WASHINGTON – Republican Senate seat candidate Roy Moore is facing a new accusation of sexually abusing a minor, the fifth to be leveled at him in recent days, after a woman on Monday claimed that he attacked her in his automobile when she was 15 and working as a waitress.
Beverly Young Nelson, now 56, said at a press conference – accompanied by her attorney, Gloria Allred – that in 1977 she was working in a bar frequented by Moore, who was then about 30 and was a district attorney.
The woman, an Alabama native, said in a statement that one evening Moore offered to give her a ride home but then abused her in the vehicle, touching her breasts, trying to pull her shirt off and “squeezing my neck attempting to force my head onto his crotch.”
Nelson said she resisted and began crying, and Moore stopped his assault, saying “you are a child. I am the district attorney ... If you tell anyone about this, no one will believe you.”
The next day, Nelson left her job at the bar and never saw Moore again. It was only years later that she told her closest relatives – her sister, her mother and her current husband – about the incident.
Allred on Monday urged the Senate to hold an open hearing within two weeks on the matter and said that her client was ready to testify before lawmakers.
The latest accusation against Moore comes just hours after Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that he thinks the GOP senatorial candidate for an Alabama seat should drop out of the race because of the accusations he sexually abused a 14-year-old girl four decades ago.
McConnell said he thought that Moore should step aside because “I believe the women” in remarks to reporters in his home state of Kentucky.
The GOP Senate leader came down on the side of the women who have accused Moore of inappropriate conduct with them when they were teenagers and he was in his early 30s.
However, Moore – a 70-year-old former judge known for his controversial use of the Bible to interpret the law – fought back, tweeting his response: “The person who should step aside is @SenateMajLdr Mitch McConnell. He has failed conservatives and must be replaced. #DrainTheSwamp.”
Moore is leading in the voter surveys in the runup to the election scheduled for Dec. 12, in which he is going up against Democrat Doug Jones.
Last Thursday, a 52-year-old woman named Leigh Corfman accused Moore of abusing her on several occasions in 1979 when she was 14 and he was 32.
In an interview with The Washington Post, Corfman said that Moore, whom she had met while she and her mother were waiting at a courthouse, had two inappropriate encounters with her during which he kissed her, touched her underwear and had her touch him, although they did not engage in sexual intercourse.
Three other women interviewed by the Washington daily said that Moore tried to seduce them when they were between 16 and 18 years of age and he was in his early 30s, although they did not accuse him of forcing them to have any sexual contact with him.
Moore has vehemently denied the accusations, calling the whole situation a “desperate” attempt by the Democratic Party and The Washington Post to “politically” attack his campaign.
Moore is aligned with the so-called radical “alt-right” strategy propounded by former White House official Steve Bannon, and he won the Republican primaries to vie for the Senate seat by defeating Luther Strange, who had enjoyed the support of the GOP and President Donald Trump.