- Several defence attorneys want to revisit cases where Tara Reade served as an expert witness to see if her testimonies influenced a jury’s guilty verdict.
- Reade, a former Senate staffer who accused former Vice President Joe Biden of sexual assault, is under scrutiny after a CNN report questioned whether she received her Bachelor’s degree from Antioch University.
- Officials at the school claim she never finished her degree.
- For a decade, Reade served as an expert witness in court cases, The New York Times reported, and some defence attorneys are concerned she misrepresented her education credentials in court.
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Court cases where Tara Reade, a former Senate staffer who accused former Vice President Joe Biden of sexual assault, was an expert witness are being reviewed by several California defence lawyers over concerns that Reade “misrepresented her educational credentials in court,” The New York Times wrote.
According to The Times, Reade who was then known as Alexandra McCabe described herself “as an expert in the dynamics of domestic violence who had counseled hundreds of victims,” when she testified as a government witness in Monterey County for almost a decade.
CNN previously reported that while Reade had claimed to graduate from Antioch University under a “protected program,” officials from the university claimed she never graduated.
“Alexandra McCabe attended but did not graduate from Antioch University. She was never a faculty member. She did provide several hours of administrative work,” Karen Hamilton, an Antioch University spokesperson told CNN.
An Antioch University official also told CNN that the “protected program,” that Reade spoke of did not and still does not exist.
Monterey County Now, a local outlet reported that Reade claimed the CNN reporting was incorrect. She also said that the statement from Antioch University was “incomplete,” adding that her degree from the school was “conferred under special circumstances by former Chancellor Toni Murdock.”
Antioch University disputed this claim, according to Politico.
According to Monterey County Now, Reade said she “had to present coursework completed prior to her identity change,” to get her degree, and she sent “an unofficial transcript from the Seattle University School of Law, which lists Antioch University as Reade’s prior degree-granting institution” to the outlet.
The Monterey County chief assistant district attorney Berkley Brannon told The Times, if she in fact did misrepresent her credentials, he would alert all the public defenders where she served as a witness on their cases.
“That would absolutely be of concern to us, and it’s something that the defence attorneys would need to know about,” Brannon told the Times. “We don’t want people that we call lying about anything.”
According to The Times, reports that she allegedly never graduated from the university prompted defence attorneys to raise questions about her testimonies and the verdicts they resulted in. Additionally, Jeremy Dzubay, an assistant public defender in the Monterey County public defender’s office told The Times, that they’re compiling a list of clients who may have been affected by her testimony.
Monterey County Now reported that in December 2018, Reade testified in a Superior Court case involving two women, Victoria Ramirez and Jennifer Vazquez, who were charged with four counts of attempted murder.
Vazquez and Ramirez were convicted and sentenced to life in prison, for attempted murder, arson, and armed robbery, according to The Times.
According to Monterey County Now, defence attorneys are considering filing habeas writs. That could overturn convictions if they can show that Reade’s testimony influenced the jury’s decision to convict.
“Experts are relied on to assist at trial on matters that are not commonly known,” defence attorney Scott Erdbacher, who represented Vazquez in the case told the local outlet. “If those persons lie under oath, that really undermines the system.”
According to The Times, Monique Hill, a lawyer in another domestic violence case where Reade was as an expert witness, is also looking to challenge the conviction.
“Had I had the information that I have now, this case, in my mind, would have gone differently,” Hill told The Times.
Earlier this year, Reade alleged that in 1993 Biden digitally penetrated her in a Senate hallway.
Biden and his campaign deny the encounter every happened.
“No, it is not true,” Biden said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “I am saying unequivocally it never, never happened, and it didn’t. It never happened.”