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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Climate Denial Machine strikes out, again!!! Joseph Romm: DA, Portland police clear Al Gore of charges

DA, Portland police clear Al Gore of charges

[The Climate Denial Machine strikes out, again!!!]

by Joseph Romm, Climate Progress, July 31, 2010

Joe Romm: I am happy to pass on any comments you have to the Nobel-Peace-prize-winning former VP. (do this at the link at the bottom of this post)

I wouldn’t normally blog on this sort of thing, but you have no idea how many nasty comments (and emails) I have had to delete on this topic.

Portland’s local TV station KOIN reports:

Portland Police and the Multnomah County District Attorney’s office have cleared Al Gore of criminal wrongdoing in the sex assault case filed by masseuse Molly Hagerty.
“After evaluating the materials submitted by PPB I have concluded that I agree with the assessment that a sustainable criminal case does not exist,” said District Attorney Michael D. Schrunk, in a statement.
As HuffPost reports:
Gore has vehemently denied the charges of sexual misconduct that recently came to light when the Portland Police Bureau signaled it was opening an investigation into the case.
After news broke that the probe would be dropped, Gore spokesman Kalee Kreider said in a statement:
“Mr. Gore unequivocally and emphatically denied this accusation when he first learned of its existence three years ago. He respects and appreciates the thorough and professional work of the Portland authorities and is pleased that this matter has now been put to rest.”
TPM, which has been following this, reposts a memo from the DA’s office, in which prosecutor Don Rees explains “a number of deficiencies” in the case that led to the decision not to prosecute:
1. Ms. Hagerty, who has red hair, states she called Mr. Gore immediately following the alleged incident and told him to “dream of redheaded women” seemingly in contradiction to her assertions that she was terrified of Mr. Gore. Two days after the alleged incident Ms. Hagerty also sent an email to the Hotel Lucia stating that she appreciated the business referrals she received from the hotel. She did not mention any problem with Mr. Gore;
2. Witnesses at the hotel where the alleged incident occurred state they do not remember seeing or hearing anything unusual—directly contradicting Ms. Hagerty’s published claim in the July 12, 2010 of the National Enquirer that she was “shaking and in shock” and “rushed down the hall and to the lobby where the front desk clerk noticed she was upset was asked if she was OK”;
3. Forensic testing of pants retained by Ms. Hagerty as possible evidence are negative for the presence of seminal fluid;
4. Ms. Hagerty has not provided as repeatedly requested medical records she claims are related to the case;
5. Ms. Hagerty has also failed to provide other records related to the case;
6. Ms. Hagerty failed a polygraph examination;
7. It appears Ms. Hagerty was paid by the National Enquirer for her story; and
8. Mr. Gore voluntarily met with detectives and denied all of the allegations.
On the polygraph, Senior Deputy DA Rees explains:
In meeting with Ms. Hagerty and her attorney Ms. Snyder, detectives learned Ms. Hagerty took a polygraph regarding her allegations and failed. Ms. Snyder asked the detectives not to document that failure in their reports. The detectives requested copies of the polygraph so that the questions, answers and associated polygrams could be reviewed, but Ms. Hagerty and her attorney have not provided those materials.
The results of polygraphs are not admissible in trial and Oregon law prohibits the state from requiring victims of sex crimes to take polygraphs as a prerequisite to filing an accusatory pleading (ORS 163.705). In this case however, where the complaining witness voluntarily submitted to a polygraph and failed, it is a highly relevant fact to consider when weighing whether this case is prosecutable. Polygraph results are commonly relied upon by the police, courts and attorneys. Ms. Hagerty’s failure to release the detailed polygraph results to police makes it impossible to review the quality and nature of this particular examination.
Case closed.


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