Violence Against Women

Senate Candidate Roy Moore Accused of Sexual Assault by Several Women

Last week, the Washington Post published an article sharing the stories of four women who have accused Roy Moore, Republican nominee for a U.S. Senate seat in Alabama, of initiating unwanted sexual contact.

Leigh Corfman, one of the women interviewed by the Post, was only 14 years old when she was approached by Roy Moore in 1979. Moore was 32 years old and the Assistant District Attorney in Etowah County, Alabama at the time. Moore arranged for the two to be alone on several occasions, with their last encounter escalating to sexual assault.  Corfman stayed silent until a decade after the assault, when she first shared her story with her mother.

Three other women were interviewed by the Washington Post and shared similar stories of being pursued by an adult Moore when they were teenagers between the ages of 16 and 18.

On Monday, Beverly Young Nelson came forward stating that she too was attacked by Roy Moore when she was just 16 years old. Nelson was a waitress at the Olde Hickory House, a restaurant Moore used to frequent when he was the District Attorney of Etowah County. Moore expressed interest in Nelson, and wrote in her high school yearbook “”To a sweeter more beautiful girl, I could not say, ‘Merry Christmas,'” which Nelson still has in her possession.

According to Nelson, Moore offered her a ride home but instead attacked her in his car behind the restaurant. After the attack, Moore told her that no one would believe her if she told the authorities.

On Wednesday, two more women came forward reporting inappropriate advances by Moore when they were just teenagers. Gena Richardson, who met Moore while she was working in a department store at the Gadsden Mall, says that one day Moore called her out of her math class at Gadsden High School to speak to her on the phone. Moore pursued Richardson until she agreed to go on a date with him where he forcibly kissed her.

Moore eventually gained a reputation for being inappropriate with teenage girls working at stores in the local Gadsden Mall. Becky Gray, one of the women who came forward on Wednesday, reported Moore’s behavior to her manager. The manager then told Gray, who was in her early 20’s, that Moore had been banned from the mall for paying unwanted attention to the young women who worked there.

Moore, a former Alabama District judge and GOP nominee for the 2017 special election to fill the senate seat left vacant by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has denied all allegations. In a statement, Moore’s campaign spokesman called the allegations “a political farce.”

Republicans, Democrats, and concerns citizens alike have called on Roy Moore to pull out from the Senate race. In a report from Politico, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has stated that if Moore is elected, he would undoubtedly be subject to an ethics investigation which could be followed by expulsion proceedings. The special election is schedule for December.

The women coming forward to share their stories about Roy Moore come amidst the aftermath of the Harvey Weinstein accusations. Multiple women have come forward and alleged sexual misconduct by the Hollywood producer who has since been fired from his company and expelled from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. Several other high profile men have faced similar accusations now that more and more women have come forward to share their stories. A full list of accusations has been composed by the New York Times.

Media Resources: The Washington Post 11/9/17, 11/15/17; CNN 11/17/17, 11/14/17; ABC 11/16/17; Politico 11/14/17; NYT 11/17/17

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