Al Gore accepting the Nobel Peace Prize, one year after he allegedly molested a licensed massage therapist in a Portland hotel room
Portland Police Chief Mike Reese this afternoon released a statement saying the bureau should have more thoroughly investigated allegations against former Vice President Al Gore in 2009.
Former Vice President Al Gore welcomes a Portland police decision to reopen an investigation into a massage therapist's allegations that he groped her at a hotel four years ago, his spokeswoman said.
The Skanner News video click here
Kalee Kreider said that Gore "unequivocally and emphatically" denied making unwanted sexual advances. She added that "further investigation into this matter will only benefit Mr. Gore."
The Skanner News audio of victim's testimony click here
"In reviewing this case, we have determined there were procedural issues with the 2009 investigation that merit re-opening the case," Chief Reese said. "There should have been command level review at the time on the specifics of this case and decisions on whether the investigation should go forward."
Police earlier said they considered the case closed because there was no evidence. They said last week that the woman's lawyer came to them with the allegations in 2006 but that the woman canceled appointments with detectives. The case reopened in January 2009, when detectives interviewed the woman but determined there was insufficient evidence to support the allegations.
The AP does not generally identify people who say they are victims of sex crimes.
The woman alleges Gore made unwanted sexual advances during a massage appointment on Oct. 24, 2006, at the downtown Hotel Lucia, where Gore was reportedly registered as "Mr. Stone." Gore was in Portland to deliver a speech on climate change.
The story first broke when the National Enquirer reported the allegations a week ago.
Kreider also said "the Gores cannot comment on every defamatory, misleading and inaccurate story generated by tabloids."
Reese said the decision to re-open the case was the bureau's, not the alleged victim.
"It is our responsibility to both parties involved to conduct a thorough, fair and timely investigation," Reese said. "As with any open investigation, it is inappropriate for the Police Bureau to comment on any specifics regarding the investigation.
"We ask for the public's patience as we let the facts of the investigation guide us and ensure the integrity of the investigation."
Gore and wife Tipper announced that they are separating on June 1 in an e-mail to friends.
According to transcripts of the 2009 interview, the masseuse described the allegations at length. She said Gore groped, kissed and pinned her down on a bed. She told Gore he was acting like a "crazed sex poodle."
The woman said she felt there would be consequences if she didn't cooperate.
"I feared that if I ran for the door to get out, I could or would be violently accosted by some security detail," she said. "I felt certain that any, even the smallest complaint from him to the hotel, could also destroy my work reputation."
While trying to pack up, she said Gore "wrapped me in an inescapable embrace," looked her in the eyes and touched her back, buttocks and breasts. She said she asked Gore to stop several times.
"I finally told him and said, you're being a crazed sex poodle, hoping he'd realize how weird he was being, yet he persisted," she told Det. Molly Daul.
She said Gore demanded she drink cognac, though she told him she doesn't drink alcohol. She said Gore became enraged when she refused his advances.
After the alleged incident, the woman said she was dissuaded from contacting the police by liberal friends of hers, whom she refers to as "The Birkenstock Tribe," and of which she counts herself a member.
"It's like being the ultimate traitor," the woman said.
One friend "was basically asking me to just suck it up, otherwise the world's going to be destroyed from global warming," she said.
"I have asked Detectives to assign appropriate resources in the interest of conducting a complete investigation in an expedited manner," Reese said.