Gore cleared of masseuse’s grop­ing al­le­ga­tions

Austin American-Statesman - - WORLD & NATION -

PORT­LAND, Ore. — For­mer Vice Pres­i­dent Al Gore was cleared Fri­day of al­le­ga­tions that he groped and as­saulted a masseuse in a lux­ury Port­land ho­tel room in 2006, clos­ing a case that could have tar­nished the No­bel Prize win­ner’s rep­u­ta­tion.

Af­ter a four-week in­ves­ti­ga­tion that in­cluded in­ter­views with Gore, masseuse Molly Hagerty, her ac­quain­tances and ho­tel staff, as well as test­ing a pair of stained pants be­long­ing to Hagerty, Mult­nomah County District At­tor­ney Michael Schrunk said Fri­day there was no ba­sis for pros­e­cu­tion.

In a memo to Schrunk re­leased with the de­ci­sion, Se­nior Deputy District At­tor­ney Don Rees cited “con­tra­dic­tory ev­i­dence, con­flict­ing wit­ness state­ments, cred­i­bil­ity is­sues, lack of foren­sic ev­i­dence and de­nials by Mr. Gore.”

Rees also said Hagerty and her attorneys were un­co­op­er­a­tive, wit­nesses could not re- mem­ber any­thing un­usual, Hagerty failed a poly­graph ex­am­i­na­tion, and she would not say whether she was paid by a tabloid news­pa­per for her story.

Hagerty’s claims were pub­lished in an on­line ver­sion of the Na­tional En­quirer on June 23.

Gore aides wel­comed the news that he had been cleared.

“Mr. Gore un­equiv­o­cally and em­phat­i­cally de­nied this ac­cu­sa­tion when he first learned of its ex­is­tence three years ago,” spokes­woman Kalee Krei­der said in a writ­ten state­ment. “He re­spects and ap­pre­ci­ates the thor­ough and pro­fes­sional work of the Port­land au­thor­i­ties and is pleased that this mat­ter has now been re­solved.”

Gore and his attorneys met with Port­land de­tec­tives in San Fran­cisco on July 22, telling them he re­mem­bered al­most noth­ing about the woman and was “com­pletely baf­fled” by her state­ments, ac­cord­ing to the memo.

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