Montgomery County’s chief of police and the county state’s attorney said Friday they have not launched an investigation into sexual assault allegations against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh — though they “remain prepared to investigate any allegation, should a victim come forward.”
In a letter responding to a petition from county legislators, Montgomery County Police Chief J. Thomas Manger and State's Attorney John McCarthy said they believe the decision to report a sexual assault “must be made by the survivor.”
“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,” they wrote.
A group of state legislators from the county on Tuesday had called on police and prosecutors to investigate allegations that Kavanaugh committed one or more sexual assaults while a high school student at Georgetown Prep in the 1980s. The lawmakers asked authorities not to wait for an alleged victim to make a complaint to them before starting an investigation.
Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s nominee to fill a Supreme Court vacancy, has denied allegations against him.
The letter from the police chief and state’s attorney was addressed to Del. Ariana Kelly, Democratic caucus chair in the county’s delegation. Kelly had been among the group of Democrats petitioning the law enforcement officials. Others were Dels. Kumar Barve, Al Carr, Bonnie Cullison, Marc Korman, David Moon, Pam Queen, Kirill Reznik, Shane Robinson, Ana Sol Gutierrez and Jeff Waldstreicher.
In their letter Tuesday, the delegates said they were writing to “express our concern about the need for an investigation into recent high-profile allegations of sex assault in our county…. 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.”
But Manger and McCarthy said they agreed with experts that “the willingness of a survivor to come forward to law enforcement is an important factor in any criminal investigation.”
The two also noted that under laws that existed in 1982 — the approximate time of allegations made by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford about Kavanaugh’s alleged actions at a high school party — assault and attempted rape were both misdemeanors subject to a one-year statute of limitations.
Nevertheless, they wrote, “the Montgomery County Police Department and the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office stand ready to investigate any sexual assault allegation from any victim where the incident occurred in our jurisdiction.”
Baltimore Sun reporter Luke Broadwater contributed to this article.