In a media briefing on Tuesday, the Senate campaign of Judge Roy Moore directly challenged three accusations made against Moore — those made by Beverly Nelson concerning the alleged incident outside a Gadsden restaurant; the charge that Moore was banned from a Gadsden mall; and the assertion by Leigh Corfman that Moore had a sexual encounter with her when she was only 14 years old.
In the briefing, the Moore campaign offered evidence that the first two allegations were not true, then turned evidence disputing Corfman’s accusations — accusations that Moore has flatly denied.
As first reported in the Washington Post, Corfman asserted that Moore, then a 32-year-old assistant district attorney, was asked by Corfman’s mother, Nancy Wells, to watch her daughter while Wells went into a courtroom for a custody hearing, which took place in early 1979. Her parents were divorced, and the hearing concerned custody of Corfman. According to Corfman, Moore asked her for her phone number, which she gave him.
Moore later called her on a phone that Corfman had in her bedroom, Corfman claimed.
“Days later, she says, he picked her up around the corner from her house in Gadsden,” the article states.
Moore then took the girl to his home, put his arm around her, and kissed her, she claims. When Corfman told Moore that she felt nervous about the situation, he took her home.
“Soon after, she says, he called again, and picked her up again at the same spot,” according to the article.
This time, Corfman asserts that Moore took her back to his house, touched her body, and guided her hand to his underwear, at which point she said she yanked her hand back. Corfman claims that Moore called her again, but she gave him an excuse not to meet up with him again.
The Moore campaign disputes several points of the Corfman account, as reported by the Post. There was a hearing on February 21, 1979, but the Moore campaign retorted, “The Post failed to tell readers that at that February 21, 1979, court case, Wells [Corfman’s mother] voluntarily gave up custody of Corfman to Corfman’s father, Robert R. Corfman. The two had been divorced since 1974. The custody case was amicable and involved a joint petition by both parents.”
According to the Moore campaign’s challenge, the article did not inform its readers that as a result of the joint petition, the court ordered Leigh to move to her father’s house, beginning March 4th. “Court documents show the father’s address in Ohatchee, and not in Gadsden, where her mother lived and where Corfman says the meetings with Moore took place,” the Moore campaign asserts.
“This would mean,” the Moore campaign noted, “that from the court hearing on February 21, 1979, until Corfman was ordered to move to her father’s house, Moore would only have had 12 days, including the day of the court hearing, to have repeatedly called Corfman at her mother’s Gadsden house, arrange two meetings, and attempt another.” The Moore campaign allowed that such a timeline is “theoretically possible,” but contended that it was “unlikely.”
“Neither Corfman nor Wells publicly mentioned the change in custody during the critical period where Moore was said to have arranged meetings with Corfman outside her mother’s home,” the Moore campaign charged.
In the Post article, the implication is made that the alleged encounter with Moore resulted in Corfman to begin exhibiting “reckless behavior” as a teenager. As the Post put it, “After talking to her friends, Corfman says, she began to feel that she had done something wrong and kept it secret for years.” Corfman is quoted as saying, “I felt responsible. I felt like I had done something bad. And it kind of set the course for me doing other things that were bad.”
The clear implication is that Judge Moore caused Corfman to have emotional problems, leading to serious misbehavior.
According to Corfman, her teenage years were marked by drinking, drugs, boyfriends, and a suicide attempt when she was 16.
But was this the result of an alleged encounter with Moore?
The Moore campaign asserts that this is not the case. “The Post failed to mention that the very reason for the February 21, 1979, court hearing where Moore allegedly met Corfman was because, according to the court documents, Corfman had exhibited ‘certain disciplinary and behavioral problems.’ In other words,” the Moore campaign said, “Corfman evidenced behavioral problems prior to the alleged encounters with Moore.”
Those “disciplinary and behavioral problems” were specifically cited in the joint petition by her parents to change custody from the mother to the father. It was argued by both parents that her father could handle the misbehaving girl better than the mother.
Over one year later, a May 5, 1980 petition was filed to return Corfman to her mother’s custody, arguing that her “disciplinary problem has improved greatly.” The Moore campaign argued that this improvement in behavior is important since Corfman’s “disciplinary and behavioral problems” were cited as the rationale giving the father custody. In other words, this improvement in behavior is in “conflict” with Corfman’s assertion that after the alleged encounter with Moore her life “became increasingly reckless with drinking, drugs, boyfriends, and a suicide attempt when she was 16,” the Moore campaign contended.
Wells regained custody of Leigh Corfman on October 15, 1980.
The Moore campaign asserted that there were problems with Corfman’s account. Breitbart News has reported that Wells, now 71, disputed her daughter’s claim that she spoke to Moore on her bedroom phone, explaining that her daughter did not have a phone in her bedroom.
Another detail that the Moore campaign pointed to as questionable was the location Corfman gave as where Moore allegedly picked her up. The Post article asserted that Moore picked her up around the corner from her house. The Post said, “She says she talked to Moore on her phone in her bedroom, and they made plans for him to pick her up at Alcott Road and Riley Street, around the corner from her house.”
The problem with that account, the Moore campaign contended, is that particular intersection was “almost a mile away from her mother’s house at the time and would have been across a major thoroughfare.”
And, since she was now in her father’s custody, she would not have been living with her mother in Gadsden, anyway, but rather with her father in another town — unless all of the meetings took place in a very short time frame following the change of custody.
It would appear that the Moore campaign has raised some very valid issues with Corfman’s allegations, as related by the Washington Post. Yet, the media has not even assessed these issues, even to discount them, choosing instead to simply ignore most of it. This is doing a great disservice to the voters of Alabama, who need to hear all the known facts of these alleged episodes. Judge Moore has vehemently denied ever even dating Corfman, much less having entered into a sexually-charged physical relationship with a girl only 14 years old. One would think the media would be interested in the challenges the Moore campaign has raised to the story, but apparently that does not fit their narrative.
Photo of Roy Moore with wife Kayla: AP Images