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Inquiry clears Gore in sex allegations

PORTLAND, Ore. —Former Vice President Al Gore was cleared Friday of allegations he groped and assaulted a masseuse in a luxury Portland hotel room in 2006, closing a case that could have tarnished the Nobel prize winner's reputation.

After a four-week investigation that included interviews with Gore, masseuse Molly Hagerty, her acquaintances and hotel staff, as well as testing a pair of stained pants belonging to Hagerty, Multnomah County District Attorney Michael Schrunk said Friday there was no basis for prosecution.

In a memo to Schrunk released with the decision, Senior Deputy District Attorney Don Rees cited "contradictory evidence, conflicting witness statements, credibility issues, lack of forensic evidence and denials by Mr. Gore."

Rees also said Hagerty and her attorneys were uncooperative, witnesses could not remember anything unusual, Hagerty failed a polygraph examination and she would not say whether she was paid by a tabloid newspaper for her story.

Gore aides welcomed the news.

"Mr. Gore unequivocally and emphatically denied this accusation when he first learned of its existence three years ago," spokeswoman Kalee Kreider said in a statement. "He respects and appreciates the thorough and professional work of the Portland authorities and is pleased that this matter has now been resolved."

There were questions about Hagerty's claims from the beginning.

She first contacted police in 2006 through an attorney, claiming "unwanted sexual contact" by Gore, but the attorney declined to discuss any details. Hagerty then failed to attend meetings scheduled three times with detectives, and the attorney finally said it would be handled as a civil complaint.

Nothing further was heard from Hagerty until January 2009, when she appeared at police headquarters to say she wanted to file a criminal complaint.

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