A fifth woman has come forward to accuse Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexual misconduct.
Speaking at a press conference with Democratic lawyer Gloria Allred Monday, Beverly Young Nelson claims that Moore attempted to have sex with her one night just after her 16th birthday in 1977.
The Washington Post reported Nov. 9 that four women have accused Moore of dating them or making sexual advances them as teenagers, and multiple Republican senators have withdrawn their endorsements of Moore in light of the allegations.
Nelson worked at Old Hickory House restaurant while she was in high school, and described Moore as a regular: “He sat at the counter in the same seat night after night. I remember where he sat.”
Moore had allegedly even been flirtatious, though Nelson said she did nothing to encourage the behavior.
“When he was at the restaurant, he would speak to me and would sometimes pull the ends of my red hair when I walked by,” Nelson said.
Shortly after her birthday in November, Nelson describes the events that led up to the incident where she says Moore attempted to force her to have sex.
Nelson had received a yearbook, and Moore noticed her carrying it and asked to sign it. The yearbook inscription signed by Moore, which Nelson and Allred produced at the news conference, read: “To a sweeter more beautiful girl I could not say merry Christmas, Christmas 1977. Love, Roy Moore, DA,” followed by the name of the restaurant.
“I felt honored, because Mr. Moore, such an important person had written in my book,” Nelson said.
After her shift that evening, Nelson alleges that her boyfriend was late picking her up, and Moore offered to drive her home. Instead of driving out of the restaurant, she claims he drove behind the building and parked between two dumpsters.
“I was alarmed. I immediately asked him what he was doing. Instead of answering my question, Mr. Moore reached over and began groping me,” Nelson said.
She attempted to leave the car, but Moore reached over and locked the door, Nelson said. “I tried fighting him off, yelling for him to stop, but instead he began grabbing my neck, attempting to force my head into his crotch,” she said.
Eventually, Moore stopped his advances, looked at her and said “You’re just a child. I am the District Attorney of Etiwah County. If you tell anyone about this, no one will believe you,” according to Nelson.
The next day, Nelson quit her job at the restaurant. “In the days following, I covered the bruising on my neck with makeup,” Nelson said. She didn’t tell anyone about the incident until two years later when she confided in her sister. She says she feared what Moore might do to punish her or harm her family if she reported the incident.
Nelson claims this is not about politics at all, but rather about being fearful of Moore. “My husband and I supported Donald Trump for president. This has nothing to do with Republicans or Democrats,” she said.
Allred is a Democrat, but said she does not consider her work for sexual harassment victims to be political. “I would point out that I did not contact Beverly, she did not contact me. Further, I have a record of attacking Democrats and other officials” when they are accused of misconduct, Allred said.
Prior to the press conference, the Moore campaign denied that Moore committed any sexual misconduct, and suggested Allred was leading a political witch hunt trying to discredit Moore before the Dec. 12 special election to decide the next U.S. Alabama senator.
Allred “is a sensationalist leading a witch hunt, and she is only around to create a spectacle,” Bill Armistead, Moore’s campaign chairman, said in a statement. “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.”
“We’ve said this before and we’ll say it again: Judge Moore is an innocent man and has never had any sexual misconduct with anyone,” Armistead said. “Let it be understood: the truth will come forward, we will pursue all legal options against these false claims and Judge Moore will be vindicated.”
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