Several Maryland lawmakers representing Montgomery County are calling on local law enforcement officials to investigate the sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh, arguing the state’s statute of limitations may not apply to some allegations.
“We request an investigation be conducted if Christine Blasey Ford or other complainants support such an investigation,” reads the letter, which was signed by 11 of the 24 members of the county’s House delegation. “We believe local law enforcement has the authority to investigate allegations of crimes without need for a formal complaint, and we further believe third parties have standing to bring such complaints.”
The letter from the Democratic lawmakers comes on the eve of Kavanaugh’s hearing before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. It is signed by Dels. Kumar Barve, Al Carr, Bonnie Cullison, Ariana B. Kelly, Marc Korman, David Moon, Pam Queen, Kirill Reznik, Shane Robinson, Ana Sol Gutierrez and Jeff Waldstreicher.
Capt. Paul Starks, a spokesman for the Montgomery County Police Department, said Wednesday the department is aware of the letter and is preparing a response to it. He noted that Montgomery detectives follow a “victim-centered” model for sexual assault investigations and cited a statement on the Kavanaugh allegations released by the department two days ago.
The statement read, in part: “The department recognizes that victims of sexual assault may not want to involve law enforcement and/or initiate a criminal investigation, and we respect that position. The department, however, stands prepared to assist anyone who reports being the victim of a sexual assault.”
Earlier this month, Ford went public with her allegations that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers. She said he corralled her into a bedroom during a gathering of teens at a house in Montgomery County more than three decades ago.
Since Ford’s allegation, two other women have come forward with allegations against Kavanaugh. He has denied all the accusations.
“County officials may be within the jurisdiction to pursue such an inquiry and are uniquely positioned to investigate publicly announced allegations of sex assaults that may have occurred within our borders,” reads the letter, which was sent to the county chief of police, the county prosecutor and attorneys Michael Avenatti and Debra Katz, who each represent one of the three accusers.
Last week, state Sen. Cheryl Kagan (D-Montgomery) wrote a letter to Gov. Larry Hogan (R) asking him to direct the state police to investigate. Hogan spokeswoman Amelia Chasse said in a statement that state police are “free to investigate any matter in accordance with established procedures. The governor has never used the state police to pursue investigations at his personal whim. That is a very dangerous and slippery slope.”
In a separate statement, the Maryland State Police said: “It is the policy of the Maryland State Police to initiate a criminal investigation when a criminal complaint is filed. There has been no complaint filed with the Maryland State Police regarding this issue.
“In addition, the Maryland State Police has a memorandum of understanding with Montgomery County that requires any crime of this nature to be investigated by the Montgomery County Police. As such it would be the responsibility of the Montgomery County Police to investigate an alleged sexual assault.”