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Past Criminal Cases to Be Reviewed as Tara Reade’s Credentials Have Been Questioned

Earlier this month, CNN reported that the university Tara Reade, the woman accusing Joe Biden of sexual assault, attended said that she never earned her bachelor’s degree. Although in 2004, Reade received her Juris Doctorate from Seattle School of Law, which the university confirmed, her claims of getting a liberal arts degree from Antioch University may be false.

A spokeswoman for Antioch confirmed with The New York Times that Reade had attended classes at the university, but she didn’t graduate.

Reade maintains that she went to Antioch under a “protected program” because she had changed her identity after fleeing an abusive situation. She claims she worked on her studies privately with Tullisse Murdock, who served as the school’s president at the time. The Times reports that Murdock denies such an arrangement ever occurred.

A Review of Past Cases Relying on Reade’s Testimony

If Reade did, in fact, misrepresent her credentials, that could have a huge impact on many criminal defense cases. Reade had served as an expert witness for the government, claiming she had a thorough understanding of domestic violence issues and counseled victims.

In light of the news about her undergraduate degrees, our defense attorneys are reviewing cases in which Reade served as an expert. Her testimony may have swayed the jurors’ decisions and resulted in convictions that otherwise would not have happened.

Attorney William V. Pernik told the Monterey County Weekly that the prosecution typically brings experts into cases that are tough for them to link the defendant to the alleged offense. He said, “[t]hat means the risk of jury erroneously convicting the accused is astronomically higher.”

In 2018, Attorney Roland Soltesz represented a woman, V. Ramirez, charged with attempted murder. It was alleged that she, along with her co-defendant, J. Vasquez, set fire to Ramirez’s boyfriend’s home after they caught him having sex in a tent with another woman.

The alleged victim initially stated that he saw the two women flee the scene, but later said that it was two men he saw. Reade was called in to testify on that case, providing insight as to why victims of domestic violence might change their stories to protect their alleged abusers.

During Reade’s testimony, Soltesz asked her about her credentials and qualifications, to which she referred to her degree from Antioch. She also said she had experience in domestic violence prevention and had testified in over 20 cases.

Soltesz, along with Vasquez’s defense attorney, raised questions about Reade’s qualifications to serve as an expert in the case, but the judge overruled their objections. Ramirez and Vasquez were sentenced to life in prison.

Soltesz told the Times that “people have been convicted based upon [Reade’s misrepresentation], and that’s wrong.” He said he is looking into whether or not his client’s case can be reopened. He emailed several other defense attorneys to let them know Reade’s credentials have been questioned.

Pernik said that re-examining cases was a matter of protecting the integrity of the justice system.

A day after our team and other defense lawyers in the area said they would review past cases, Reade’s attorney, who was representing her in the Biden case, said he is no longer serving as her legal counsel, according to the Times.

If you or someone you know had a case where Tara Reade served as an expert, contact the

Law Offices of William V. Pernik at (831) 269-5353.

Vetting Cases Is Crucial

The #MeToo movement has brought to light numerous cases of sexual harassment and sexual assault. This movement is important, and we should never undermine the stories of survivors. Their voices should be heard, and they must be treated with respect.

At the same time, we must maintain due process and remember that the people accused of committing sexual assault or domestic violence are presumed innocent. It is essential that these cases, as well as the experts brought in to testify, be thoroughly vetted. Any information presented, especially if it’s not entirely accurate, can influence the jurors’ thinking and result in an outcome that impacts an innocent person’s life forever.

Hire Domestic Violence Attorneys who Fight for You

Being charged with domestic violence can be frightening. In some cases, the allegations may arise from false accusations by a family or household member trying to achieve some unfair advantage in another matter, such as a divorce or child custody issue. Whatever the case may be, if you were charged, our team at the Law Offices of William V. Pernik will always have your back. When we take on a case, we explore every legal option and employ a strategic approach to cast doubt on the State’s allegations. We fight hard toward a favorable outcome.

Have you or someone you know been accused of a domestic violence or sexual assault offense?

Take the first step and contact us at (831) 269-5353.

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