Nevada County woman says Joe Biden inappropriately touched her while working in his U.S. Senate office | SierraSun.com

Nevada County woman says Joe Biden inappropriately touched her while working in his U.S. Senate office

A Nevada County woman has added her voice to a recent spate of allegations that former vice president and possible presidential candidate Joe Biden touched her when she worked in his U.S. Senate office.

Alexandra Tara Reade said that in 1993 she was in her mid-20s when Biden, then a senator from Delaware, touched her several times making her feel uncomfortable. Reade said her responsibilities in the senator’s office were reduced after she refused to serve drinks at an event — what she called a desire of Biden’s because he liked her legs. Reade said she felt pushed out and left Biden’s employ in August 1993 after some nine months.

A spokesman for Biden couldn’t be reached for comment.

“He used to put his hand on my shoulder and run his finger up my neck,” Reade said. “I would just kind of freeze and wait for him to stop doing that.”

“He used to put his hand on my shoulder and run his finger up my neck. I would just kind of freeze and wait for him to stop doing that.” — Alexandra Tara Reade, former employee of U.S. Sen. Joe Biden

A confidant of Reade’s at the time, granted anonymity by The Union, confirmed that Reade relayed the story shortly after the events occurred.

“Back then, back there, things just happened,” the friend said.

Reade is the most recent woman to publicly share her story about uncomfortable encounters with Biden. Time.com states former Nevada State Assemblywoman Lucy Flores told her story last week. Flores said Biden approached her at a 2014 campaign rally and kissed the back of her head. A second woman, Amy Lappos, said Biden touched her face and rubbed noses with her at a 2009 fundraiser.

Caitlyn Caruso said Biden put his hand on her thigh and hugged her at a university event. D.J. Hill said Biden in 2012 touched her shoulder before moving his hand down her back.

Other women have defended Biden in the wake of recent allegations against him. Stephanie Carter, wife of former Defense Secretary Ash Carter, appeared in a photo used in a misinformation campaign against Biden. She called the former vice president a close friend in a USA Today story.

Biden in a Wednesday tweet said he understands social norms are changing.

“And I’ve heard what these women are saying,” Biden’s tweet states. “Politics to me has always been about making connections, but I will be more mindful about respecting personal space in the future. That’s my responsibility and I will meet it.”

Allegations

Employment documents provided by Reade show that she worked in Biden’s office from December 1992 to August 1993.

Reade recalled a handful of times Biden touched her. On one occasion they were before a group of interns when he put his finger on her neck. She doesn’t remember how many times Biden touched her in that manner, she said.

“I was trying to be seen as a professional,” Reade added.

Reade said her expulsion from Biden’s office stemmed from an early 1993 staff argument over the suggestion she serve drinks at an event. According to Reade, Biden wanted her to serve because he liked her legs. Reade didn’t hear Biden make that suggestion, instead learning of it through his staff’s argument. Reade opted against serving drinks, a move she believes sidelined her career.

The friend in whom Reade confided at the time said they discussed Biden. Reade asked her friend if she should take any action. Being young and relatively new to D.C., she wondered if anything was wrong with Biden’s behavior.

The confidant said she asked if Reade would let her younger sister work in the office. When Reade said “no” to the hypothetical question, her friend said Biden’s actions weren’t appropriate.

Reade said she spoke to U.S. Senate personnel about her concerns. Word got back to Biden’s office.

“My life was hell,” Reade said. “This was about power and control.”

“I couldn’t get a job on the Hill,” she added.

In June 1993 Reade found herself in an office without windows. Two months later she left Biden’s office, she said.

Reade said Biden’s senior staff protected the senator. She was considered a distraction. Reade said she didn’t consider the acts toward her sexualization. She instead compared her experience to being a lamp.

“It’s pretty. Set it over there,” she said. “Then when it’s too bright, you throw it away.”

Reade said she tried to share her story when she worked for Biden, but was told to say nothing. Then Biden ran on Barack Obama’s ticket. Reade thought he may have changed.

Reade said she rethought her years-long role as a foot solider for the Democratic Party when she learned of Flores’ disclosure.

She wants more than “Sorry” from Biden.

“‘I changed the trajectory of your life,’” she wants to hear him say. “‘I’m sorry.’”

Contact Alan Riquelmy at 530-477-4239 or at ariquelmy@theunion.com.