Defense lawyers in California are reviewing criminal cases in which Tara Reade, the former Senate aide who has accused Joe Biden of sexual assault, served as an expert witness on domestic violence, concerned that she misrepresented her educational credentials in court.
Then known as Alexandra McCabe, Reade testified as a government witness in Monterey County courts for nearly a decade, describing herself as an expert in the dynamics of domestic violence who had counseled hundreds of victims.
But lawyers who had faced off against her in court began raising questions about the legitimacy of her testimony, and the verdicts that followed, after news reports this week that Antioch University had disputed her claim of receiving a bachelor’s degree from its Seattle campus.
The public defender’s office in Monterey County has begun scrutinizing cases involving Reade and compiling a list of clients who may have been affected by her testimony, according to Jeremy Dzubay, an assistant public defender in the office.
Roland Soltesz, a criminal defense lawyer, says he believes Reade’s testimony made a significant difference in the outcome of the 2018 trial of his client Victoria Ramirez. Both Ramirez and her co-defendant, Jennifer Vasquez, received life sentences for attempted murder, arson and armed robbery.
“People have been convicted based upon this, and that’s wrong,” said Soltesz, adding that he “could care less about the politics of this whole thing.”
Reade has accused Biden of assaulting her in the Senate complex in 1993, placing his hand under her dress and penetrating her with his fingers. Biden flatly denies her accusation.
Questions about Reade’s education background were first reported by CNN.
Reade told The New York Times that she had obtained her degree through a “protected program” for victims of spousal abuse, which, court records show, she suffered at the hands of her ex-husband in the mid-1990s. That history, she said, caused her to change her name, leading to confusion about her status at the school. She later received a law degree from Seattle University.