The Portland Police Bureau has decided to take another look at the accusation by a local massage therapist that former vice president Al Gore sexually assaulted her in a hotel room in October 2006. On Wednesday evening the department issued a terse statement saying the once-closed investigation is now open again:
The Portland Police Bureau has made the decision to re-open the case regarding the allegations brought forward against Mr. Al Gore. Consistent with our policy regarding open investigations, the Police Bureau will not be commenting on any additional specifics regarding this case at this time.
The accuser, a woman named Molly Hagerty, says Gore assaulted her during a late-night massage at the trendy Hotel Lucia on October 24, 2006. According to police, Hagerty declined to tell her story to investigators in the weeks after the alleged attack. It was only in January of 2009 that she gave a statement to police. That statement, 73 pages long, is filled with details about Gore’s behavior on the evening in question.
In 2007, Gore’s lawyers dismissed Hagerty’s claim as “completely false” — a denial the lawyers based on the “integrity” of Gore’s long marriage. (Gore recently announced that he and his wife Tipper have separated after 40 years together.) Police closed the investigation for lack of evidence, but investigators apparently did not talk to Gore, nor did they talk to witnesses Hagerty spoke to on the night of the alleged attack, nor did they investigate a pair of pants that Hagerty said were stained that evening, possibly as a result of the encounter. Now, however, after the National Enquirer published information from the police report as well as an interview with Hagerty herself, the investigation is apparently on again.
A Gore spokeswoman says the former vice president welcomes the investigation. “Further investigation into this matter will only benefit Mr. Gore,” spokeswoman Kalee Kreider told the Portland Oregonian newspaper. “The Gores cannot comment on every defamatory, misleading, and inaccurate story generated by tabloids. Mr. Gore unequivocally and emphatically denied this accusation when he first learned of its existence three years ago. He stands by that denial.”