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Friday, 10 November 2017

Republican Senate Nominee Roy Moore Accused of Sexually Assaulting Teen Girl

Roy Moore has long been a controversial figure in Alabama politics. Photograph: Brynn Anderson/AP
Roy Moore has long been a controversial figure in Alabama politics. Photograph: Brynn Anderson/AP

GOP senators call on Moore to drop out of race as aides say report that he had inappropriate sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl when he was 32 is ‘fake news’

Roy Moore, the Republican Senate nominee in Alabama, has been accused of having inappropriate sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl when he was 32.
A Moore campaign adviser, Dean Young,told the Guardian: “For the next 33 days, Alabamians are going to be tested whether they can be tricked by fake news and the establishment.


“If they pass the test, our nation has hope. But if they can beat Judge Roy Moore in Alabama, they can beat anybody, anywhere, anytime and our nation will continue to go down in a spiral.”


The Post reported that Moore took Leigh Corfman to his house in 1979, stripped down to his underwear and made her touch his genitals. Under Alabama law, such conduct would be sexual abuse in the second degree, although the statute of limitations would have long passed.

Corfman told the Post: “I wasn’t ready for that – I had never put my hand on a man’s penis, much less an erect one.”

The story also details allegations from three other women about Moore dating them when they were underage. Although one told the Post that Moore had ordered her cocktails when she was below the legal drinking age, there were no other accusations of illegal behavior.

The report comes five weeks before Moore faces off against Democrat Doug Jones in the fiercely competitive special election to fill the Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions when he became US attorney general. He won the Republican nomination in September, besting the appointed incumbent, Luther Strange, by a margin of 55%-45% despite Strange’s support from Donald Trump and the entire machinery of the Republican party. Moore, though, did receive the support of the former White House strategist Steve Bannon.


Moore’s campaign used the allegations to fundraise in an email sent out hours after the Washington Post article was posted. The email said the campaign was in “a spiritual battle” against “the forces of evil” and characterized the Post’s reporting as an attack: “The Obama-Clinton Machine’s liberal media lapdogs just launched the most vicious and nasty round of attacks against me I’ve EVER faced.”

Shortly before the Washington Post article was published, Breitbart, the conservative website run by Bannon, published an article featuring the Post’s request for comment to the Moore campaign, which detailed the accusations against him, and the Alabama Republican’s response to the allegations. 

Top Republicans immediately took steps to distance themselves from Moore. The Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, who actively supported Strange, said in a statement: “If these allegations are true, he must step aside.” Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado, who runs the National Republican Senate Committee, also put out a statement saying: “The allegations against Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore are deeply troubling. If these allegations are found to be true, Roy Moore must drop out of the Alabama special Senate election.”

Senator John McCain of Arizona, the Republican presidential nominee in 2008, said bluntly in a statement that Moore should drop out. “The allegations against Roy Moore are deeply disturbing and disqualifying,” said McCain. “He should immediately step aside and allow the people of Alabama to elect a candidate they can be proud of.”

Among the handful of Senate Republicans who have endorsed Moore, only Mike Lee of Utah weighed in on the allegations. Lee said in a statement: “If these allegations are true, Judge Moore should resign.”

The Alabama state auditor, Jim Ziegler, a Moore ally, came to the embattled Republican’s defense, telling the Washington Examiner: “There is nothing to see here.”


Ziegler went on to compare the allegations to biblical stories. “Also take Joseph and Mary,” he said. “Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus.”

Moore has long been a controversial figure in Alabama politics. He has been twice removed as chief justice of the state supreme court, first for refusing to remove a monument to the Ten Commandments from the grounds of his courthouse and more recently for refusing to implement the US supreme court ruling legalizing gay marriage.

Moore also has a long history of incendiary comments on social issues. He has argued that “homosexual conduct” should be illegal, said the United States could be described as “the focus of evil in the world” for promoting “bad things” like gay marriage and that a Muslim congressman should be prohibited from serving in the House of Representatives.

The campaign for Moore’s opponent, Jones, said: “Roy Moore needs to answer these serious charges.”

Although recent polling gave Moore a steady lead in the high single digits, the scandal gives Democrats even more of an opening in the deep red state.

The Montgomery-based Democratic pollster Zac McCrary said Jones was already running a strong campaign but this report could push Democrats over the edge. McCrary said: “A majority of Alabamians were looking for a reason to not elevate Roy Moore to the Senate and not make him the face of Alabama.”


Source: theguardian

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