“I can tell you without hesitation, this is absolutely false,” Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Judge Roy Moore (shown) responded to the latest woman to come forward, accusing him of sexually assaulting her when she was 16 years old and Moore was an assistant district attorney in Etowah County, Alabama.
The accuser, Beverly Young Nelson, was accompanied by high-profile lawyer Gloria Allred during a news conference in New York. She claimed that Moore offered her a ride home from work from her job at a local restaurant — Olde Hickory House — in Gadsden, Alabama, about 40 years ago. Gadsden is about 50 miles northeast of Birmingham.
Nelson said she was waiting for her boyfriend to pick her up, but she explained that she “trusted” Moore “because he was a district attorney.” According to Nelson, she got in his car and he drove behind the restaurant, parked, and then groped her, and even attempted to force her head into his crotch.
“I thought he was going to rape me,” Nelson said, but instead, “at some point, he gave up.”
If true, these are serious charges. In response, Moore claimed, “I never did what she said I did. I don’t even know the woman. I don’t know anything about her. I don’t even know where the restaurant is or was,” adding, “this is a political maneuver and has nothing to do with reality. It’s all about politics.”
It certainly has great political ramifications. Opposition to Moore by the Democrats in Alabama has been joined by opposition from establishment Republicans in Washington, D.C. House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have said that they believe the various women who have made charges against Moore, and that Moore should “step aside.” Moore retorts that it is McConnell who should step down. “Apparently Mitch McConnell and the establishment G.O.P. would rather elect a radical pro-abortion Democrat than a conservative Christian,” Moore wrote in a recent fund-raising e-mail.
D.C. Republicans are reportedly concerned that Moore’s continued candidacy could leave them open to Democrat charges that the Republicans are somehow soft on child molesters. Among the solutions that Republicans are rumored to be considering is either a write-in campaign for Attorney General Jeff Sessions or for him to be appointed to his former seat should Moore emerge victorious, only to be summarily removed from office by the Senate.
Either scenario also has its dangers for Republicans. A write-in campaign could simply hand the election over to the Democrats. Alabama State Senator Phil Williams warns that unseating Moore after his election “will create a backlash the likes of which the party has never seen before.”
Moore's supporters are striking back. John Rogers, with Moore’s campaign, called Allred a “sensationalist lawyer” who is leading a “witch hunt, and she is only around to create a spectacle.” Rogers noted, “Allred was the attorney who claims credit for giving us Roe v. Wade which has resulted in the murder of tens of millions of unborn babies.”
Perhaps the most interesting defense of Moore, in this specific case, comes from author and journalist Thomas Wictor. As reported in the Gateway Pundit, Wictor is challenging the veracity of Nelson’s high-school yearbook evidence. Nelson offered as proof of a relationship with Moore that he allegedly signed her yearbook, referencing “Olde Hickory House” and “Christmas 1977.” Wictor asserted in a tweet, “The sevens in 1977 to the right of “Christmas,” are very different from the sevens in the date (12-22-77) above “Olde Hickory House.” Wictor added, “Look at the two versions of the number 7,” arguing that “12-22-77” and “Olde Hickory House” were written by a different person.” Finally, Wictor wrote, “The inflection of the “Y” is more pronounced in Moore’s signature as Chief Justice. The “R” is noticeably longer in the signature of the Chief Justice, as well.”
Neither Wictor nor the Gateway Pundit offer any qualifications of Wictor as an expert on analyzing handwriting.
There are questions about Nelson’s story — questions that do not necessarily discredit her testimony, but do bear further scrutiny. If Moore did indeed sign her yearbook, did that occur before or after the alleged incident outside the restaurant? If before, that would indicate the two already knew each other, which leads one to ask, how did they know each other, and how well? If after, then why would she ask, or allow, Moore, if he did what he was accused of, to sign her yearbook?
Secondly, if she was expecting her boyfriend to pick her up soon, then why did she take up Moore's offer to drive her home, even if she felt she could trust him? Why would she not wait for her boyfriend? Simply saying that she trusted Moore, because he was a “district attorney,” certainly indicates some prior relationship between the two.
Additionally, Moore was not a “district attorney,” but rather an assistant. This is, however, not a significant difference, and Nelson’s story should not be discounted simply because of that mistake. People can understandably forget such details after 40 years. It is also possible that Moore did know the woman 40 years ago, and has simply forgotten her. But one would think Moore would remember such an incident as Nelson has described.
The Roy Moore case presents a fair-minded person with a problem. On one hand, no decent person wants any young woman to have to endure the advances of a predator. On the other hand, no decent person wants a man to be falsely accused of such horrific acts. We know that there are those who are more than willing to lie to destroy the political ambitions of an innocent person, and we know that there are those who are just as willing to lie to save the political ambitions of a guilty person.
Hopefully, we will be presented with some definitive evidence in this case, sooner rather than later.
Photo: AP Images