The case was not investigated any further because detectives concluded there was insufficient evidence to support the allegations. - Portland Police Bureau statement
News is breaking that right here in our own Rose City, Al Gore, former vice-president of the United States, was accused of sexual harassment by an LMT in 2006. The woman who made the complaint did so weeks after the supposed encounter and failed to show up for three follow-up interviews with police. It was - wait for it - The National Enquirer that broke the story today after the woman told police she was going to the media.
The Portland Tribune apparently had the story but decided not to publish. A statement on their website reads:
In 2007 and 2008, after locating the massage therapist and conducting extensive interviews and doing other reporting on this case, the Tribune chose not to publish the story. The Tribune held back, in part, because the woman was reluctant to be named in the story.
Also, after those months of investigation, the Tribune was unable to state with confidence what actually happened in the hotel room on that night in 2006. Portland police did not investigate further at that time because the woman declined to meet with them or pursue charges.
Now years after the alleged event the woman has come forward. We don't know her motives or whether or not she has been paid for her story (a fair question to ask in light of The National Enquirer's involvement in this) .
The Portland Police Bureau released a statement tonight that reads in part:
Al Gore deserves the benefit of the doubt. Unlike some other politicians we know (see Clinton, Bill) there have never before been such allegations made against Gore. The actions alleged seem totally out of character. No civil charges were ever filed. That doesn't mean the allegations aren't true. The woman making the allegations could be a completely honest individual. But there are a lot of questions here.
In December 2006, a local attorney contacted the Portland Police Bureau and said he had a client that wanted to report an unwanted sexual contact by Mr. Gore. This allegation stemmed from an incident on October 24, 2006, when the woman involved, a Licensed Massage Therapist, was called to a local hotel to provide a massage to Mr. Gore.
After repeated attempts by Portland Police Detectives to interview the woman involved, the Police Bureau was told by her attorney in January 2007, that they were pursuing civil litigation and declined the assistance of the Portland Police Bureau’s Detective Division. A special report was written and the case was exceptionally cleared–a standard procedure when the person involved declines to talk to police. The District Attorney’s Office was consulted during this time.
On January 6, 2009, the woman involved came to the Detective Division and explained that she would like to give a statement. On January 8, 2009, a Detective and a victim advocate assigned to the Sexual Assault Detail met with the woman. The woman read from a prepared statement and detailed the events of October 24, 2006. She reported that she was repeatedly subjected to unwanted sexual touching while in his presence.
The woman reported that she still had clothes that she had worn during the encounter. But due to the description she gave of the incident, detectives did not collect the clothes as evidence because they did not feel there was any evidentiary value to the clothing. After interviewing the woman, the Police Bureau provided additional services per the victim advocate program. The case was not investigated any further because detectives concluded there was insufficient evidence to support the allegations.
In June 2010, the woman involved contacted Detectives and asked for a copy of her statement, which she was given. She then asked if she could edit her statement and was told she could provide detectives with additional clarifications that would be added to her original report. She also advised that she was going to take the case to the media.
Why did she wait to go to the police? Why didn't she follow-up with the police? Why did she decide to take this to the media now where character assassination is par for the course instead of a courtroom where she could have attempted to prove her case years ago? There could be good answers to these questions but the burden is fully on the complainant to prove her case in a legal forum. Gore has denied the encounter.
We've been fooled before by so many boorish politicians of both parties that have taken advantage of their power and prestige that frankly it is difficult not to assume Gore is guilty of something. But I'm willing to wait for the facts and rely on an institution more reputable than The National Enquirer to act as judge and jury.