You’ve no doubt heard by now about the sexual assault allegations made against Al Gore by a Portland, Oregon massage therapist stemming from a 2006 incident. It’s a complicated case, and we’ve now read the 73-page police report so you don’t have to.
A spokeswoman for Gore told us the former vice president has no comment.
[Late 6/25/10 Update: A friend of Gore tells the Washington Post that Gore remembers getting the massage “without incident.”]
Here’s what we know:
On October 24, 2006, both the police and the unnamed licensed massage therapist say that Gore was in town for a speech on climate change (independently confirmed by a TPM reporter), staying at the boutique Hotel Lucia in downtown Portland. The woman, now 54, says that she was called to the hotel to give a massage to Gore, who was registered under the alias “Mr. Stone.” During the massage, she says he fondled her and made violent unwanted advances (more on her account later).
Several weeks later, sometime on or around December 19, a lawyer for the woman contacted the city police and told them he had a client “who wanted to report an unwanted sexual contact by Mr. Gore,” according to the Portland Police statement Wednesday.
Her lawyer was Randall Vogt, a specialist in seeking civil damages for sexual misconduct. Vogt told police that he had contacted the Secret Service, the FBI, and the Oregon State Police and those agencies referred him to the Portland police, where the alleged crime occurred.
After Vogt’s initial contact with police, the woman and Vogt made and canceled three separate interview appointments with the police, on Dec. 21, Dec. 26, and Jan. 4, 2007. Vogt told police on Jan. 4 that the case was being pursued civilly and the police were no longer needed. The police at that point consulted the local prosecutor’s office, drafted a special report, and “the case was exceptionally cleared—a standard procedure when the person involved declines to talk to police,” according to the police statement.
After that, there was no contact with police for two years.
Then, on Jan. 6, 2009, the woman approached the police and said she wanted to make a statement. On Jan. 8, she was interviewed by a detective with an assigned victim advocate present.
In the interview, which began with the woman reading a statement prepared, in part, with the assistance of an attorney (and which you can read in full here), the woman provides an extremely detailed account of the alleged assault by Gore — who is described as performing “a well-rehearsed routine.”
It begins with her going to his ninth floor suite at 11 p.m. and Gore greeting her with “Call me Al” and a hug she characterized as inappropriately long. After the massage began, she says Gore requested she move her hands lower on his abdomen. When she did not, she says:
he further insisted and acted angry, becoming verbally sharp and loud.” She asked him to clarify what he wanted, and “he grabbed my right hand hard, shoved it down under the sheet to his pubic hair area, my fingers brushing against his penis and firmly planted my hand on his pubic crest region and said to me, ‘There’ in a very sharp, loud, angry sounding tone. … He angrily raged in accusatory and threatening confrontational he bellowed at me. Just scared the shit out of me.
The woman said in the interview she feared that if she didn’t do what Gore wanted her to do, her professional reputation would be damaged or she could be arrested for false allegations of prostitution. After the yelling, she says:
He then tried another tactic as though he had very suddenly switched personalities and began in a pleading tone, pleading for release of his second chakra there.
The second chakra, for those that follow those practices, is associated with sexual desire, and a request for assistance relieving it is a euphemism for sexual release.
When she ended the massage with a technique designed to put a client to sleep and tried to leave the room:
And he came over to where I was while I was trying to pack up and then he wrapped me in an inescapable embrace as I turned around, giving me this “come hither” look deep into my eyes and caressed my back and buttocks and breasts. I squirmed to try and get out of his grasp, telling him to stop, don’t, several times and I finally told him and said, You’re being a crazed sex poodle, hoping that he’d realize how weird he was being yet he persisted. He was much stronger than me, bigger than me and insistent.
She says efforts to rebuff his advances by mentioning his wife were met with an angry outburst, so she attempted to find other ways to distract him as she packed her not insubstantial supplies. She says Gore then forced her to drink from a glass of Grand Marnier:
And he poured it into wine or brandy glass after which taking a sip, he pushed it to my lips as he cornered me with a big, seduction smile. I don’t drink. I’m allergic to alcohol. I did enough in college anyway (laughs). I pushed it away, saying, I do not drink liquor ‘cause of allergies. And he insisted, saying come on, just taste it and pushed it into my lips again whereby I ended up sipping some. Um, he then forced an open mouth kiss on me who was cornered by him, sticking his tongue into my mouth to French kiss me. l pushed back and said, Stop it, stop it.
A bit later, after she says Gore grabbed the strap of her camisole and tried to pull it off, she says he “herded” her in to the bedroom where there was an iPod dock. He put on “Dear Mr. President” by P!nk, the woman says, and then became more violent:
[H]e turned to me and he immediately flipped me flat on my back and threw his whole body face down over atop me, pinning me down and outweighing me by quite a bit. Get off me, you big lummox! I loudly yelled protested to him and I struggled with my whole body to shove him as hard as I could to roll him off me and get out from underneath him and I using my whole left leg and stuff and that’s where I strained all the muscles but I didn’t realize it at the time. Um, he just giggled and acted like I was only teasing him and I had to physically struggle and wrench around to throw him off my body so I could · stop being squashed and breathe again.
Although she says he moved to her side, he maintained control of her wrist, singing along and made further attempts to fondle her as she tried to explain her unwillingness to engage in sexual contact with him. As she made her way out of the bedroom, through the living room and to the door, she says his unwanted sexual advances continued.
He pleaded, grabbed me, engulfed me in embrace, tongue kissed me, massaged me, groped my breasts and painfully squeezed my nipples through my clothing, pressed his pelvis against mine, rubbed my buttocks with his hands and fingers and rubbed himself against my crotch, saying, You know you want to do it. As I kept pulling and struggling and pulling away from him and trying to leave.
The woman says she ultimately got out of the room and went downstairs at 1:30 a.m., over two hours after she entered. She said she did not immediately call the police because she “deeply feared being made into a public spectacle and my work reputation being destroyed.” She also said there was “no DNA evidence from a completed act of rape.”
The woman said in the 2009 interview that she kept the clothes she had worn that night, but the police concluded they had no “evidentiary value.” She was given services through a victim advocate program and “the case was not investigated any further because detectives concluded there was insufficient evidence to support the allegations,” according to the police statement Wednesday.