Sunday, March 1, 1992 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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It Started When Kari Tupper Went Public

The allegations against Sen. Brock Adams began in 1988 when Kari Tupper, a former congressional aide and daughter of old friends of Adams, publicly accused the senator of drugging and sexually molesting her a year and a half earlier.

Adams emphatically denied the allegations, and two very different versions of what had happened on March 27, 1987, emerged.

Tupper, then a 24-year-old U.S. House committee aide, went to the senator's Washington, D.C., home that night. That's just about the only fact that's uncontested.

Tupper told police she went to Adams' house to confront him about unwanted sexual advances that had begun two years earlier. She said he persisted in conversation of a sexual nature, then gave her several drinks that appeared to be champagne mixed with a pink liquid.

She said she apparently blacked out, and woke up the next morning to find herself in a bed nude with Adams fondling her breasts and buttocks.

Adams said Tupper came to his house to enlist his help in finding a new job. He said she wasn't feeling well, and accepted his invitation to spend the night - in another room - rather than drive back to her suburban Virginia apartment. "I went to bed alone," Adams said in a prepared statement 18 months later. "I did not sexually assault the woman."

No one else was home at the time.

Medical tests on Tupper the next day revealed no sign of drugs or sexual assault, and she didn't file a formal complaint for more than a month. The police detective who investigated applied for a warrant to arrest Adams for simple assault, but prosecutors declined, citing lack of medical or physical corroboration and what they said were problems with Tupper's credibility.

The U.S. Attorney for Washington, D.C., Republican Joseph diGenova, said later that Tupper's allegations were groundless.

None of this became public until September 1988, when Adams aides, under the mistaken impression a Washington, D.C., magazine was about to publish an article on the incident, began alerting allies in Washington state. Word soon leaked to Seattle reporters.

Adams said Tupper had been harassing him and his family for the preceding 18 months, trying to blackmail him out of $400,000. But he has refused to answer questions about the episode.

After remaining in seclusion for several days, Tupper consented to a lengthy interview with two Seattle newspapers. She said her family and attorney negotiated unsuccessfully with Adams to settle the matter with an apology from him, a face-to-face confrontation, money to cover her legal and medical expenses, and a donation to a rape-crisis center.

Copyright (c) 1992 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.


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