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'Procedural issues' prompt re-opening case involving Gore, police say

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Al Gore case heats up
  • Portland police say "command level review" should have been done in previous investigation
  • Massage therapist told police that Gore groped her during a massage in 2006
  • Gore spokeswoman says renewed investigation "will only benefit Mr. Gore"
  • Police disclosed the matter after National Enquirer articles about alleged incident

(CNN) -- Police in Portland, Oregon, say they reopened their investigation into a massage therapist's allegation that former Vice President Al Gore had "unwanted sexual contact" with her in 2006 because of procedural issues.

"In reviewing this case, we have determined there were procedural issues with the 2009 investigation that merit re-opening the case," the police department said in a statement Thursday. "There should have been command level review at the time on the specifics of this case and decisions on whether the investigation should go forward."

The department announced Wednesday that it was reopening the investigation, but did not immediately say what had prompted the change.

A renewed investigation "will only benefit Mr. Gore," said Kalee Kreider, a spokeswoman for the former vice president.

"The Gores cannot comment on every defamatory, misleading, and inaccurate story generated by tabloids," Kreider said. "Mr. Gore unequivocally and emphatically denied this accusation when he first learned of its existence three years ago. He stands by that denial."

The therapist told police in a prepared statement in January 2009 that she was "repeatedly subjected to unwanted sexual touching" by Gore during an October 2006 massage she performed on the former vice president at his hotel room, Portland police disclosed last week.

The department concluded there was not enough evidence to bring charges against the former vice president. Police said her attorney had approached police in 2006, but she did not speak with detectives at that time.

The attorney told investigators in January 2007 that the accuser would pursue a civil case and "declined the assistance" of detectives.

Portland police disclosed the matter last week after the tabloid National Enquirer published an article on the woman's allegations.

Portland police did not identify the woman, but the National Enquirer identified her on its website as 54-year-old Molly Hagerty. The website includes a photo of a woman it identified as Hagerty and quotes from what the Enquirer said was an exclusive interview with her.

CNN policy is not to name the alleged victim in a sexual abuse case, unless the person comes forward publicly.