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Roy Moore: The facts and the moral obligation to seek the truth

Conservative Review

A second woman came forward Monday to accuse Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexual assault. The accuser, Beverly Young Nelson, said that in 1977, when she was 16, Moore brutally forced himself on her in his car.

In a press conference, Nelson’s attorney, Gloria Allred, stated that Nelson was “ready, willing, and able” to testify under oath about her encounter with Moore. “I did not contact Beverly,” Allred said. “She contacted me.”

Nelson’s allegations are disturbing.

Nelson, 55, said that the assault occurred while Moore was serving as a district attorney for Etowah County, Ala. Nelson says that Moore, then 30-something, was a regular at the restaurant where she worked and would frequently flirt with her, complimenting her on her looks. She also says he would touch her, pulling at the ends of her red hair.

“Mr. Moore was an adult. He was much older than I was,” Nelson said in her statement. “I knew that he was the district attorney in Etowah County, I didn’t understand what that meant, but I did know that he was an important person and I always treated him with respect.”

Nelson attributes a note in her high school yearbook to Moore, which reads: “To a sweeter, more beautiful girl I could not say Merry Christmas. Christmas 1977, Love, Roy Moore D.A., 12.22.1977 Old Hickory House.”

Update, 12/8/2017: In a December 8, 2017, interview with ABC News, Nelson admitted she made additions to this note. The date and the location were written by Nelson, she told ABC chief national correspondent Thomas Llamas.

One cold December night, while waiting for her boyfriend, Nelson said she agreed to Moore’s offer of a ride home. Instead of taking her home, Nelson said, Moore parked his car around the back of the restaurant, where it was “dark” and “deserted.” He then began to grope her, she said, placed his hands on her breasts, and attempted to violently force her head into his crotch.

“I continued to struggle,” Nelson told reporters. “I was determined that I was not going to allow him to force me to have sex with him. I was terrified. He was also trying to pull my shirt off. I thought he was going to rape me. At some point, he gave up.”

Before letting her go, Nelson says Moore told her: “You’re just a child. I am the District Attorney of Etowah County. If you tell anyone about this, no one will believe you.”

A statement from the Moore campaign, released shortly before Nelson came forward with her allegations, reiterated Moore’s innocence. “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,” it said.

“This is a witch hunt against a man who has had an impeccable career for over 30 years and has always been known as a man of high character. 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.”

Later Monday, Moore issued another statement categorically denying even any knowledge of Nelson.

“This is absolutely false,” Moore said. “I never did what she said I did. I don’t even know the woman. I don’t know anything about her. I don’t even know where the restaurant is or was.”

Nelson’s is the second sexual assault accusation made against Roy Moore. The first was made by Leigh Corfman, 53, who alleged last Thursday that Moore sexually assaulted her in 1979 when she was 14 and he was 32. Three other women interviewed by the Washington Post said that Moore pursued them when they were between the ages of 16 and 18 and he was in his early 30s.

On an appearance on Sean Hannity’s radio program Friday, Moore defended himself against the allegations made in the Washington Post story.

He denied knowing Corfman, denied having any contact with her, and denied her allegations of sexual misconduct. When asked by Hannity if he remembered dating girls in their teens as a 30-something man, Moore replied, “Not generally, no.”

“If I did, you know, I’m not going to dispute anything. But I don’t remember anything like that,” he said.

It is the moral imperative of every Alabama voter and every observer weighing Judge Moore’s fitness for public office to seek the truth in this matter. Several questions must be answered.

Are these allegations credible?

The testimony of the women interviewed by the Post that Moore pursued teenage girls as an adult man seems to be corroborated by the flirtatious note Moore allegedly left in Nelson’s yearbook.

There are now two accusations of criminal sexual assault against minors, and neither allegation has been discredited.

Is Judge Moore’s defense credible?

In his interview with Hannity, Moore did not deny pursuing women in their teens as a single man. He disputed the claim that he had purchased alcohol for these teenage girls on their dates, noting that, at the time, the county was a “dry county.”

“[Sexual assault] never happened and I don’t even like hearing it because it never happened and they’re doing this a month away, four weeks away, after 40 years in public service,” he told Hannity. “I’ve run five successful campaigns or five campaigns, statewide campaigns, three in the county. This has never been brought up.”

Would your response to these allegations change if Roy Moore was a Democrat?

This is the question all conservatives must ask of themselves. Should Juanita Broaddrick, Paula Jones, and Kathleen Willey be believed and Moore’s accusers dismissed?

The truth is all that matters. Not party affiliation. Not policy positions.

Alabama voters must trust, but verify. Consider all the facts. Examine both sides of the allegations thoroughly. Pray that justice be done. Decide who you believe. Vote according to your conscience.

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