All Allegations of Sexual Assault Must Be Taken Seriously

Wow. Reaction to my last column which was focused on today’s political hypocrisy was both shockingly swift and largely off-point.
I wrote about a new police report alleging a sexual attack by then-Senator Joe Biden against one of his young staffers 27 years ago. I compared how her charges against the presumptive democratic presidential nominee have been received contrasted with how the sexual assault claims against republican Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh were handled.

No comparison, as I pointed out. Kavanaugh got skewered for days on end by Senate democrats and a media feeding frenzy. Biden has largely gotten a pass.

The official photo from the U.S. Capitol of Joe Biden - undated
Senator Joe Biden

Reader Deborah L. Hall wrote that, “My eyes are still rolling at your opinion.” James Hodge was more pointed telling me I “need to get another job.” Another critic, Virginia Clark, said, “It’s opinions like this that continue to cause divides in our country and give Donald Trump the signal that it’s OK if he assaults women because there are no consequences for him.”
Each of these readers, and several more, scolded me for not mentioning the dozens of women who have made sexual assault complaints against our current president. Some accused me of being a political shill for President Trump. I assure you I am not.
Each week I get about 700 words to express an opinion about a crime and justice issue. That new police report against Mr. Biden was the latest news. Also important was the need to point out the obvious hypocrisy in the two cases.
If every woman must be “believed” (as was frequently said during the Kavanaugh hearings) then why, today, do so many say that Ms. Reade’s complaint should only be “heard.” What was fair then should be fair now. Political affiliation of the accused should make no difference.

Does NOW Support All Women or Just Some Women?

And, by the way, where are all the women’s groups and feminists who rushed in to support Blasey-Ford before she even testified? Where is the feeding frenzy of media coverage offering up questionable tidbits of unproven gossip as we saw during the Kavanaugh spectacle? For the most part these groups have been standing in the wings, arms folded, as Reade has stood virtually alone.
Now, about President Trump. He has been accused of past bad acts against dozens of young women. The recent book, “All The President’s Women: Donald Trump and the Making of a Predator” chronicles graphic accusations against Trump from nearly 50 different women. (Full disclosure: it was co-written by Barry Levine, a longtime friend of mine.) The book details alleged incidents ranging from uninvited kissing and groping to rough physical contact and even rape. Mr. Trump has denied every allegation.
Not one of the 50 women filed a police report, according to Levine. I can imagine they were intimidated by Trump’s wealth and stable of staff lawyers. Several accusers entered into out-of-court settlements with Trump and in exchange for money they promised to remain silent. As I have repeatedly written here non-disclosure agreements designed to cover up criminal behavior should be illegal. Lawyers who draft them should be disbarred.

The book cover of "All The President's Men" co-authored by Barry Levine
Trump Accusers Didn’t File Police Reports, Made Settlements Instead

It sickens me to think what boorish (and criminal!) behaviors all sorts of men have forced upon women over the centuries. In this more enlightened time, a majority agree that no man should get a pass for sexual assault – past or present. It doesn’t matter if the man is an actor, a Hollywood producer or President of the United States. Each and every one of them should be held accountable if they are proven guilty.
Fair-minded people should demand that any woman brave enough to come forward to report a sexual assault should be afforded full attention. If their claim is proven false they should be held accountable for trying to ruin a man’s reputation.
Which brings me full circle to last week’s point. No matter how many citizens despise this president and want him replaced by Joe Biden that is no excuse to hypocritically ignore Reade’s allegations. Joe Biden should not be above scrutiny. Neither should Donald Trump who currently enjoys the protection of the presidency.
To all those who wrote to scold me two simple questions: do we treat all sexual assault allegations the same or just some of them? And who gets to decide which should be ignored?



  1. Diane Dimond on May 4, 2020 at 9:36 am

    Reader Warren Bransom writes:

    I wanted to say how much I thought of your column about being fair on all sides in regard to your report on sexual assault. We have too long been political about the news and what is put in it. It should be news and not politics, covering both sides equally. Report the truth on all sides and let the reader decide. We can only hope people can still hear both sides and think for themselves. Thank you for the truth and for being fair.

  2. Frank R on May 4, 2020 at 9:37 am

    Reade should be believed. All of Trump’s accusers should be believed.
    Biden’s accusations should be investigated simultaneously with all of Trumps accusers. Fair is fair.

  3. Diane Dimond on May 4, 2020 at 9:41 am

    Reader Ted Yaeger writes:

    We can see now that not ALL women must be believed and some can simply just be paid off. Sex is a potential offensive weapon, bilaterally!

  4. Diane Dimond on May 4, 2020 at 9:42 am

    Reader Katie Anthony writes:

    You’re right.

  5. Diane Dimond on May 4, 2020 at 9:42 am

    Reader Ken Guarino writes:

    TDS snowflake Dems and their followers will always defend the hypocrites in the DNC and their other officials! The problem with that is they are resorting to the very claims that terrorist claim of us? When it is they that become our very own “Domestic Terrorists!” So, it is time for ALL Americans to come to their senses and return to what it really means to be an AMERICAN!

  6. Diane Dimond on May 4, 2020 at 9:42 am

    Reader H. Reardon writes:

    Ms. Dimond,
    It’s tough having to argue a point against the irrationally-minded. Often, one has to simply leave them standing on the platform.

    Take charge and move out. Your doing a fine job.

  7. Diane Dimond on May 4, 2020 at 9:44 am

    Anonymous writes:

    Well said. Press on Ms. Diamond and thank you for some rational thought.

  8. Diane Dimond on May 4, 2020 at 9:44 am

    Reader Anthony Pendleton writes:

    Absolutely. At the same time a reported violator must not be vilified based on an accusation. When the allegations are proven false, the accusers must be subject to civil and criminal charges!

  9. Diane Dimond on May 4, 2020 at 9:44 am

    Reader Paul F writes:

    Q: Do we treat all sexual assault allegations the same, or just some of them? A: only the ones that don’t disappear from the destruction of evidence, or involve conservatives. Q: And who gets to decide which should be ignored? A: DNC and their MSM propaganda arm.

  10. Diane Dimond on May 4, 2020 at 9:45 am

    Reader John Mirenda writes:

    I praise you for writing this article and highlighting the allegation against Biden. All such behavior should be exposed and condemned, and there’s no need to mention allegations against Trump in every article on this subject. The criticism you received in probably from political trolls.

  11. Diane Dimond on May 4, 2020 at 9:45 am

    Reader Stuart Goldstein writes:

    And never forget that most of Trump’s past behavior was known before he was elected President and people chose to vote for him anyway.
    Says a lot about the alternative.

  12. Diane Dimond on May 4, 2020 at 9:45 am

    Reader NavyVet writes:

    To answer your questions, “just some” and “democrats” if you ask democrats, including CNN and MSDNC.

  13. Robert Nentwicke on May 4, 2020 at 9:46 am

    Diane, This is yet another of your masterfully written pieces. It was done in an objective manner that represented the interests of all parties involved. It is non partisan and demonstrates the position that this type of behavior is NEVER ok, no matter the level of social stature or power of the abuser

    • Diane Dimond on May 4, 2020 at 9:53 am

      DD replies to Robert:

      Thank you so much! I’ve gotten a lot of negative reaction to the two columns I wrote about Tara Reade’s allegations. Your comment was much appreciated!

  14. Diane Dimond on May 4, 2020 at 9:46 am

    Reader Matt Maggio@MaggioMatt writes:

    #TaraReade is the blowback from Kavanaugh & Thomas.

  15. Diane Dimond on May 4, 2020 at 12:59 pm

    Reader John Vitale writes:

    If you were upset by Trump and Kavanaugh and you are not upset about Biden, then it was never about sexual assault and the Me Too Movement for you, it was just about politics.

    • Diane Dimond on May 4, 2020 at 1:00 pm

      Reader Roger Hawkes replies to John Vitale:

      GREAT POINT! Why are ALL these liberal Trump-haters diverting away from Biden’s big problem? They ALL know/we ALL know about Biden’s very creepy touching, pawing, hair-smelling habits with women and small girls. There are very graphic video montages proving what a pervert he is! WHY ARE ALL THESE LIBERALS NOT CONCERNED WITH VERY CREDIBLE ACCUSATIONS AGAINST JOE BIDEN????? And why aren’t they talking about Bill Clinton?????

  16. Diane Dimond on May 4, 2020 at 1:03 pm

    Reader David P. Levin writes:

    Agreed. Joe should be investigated thoroughly. And then, if found guilty, he should be accorded the same treatment as Trump and Kavanaugh.

    • Diane Dimond on May 4, 2020 at 1:03 pm

      Lynda Walker replies to David P. Levin:

      Oh, for heavens sake! You don’t think he was vetted for the VP?
      This character is being paid handsomely by god knows who, but the Russians are quite pleased that this is the discussion. Good job promoting it

  17. Diane Dimond on May 4, 2020 at 1:03 pm

    Diane Dimond replies to Lynda Walker:

    Lynda, isn’t that even more reason to fully investigate Tara Reade’s allegation? If she’s “getting paid” by someone as you say a deep dive into her finances would prove it. So why so hesitant to investigate?

  18. Diane Dimond on May 4, 2020 at 1:14 pm

    Reader Norma Valentini writes:

    Tara Reade is a liar who changes her story every day!!

    • Diane Dimond on May 4, 2020 at 1:14 pm

      Diane Dimond replies to Norma Valentini:

      No, Reade does not “change her story every day.” As with many sexual abuse victims they tell their story in increments. They talk about it in banal terms at first to gauge a listener’s reaction. If they get a positive reaction then the victim will go into greater and greater detail. I’m not making this up. Experts in the field will tell you this happens more times than not. It is especially true in child sexual assault victims. Ms. Reade came out last year with a group of other women to describe touching and groping. Then she elaborated. Is her story true? I don’t know. But I do know it is hypocritical to simply brand her a liar.
      PS. Reade says she filed a complaint with the Senate back in the 90s but she didn’t use the language we use today…”sexual harassment”, etc….she reported being made to feel “uncomfortable.” Is there such a report? Again, I don’t know. Only a fair and impartial investigation would tell us that. Ignoring her buries the truth.

      • Diane Dimond on May 4, 2020 at 1:16 pm

        Norma Valentini replies to Diane Dimond:

        I still don’t find her credible. I will watch where the investigation takes us.

        • Diane Dimond on May 4, 2020 at 1:17 pm

          Greg Roncone replies to Norma Valentini:

          But did you find Christine Ford Credible ?

          • Diane Dimond on May 4, 2020 at 1:17 pm

            Norma Valentini replies to Greg Roncone:

            I watched the hearing and didn’t find her credible. She struggled to keep her story straight. This is just my opinion. Have a great day!!

      • Diane Dimond on May 4, 2020 at 1:20 pm

        Reader Shawn Killam replies to Diane

        So well said, Diane. I was a victim of child sexual abuse. I didn’t tell for years . IT HAPPENED, I didn’t make it up, it happened. Luckily I don’t care who believes me (I think people do), but the truth is on my side. Sexual assault will really mess you up….

  19. Diane Dimond on May 4, 2020 at 1:15 pm

    Reader Christopher Dukas writes:

    Diane Dimond you have a point. Same might be said in Kavanaugh assault case. It appears a double standard.

  20. Diane Dimond on May 4, 2020 at 1:26 pm

    Reader Robin Dorian Diane Dimond Why now and not when he ran for VP? /// She had ample time (to go public) when the Obama administration was vetting him for the VP position in 2007.

    • Diane Dimond on May 4, 2020 at 1:29 pm

      Diane Dimond replies to Robin Dorian:

      Who knows, Robin? Maybe because today’s #MeToo #TimesUp era is more hospitable to such reports? Or maybe she’s making the whole thing up. Only an impartial investigation will reveal the truth. For the life of me I don’t understand why some citizens are fighting that idea.

      • Diane Dimond on May 4, 2020 at 1:29 pm

        Reader Roger Hawkes replies to Robin Dorian – THAT is a very good question. And as republican who can’t stand Biden, THAT part of this I question as well. I also don’t understand why she hasn’t got a copy of her original complaint. There’s no excuse for that. But beyond all of that, no matter who the accuser is, I don’t like anyone coming out of the woodwork and accusing any man of something from decades ago. It’s not fair!

        • Diane Dimond on May 4, 2020 at 1:30 pm

          Reader Linda Kelly replies to Robine Dorian:

          At the time of this allegation digital penetration wasn’t classified as a sexual assault – a felony in some states.

  21. Diane Dimond on May 4, 2020 at 1:30 pm

    Reader Robert Marchuk It’s amazing how it is based on the hypocrisy of the treatment of the possible victim and how the rule of law is forgotten when it comes to a conservative candidate. Kavanaugh was guilty till proven innocent. I guess we should make it the way the US will do crime and court in the future. (sarcasm)

  22. Diane Dimond on May 4, 2020 at 1:32 pm

    Reader Drew Rutberg writes:

    Biden says he doesn’t remember her and I believe that’s true considering he doesn’t remember breakfast

    • Diane Dimond on May 4, 2020 at 1:32 pm

      Reader Christopher Dukas replies to Drew Rutberg:

      And he wants to be commander in chief? I always liked Joe .. gave a lot to the country. Is their a side we don’t know? Truthfully, i find it hard to believe he is THAT type. Ok, he seems to be a touchy feely type .. physical .. but cross the line — hard to picture .. possible? Sure.

  23. Diane Dimond on May 4, 2020 at 2:35 pm

    Readers Duffy and Jean Anne Swan write:

    Dear Ms. Dimond:

    My wife and I are regular readers of your column and do appreciate your insights and perspectives. Both of us believe you have correctly identified a key issue for our country, which is how often we let “political affiliation” impact decisions—especially about who may be right or wrong in any given matter.

    It seems that the three P’s stand for: Party, Politics and Power (over principles) and not Payroll Protection Plan. We believe that the sheer erosion of trust—or lack of trust—across our major institutions is one of the most serious factors in our nation’s ability to come together and attempt to solve almost anything anymore.

    If our leaders would focus more on rebuilding trust—first—they might do better finding long-term solutions to major problems. Until trust is restored (a long-term effort to be sure) we will continue to bog down and be driven by “Party, Politics and Power” over principles for the foreseeable future.

    Thank you for not backing down, in spite of all the criticism you received. You were “spot on” and we would do well to pay attention to your perspectives.

    Our best to you,
    Duffy and Jean Ann Swan

  24. Diane Dimond on May 5, 2020 at 12:59 pm

    Reader Patrick Younge writes:

    I agree with you, if MeToo stands for anything it’s for the right for all women to be heard.
    The thing about Biden is that although he denies the allegation he publicly states his accuser has the right to be heard and he doesn’t publicly impugn her case or her motive. It’s exemplifies the key difference between him and Trump, who uses his bully pulpit to go after his accusers even when their case has been proved.

  25. Diane Dimond on May 5, 2020 at 2:09 pm

    Reader Barry Weiner writes:

    Tara reade looks upon Putin as her hero. Isn’t that enough. I could say I was assaulted and someone would print. At one time journalists did due diligence.

    • Diane Dimond on May 5, 2020 at 2:14 pm

      Diane replies to Barry Weiner:

      The Putin reference is in regard to some research Tara Reade once did. And BTW, Bernie Sanders offered the similar praise of Fidel Castro. What’s that got to do with an alleged sexual attack?
      ….For your balanced consideration: Christine Blasey Ford lied to members of the congressional committee investigating Kavanaugh. She had the hearings postponed because she “was afraid to fly” – yet she had to admit that she took annual plane trips from California to New York and other far flung places. She also said she had to have a second front door installed because of her on-going panic attacks stemming from what Kavanaugh did. But on closer examination it turned out that second front door was installed as a separate entrance for renters paying to use an extra space in the Ford home.

  26. Diane Dimond on May 5, 2020 at 2:09 pm

    Reader Savannah Silver writes:

    Diane Dimond Equal treatment under the law … what laws are left by the Yeti, Joe Biden was VP for 8 years where was this person then, A Little to convenient at least be fair to the situation, you are not comparing Apples To Apples, Biden has been so public his whole life, where has this woman been. I hate all of this ,,, but equal treatment under the law, has a whole new meaning in the Days of The Yeti. (DT)

  27. Diane Dimond on May 5, 2020 at 2:15 pm

    Reader Steven Ireland writes:

    Two facts make me think that Biden is telling the truth – the first is David Axelrod who noted that Biden went through a very thorough vetting process for VP – this would have turned up if it were anything. Second, the audiotape of Reade’s mother calling into CNN – listen to her voice – does she sound like a mother who has been told that her daughter was sexually assaulted? No, she says “Um, hi, um, I’d like to know who to talk to if my daughter has a problem? I have a 15 year old daughter and if she told me her teacher had shoved her against a wall and put his fingers in her panties I’d be furious – so would my wife. I wouldn’t say we have a “problem” – her mom sounds like she is complaining about a bullying incident or something.

  28. Diane Dimond on May 5, 2020 at 2:20 pm

    Reader Mark Conradi writes:

    Ms. Dimond,
    I want to congratulate you on your two editorials about the allegations against Joe Biden and the eerie silence surrounding them. I am disappointed in the responses you received (according to your second
    I think the issues extend deeper than sexual harassment. I see politicians willing to say anything and espouse any notion, provided it is in accord with their politics. And many citizens go along with this
    intellectually dishonest approach and support it. It cheapens our national discourse and reduces us to red and blue citizens.
    Nearly all the Democrats in the Senate voted against Kavanaugh’s approval. Nearly all the Republicans supported it. Surely on a matter of
    fact (did the man do what Prof. Ford accuses him of doing, or not), such a party-line split shows that the real motivations of the senators were simple politics, very different from the high-sounding arguments
    of principle concocted to explain their votes.
    I want to give you my very own Cokie Roberts Award, for honesty in reporting about sexual harassment. When Bill Clinton was president, Ms.
    Roberts stood virtually alone pointing out that his behavior was shameful (Monica was his subordinate, by most measures), while her colleagues stood
    silent. Ms. Roberts basically asked “why are we giving this man a pass?”
    Well, this award carries no monetary value, so I hope you at least feel righteous or proud. Please keep it up.
    Thank you,
    Mark Conradi

  29. Diane Dimond on May 7, 2020 at 2:44 pm

    Reader Linda Kelly writes:

    Diane Dimond I managed the Sexual Assault Forensic Nurse Examiner (SAFE) program in Baltimore County for 10 years. I did have an occasion when I completed a forensic exam of a victim and was contacted by the detective investigating the alleged assault. He advised that he and another detective would be returning to my facility to talk with my patient/victim. She was placed under arrest for making a false report after law enforcement/detectives had investigated the scene and spoken to witnesses. I was so surprised and shocked with those findings. However, I learned a valuable lesson with these cases. I believed the story EVERY victim/patient shared with me. I stayed in my lane and provided the best medical/forensic examination to every patient. It was not my role to be on the scene of the alleged assault nor to interview potential witnesses. That is the job of law enforcement. I was fortunate to feel confident with the law enforcement team that worked in our jurisdiction. If I had any concerns after my examination that might contradict the findings of law enforcement, I discussed with the Sgt. of SVU. In the case I can recall, they returned to the alleged scene, completed a more intense review of records (nursing home), spoke with the victim/patient and provided me with additional evidence that no assault had occurred. I was always an advocate for my patient but stayed in my lane, respected the expertise of law enforcement and, ultimately, reviewed our case in our Sexual Assault Response Team monthly meeting. I understand that the general public is passionate in support of sexual assault victims just as I am. But, we need to ensure that every allegation of sexual assault if fully investigated by impartial investigators. Sen. Biden has presented himself as the author of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) which has defined every protocol for investigating, supporting and completing forensic examinations for victims of sexual assault. He needs to be able to be above reproach with his personal ethics.

  30. Diane Dimond on May 7, 2020 at 2:46 pm

    Reader Larry Rice writes:

    The DNC and MSM have no other choice – they’re already “all in” on Biden. Can’t get yer money back after you buy your lottery ticket !

  31. Diane Dimond on May 7, 2020 at 2:47 pm

    Reader Rob Farella writes:

    The old double standard.

  32. Diane Dimond on May 7, 2020 at 2:47 pm

    Reader Karen Devereaux Scioscia writes:

    Dems have suddenly gone deaf.

  33. Diane Dimond on May 11, 2020 at 3:51 pm

    Reader Jeffrey Cohen writes:

    I read your column every week in the Rockland County Times. I do not understand all the fuss regarding Ms. Reade’s credibility. F. Lee. Bailey, the noted criminal defense attorney, made it a practice to have his clients take a polygraph. If they passed, great…even if inadmissible in a court of law. if the client is failing, stop the process as he did with O.J. Polygraphs may not be rock solid in determining whether a person is telling the truth. But, if administered by a certified trained person, chances are that it will indicate with a high degree of certainty whether the person is answering truthfully or falsely. If Ms. Reade is so certain of Mr. Biden harassing her, then request that she sit for a polygraph and and advise her in advance that the results will be published. If she fails end of story; if she passes, then the ball is in Mr. Biden’s court to likewise take the test. If he refuses, you also have your answer. And if he takes it and passes, then you have no answer to the ultimate question. And if he fails, lights out.
    Take care and stay safe.
    Bronx Jew Boy Cohen, Esq

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