UPDATE: DA completes investigation into Tara Reade
UPDATE at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 19
An attorney for Tara Reade slammed the Monterey County district attorney for claiming his client had lied on the witness stand, calling an investigation into her “political.”
District Attorney Jeannine M. Pacioni in a Thursday release called Reade’s statements on the witness stand “false testimony.”
Reade rose to national prominence earlier this year after alleging then presidential candidate Joe Biden had sexually assaulted her.
Reade testified between 2006 and 2019 as an expert witness in 10 cases, saying she had an undergraduate degree from Antioch University in Seattle. She also said she hadn’t taken the Bar exam in California, the release states.
Both statements are incorrect, though Reade will not face perjury charges in connection with her testimony, the district attorney said.
“Tara didn’t lie,” said attorney Daniel Hornal, with Talos Law. “She believed she had a degree when she said she had a degree.
“This is a political investigation,” he added.
According to Hornal, he’s in negotiations with Antioch, and wants it to issue a correction about previous statements it’s given about Reade.
“She was faculty, and we’ve got evidence to prove that,” he said.
Convicting someone of perjury is difficult, because a jury must determine that the false testimony likely would have influenced the result of a trial, the release states.
“It is difficult to know beyond a reasonable doubt whether Ms. Reade’s undergraduate degree and bar testing status probably would have influenced the outcome of those older cases,” the release states. “At the time, those facts were relatively insignificant compared to the rest of the evidence in the cases.”
Defense attorneys involved in the cases in which Reade testified will receive the results of the investigation. Two of the cases currently are in the 6th District Court of Appeal, the release states.
“We anticipate those three defendants will be returned to the trial court in Monterey County where further litigation will ensue to determine whether the defendants should receive a new trial,” the district attorney states.
From a news release:
Salinas, California—District Attorney Jeannine M. Pacioni announced today that her office has completed its investigation of testimony by Tara Reade. Between 2006 and 2019, the prosecution called Ms. Reade as an expert witness on domestic violence in 10 cases the office could locate. Seven of the cases were felonies and 4 were misdemeanors. In four of the felony cases (one of them had two co-defendants), Ms. Reade testified she obtained an undergraduate degree, usually specifying it was from Antioch University in Seattle, Washington. In the co-defendant felony case, another felony case and in one misdemeanor case, she testified she had not taken the California Bar exam.
Perjury requires proving beyond a reasonable doubt that a witness stated information was true knowing it was false, and the information must be material. Information is material if it is probable that it would influence the outcome of the proceedings.
According to an assistant general counsel at the California State Bar, Ms. Reade twice took and failed the bar exam before she testified to the contrary in three cases. Also, according to Antioch University, Ms. Reade did not graduate and holds no degree from that institution.
However, the district attorney’s office will not file perjury charges because of the difficulty of proving the materiality of her false testimony. Materiality requires proving beyond a reasonable doubt in a new trial that Ms. Reade’s false testimony in other trials probably would have influenced the outcomes in those trials. This inquiry depends on the facts and strength of the old cases, which would require again presenting those cases in a new perjury trial. It is difficult to know beyond a reasonable doubt whether Ms. Reade’s undergraduate degree and bar testing status probably would have influenced the outcome of those older cases. At the time, those facts were relatively insignificant compared to the rest of the evidence in the cases.
However, the contents of the investigation are being provided to all defense counsel in the 10 cases. Two of the felony cases are currently before the 6th District Court of Appeal (one involving two co- defendants). We anticipate those three defendants will be returned to the trial court in Monterey County where further litigation will ensue to determine whether the defendants should receive a new trial.
Source: Monterey County District Attorney’s Office
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