Moore attorney to accuser: Hand over the yearbook

The attorney for Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore attempted to discredit one of his accusers by demanding the release of a signed yearbook for examination by handwriting experts.

Attorney Phillip L. Jauregui demanded that Beverly Young Nelson, who accused Moore of sexual assault earlier this week, release the high school yearbook that she says Moore signed for her. Nelson was 16 at the time of the alleged assault and Moore was a 30-year-old lawyer in the district attorney’s office. Jauregui contends the inscription and signature, which Nelson showed to reporters at a press conference Monday, are forgeries.

Last week the Washington Post reported the stories of four women who said that Moore pursued relationships with them in the 1970s, when they were teenagers — the youngest was 14 — and he was in his 30s. Moore has denied the reports, but late Wednesday another woman gave an interview to the state news site AL.com alleging that he groped her in his office as a private attorney in 1991. The same site reported earlier this week that Moore’s predatory behavior toward young women was not a secret and that he had been banned from a local mall.

Minutes after Jauregui’s statement, AL.com published accusations from a sixth woman.

Jauregui said that Moore had presided over Young’s divorce hearing in 1999. The campaign alleged that the signature in Young’s yearbook is copied from Moore’s signature on the divorce filings, as he was only an assistant district attorney in 1977 and wouldn’t have signed his name with a “D.A.” Per Jauregui, Moore’s assistant in 1999 had the initials “D.A” and would have initialed after stamping the judge’s signature.

Another attorney representing Moore has denied the Post’s allegations and threatened a lawsuit against outlets reporting on the story. The campaign has refused to answer any questions and did not address the claims of attempted rape or the Post accusations.

Senator majority leader Mitch McConnell has called for Moore to withdraw from the race and Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado, chairman of the National Republican Senate Committee, said that his colleagues should vote to expel Moore if he stays in the race and wins. Alabama state officials have been less critical of Moore, who is popular in the state. Moore defeated Sen. Luther Strange, who had been appointed to fill Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s seat earlier this year, in the Republican primary.

He faces Democrat Doug Jones in the special election on Dec. 12.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has the authority to move the election, but a spokesperson for Ivey said over the weekend that she had no intention of doing so.

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