2018 | News

County Prosecutor, Police Chief Won’t Investigate Kavanaugh Without Complaint

Local legislators had urged law enforcement officials to look into sexual assault allegations

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Montgomery County law enforcement officials reiterated Friday their position that they will not investigate allegations of a decades-old sexual assault by U.S. Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett J. Kavanaugh unless the alleged victim files a complaint.

However, on Friday the White House announced it has ordered the FBI to conduct an investigation into the allegations to be concluded by Friday.

Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy and county Police Chief J. Thomas Manger sent a letter outlining their position to 11 state legislators representing Montgomery County who had urged the law enforcement officials to investigate allegations made by professor Christine Blasey Ford.

Both Ford and Kavanaugh testified Thursday during a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee about the sexual assault that Ford says occurred at a 1982 house party in Montgomery County when both she and Kavanaugh were high school students. Kavanaugh denies the allegations.

The 11 legislators sent a letter Tuesday to McCarthy and Manger stating that because Kavanaugh has been accused of sexually assaulting Ford, a county resident at the time of the alleged assault, the legislators believe local authorities would have jurisdiction over an investigation. There is no statute of limitations in Maryland for felony sexual assault cases, although the law can vary for misdemeanors.

The delegates who signed the letter, all Democrats, are Kumar Barve, Al Carr, Bonnie Cullison, Ariana Kelly, Marc Korman, David Moon, Pam Queen, Kirill Reznik, Shane Robinson, Ana Sol Gutierrez and Jeff Waldstreicher.

The letter came one week after state Sen. Cheryl Kagan, a Democrat representing Rockville, asked for an investigation into Kavanaugh’s past by the Maryland State Police. Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said he would not authorize the request.

In their letter addressed to state Del. Ariana Kelly, McCarthy and Manger said the victim of the alleged assault must first report the alleged crime to law enforcement before an investigation can begin.

“To date, there have been no criminal reports filed with the Montgomery County Department of Police that would lead to the initiation of any criminal investigation related to Judge Kavanaugh,” the letter stated.

The letter also stated that the law at the time of the alleged assault must be applied to any charges. In 1982 when the alleged assault may have occurred, assault and attempted rape were both misdemeanors and subject to a one-year statute of limitations.

“We remain prepared to investigate any allegation, should a victim come forward,” the letter stated.