Twice removed as state judge from the Alabama Supreme Court, Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore has recently been accused of initiating sexual contact with teenage girls during his early 30s as an assistant district attorney. Although Moore’s campaign vehemently denies the allegations, several GOP Senators have called for him to step down immediately.
According to a Washington Post investigation, four women have come forward alleging that Moore initiated sexual encounters with them between 1977 and 1982, when Moore served as an assistant district attorney for Etowah County in northern Alabama. At least two of the girls were under the legal drinking age and under the age of consent when Moore gave them alcohol during their dates.
In 1979, Leigh Corfman was 14 years old and sitting on a wooden bench with her mother outside a courtroom in Etowah County when then-32-year-old Moore offered to sit with the young teen while her mother attended the child custody hearing. Corfman recalled Moore asking for her phone number and picking her up a few days later.
On their first date, Corfman informed Moore that she was only 14. After Moore took her back to his cabin and began kissing her, Corfman asked him to stop and to drive her back home.
On their second date, Moore took Corfman back to his cabin and allegedly gave her alcohol before undressing and appearing only in his underwear. As Moore guided her hand down to his genitals, Corfman again asked him to stop and drive her home.
“I wasn’t ready for that – I had never put my hand on a man’s penis, much less an erect one,” Corfman recalled.
The legal age of consent in Alabama is 16, but anyone older than 18 who initiated sexual contact with someone between the ages of 12 and 16 has committed sexual abuse in the second degree with a maximum sentence of up to a year in jail. Moore could have also potentially faced an additional 10 years in prison for enticing a child younger than 16 to enter a home with the purpose of proposing sexual intercourse or fondling of sexual and genital parts.
Three other women recently came forward confirming that they were between the ages of 16 and 18 when they began dating Moore and allowing him to initiate sexual contact. At least one of the women also confirmed that Moore illegally gave her alcohol during their dates.
In response to the Washington Post article, the Judge Roy Moore Campaign for U.S. Senate issued a statement: “Judge Roy Moore is winning with a double-digit lead. So it is no surprise, with just over four weeks remaining, in a race for the U.S. Senate with national implications, that the Democratic Party and the country’s most liberal newspaper would come up with a fabrication of this kind.
“This garbage is the very definition of fake news and intentional defamation.”
On Thursday, Judge Moore called the allegations by the Post “completely false and a desperate political attack.”
On that same day, Sen. John McCain took to Twitter and wrote, “The allegations against Roy Moore are deeply disturbing and disqualifying. He should immediately step aside and allow the people of Alabama to elect a candidate they can be proud of.”
Sen. Susan Collins tweeted, “If there is any truth at all to these horrific allegations, Roy Moore should immediately step aside as a Senate candidate.”
Sen. Jeff Flake also tweeted, “If there is any shred of truth to the allegations against Roy Moore, he should step aside immediately.”
After learning of the accusations against Moore, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters on Thursday, “If these allegations are true, he must step aside.”