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Former Monterey County domestic violence witness, Biden accuser’s qualifications questioned

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MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif. (KION) Tara Reade entered the spotlight recently when she accused Presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden of sexual assault, but accusations that she did not graduate from the university she claimed to attend are a cause for concern at the Monterey County District Attorney's Office.

Berkley Brannon with the Monterey County District Attorney's Office confirms that Tara Reade acted as a government witness for domestic violence cases in Monterey County courts for more than a decade.

In a 2018 trial, Reade allegedly testified that she received a liberal arts degree with a focus on political science from Antioch University in Seattle, but the claim is being contested. She told CNN that she was part of a "protected program" at the school and acted as a visiting professor off-and-on for five years.

An Antioch University spokesperson told CNN that Reade attended the school, but did not graduate and was never a faculty member. They also said the protected program she mentioned does not exist.

Brannon told KION that a witness called to testifying not telling the truth is a serious concern, so when they get information like this, the DA's Office needs to investigate to make a determination or turn over the results of its investigation to the defense.

He said they are working on that, but did not want to release specific details in case it jeopardizes the outcome.

Brannon did not know how many Monterey County cases she testified in because there is not a database, but said it was more than ten going back over ten years.

Assistant public defender Jeremy Dzubay with the Monterey County public defender's office now tells the New York Times that the office is examining cases involving Reade and making a list of clients who may have been affected by her testimony.

Monterey County criminal defense lawyer Roland Soltesz told the New York Times that he believes Reade's testimony swayed the outcome of a 2018 trial in which his client received a life sentence for attempted murder, arson and armed robbery. He told the Times that he is looking to reopen the case.

In that case, Victoria Elizabeth Ramirez was convicted of attempted murder, and Jennifer Michelle Vasquez was the co-defendant. Brannon said a house was set on fire, but nobody was killed.

The Sixth District Appellate Program told the Times it is also reviewing the cases involving Reade.

Monterey County / National-World / Top Stories

Avery Johnson

Avery Johnson is the Digital Content Director at KION News Channel 5/46.

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