that listed a fake website using the ex-staffer’s full name, had been uploading personal photos of her and her family.

    A screenshot of one post was said to have been tweeted by someone under the name of Naomi Block, accusing Reade of "deliberately tossing [Christine Blasey Ford] under the dang bus," in a reference to a fake quote from the account.

    After the home address of a member of her family was posted online, says Reade, that person received four anonymous "creepy" calls on Friday night.

    There has not been an official response from Facebook.

    In two voice messages, reports Fox News, someone believed to be posing as a journalist requested an opportunity to interview Tara Reade.

    In the first, the message allegedly said: "Hi Ms. Reade, this is Dave Johnson from the Observer, a small New York newspaper," with the caller later adding "Jeffrey Epstein didn't kill himself" and "Trump 2020."

    In another voice message to the family member, the caller is cited by the outlet as saying:

    "Hey Tara, this is Dave Johnson with the Observer and I would really love, I'd really appreciate a call back so we can discuss your new powerful allegation against Vice President Biden. I think you're setting a tone and underscoring a double standard put forth by the Me Too movement, so I'd really appreciate it if you could just call me back, give me a couple of quick questions."

    Threatening messages have also been targeting her, says Reade.

    In one email cited by Fox News someone by the name of “Linda Dubois" verbally attacks Reade over her allegations against Biden, calling her a "f---ing whore" and a "disgrace to womanhood".

    Another person is said to have written:

    "You are a rip-roaring b---h and the great majority of Americans don’t believe you anyhow... I hope you drop dead."

    Moreover, a tweet by a Biden ally was also believed to be targeting Reade, writes the outlet, as Jon Cooper, ex-chair of the Democratic Coalition, seemed to ponder online whether the woman "was driven by malicious motives."

    In response to Cooper’s tweet, Tara Reade tweeted that she was forced to deal with such threats and harassment online for speaking up about the troubling incident from her past.

    "This is something that really has to stop and I'm just wondering where this is coming from… Are these just fanatic supporters? And if so, what does that say about our Democratic voters? Why are they targeting me when the party line is supposed to be allowing people to be safe? Why are they targeting my family and myself and making my family frightened?" Fox News quotes Reade as saying.

    ‘Never Happened’

    Earlier, on Friday, Joe Biden finally broke his silence about the 1993 allegations made by Reade.
    Biden vehemently denied all allegations of sexual misconduct on his part, saying it "never happened".

    "I want to address allegations by a former staffer that I engaged in misconduct 27 years ago. They aren't true. This never happened," Biden said in an MSNBC interview.

    The presumptive Democratic nominee in the 2020 Presidential election further requested the Secretary of the Senate to comb the National Archives in the search for any complaints against him that his accuser, Tara Reade, claims to have filed back in 1993.

    Tara Reade filed a criminal complaint against Joe Biden with police in Washington, D.C. in April, accusing former US Vice President Joe Biden of a sexual assault, and on 25 March spoke with progressive podcast host Katie Halper about the incident.

    © REUTERS / Carlos Barria
    Democratic U.S. presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks about the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic at an event in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., March 12, 2020

    Reade, who was a staffer in Biden’s Senate office at the time, claimed the ex-Vice President assaulted her in a Senate corridor, slipping his hand under her skirt and penetrating her with his fingers. The woman also claims that Biden forced her out after she tried to speak about his behavior to her superiors in his office.

    Several of Tara Reade's acquaintances claim she spoke about an assault at the time it allegedly occurred.


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    Presidential Election, Democratic, sexual assault, sexual assault, US Senate, US Senate, Joe Biden
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