Roy Moore, the Republican Senate candidate from Alabama, has seen his campaign derailed in the past week as nine women have accused him of behavior ranging from uncomfortable and unwanted overtures to sexual assault.
Of the women who have described their experiences with Moore, most of them were teenagers when, they said, they encountered him at a mall in Gadsden, Ala. Multiple outlets reported that his habit of approaching younger women was well known and may have caused him to be banned from the mall.
Moore has denied knowing most of the women and denounced the claims, characterizing them as politically motivated. He has insisted he will continue to campaign despite prominent Republicans calling on him to drop out of the race.
Corfman told the Washington Post she met Moore in 1979 in a courthouse in Etowah County, Ala., where he was an assistant district attorney at the time. Corfman was 14 when Moore, then 32, offered to watch her while her mother went to a child custody hearing, she recalled. Once alone, Corfman claimed, Moore asked her for her phone number. Soon after, she said, he picked her up, drove her to his house, told her how pretty she was and kissed her, the Post reported.
She said he escalated his behavior on a second visit to his house, where he allegedly undressed both her and himself so that both were wearing only their undergarments. Moore, Corfman said, then touched Corfman over her bra and underwear and guided her hand to touch him over his underwear. Corfman told the Post she then asked him to take her home, which he did.
Miller was 14 and working as a Santa’s helper at the mall in Gadsden, Ala., where Moore first approached her and complimented her looks, she told the Post. When she was 16, in 1979, Moore approached her at the mall again and “began asking her out on dates in the presence of her mother,” who was employed there, according to her account. Miller said she turned down Moore, then 32, because she had a boyfriend, but her mother was firmer.
“I’d say, ‘You’re too old for her. … Let’s not rob the cradle,’” Miller’s mother recalled to the Post.
Debbie Wesson Gibson
Gibson told the Post she first met Moore in 1979, when she was 17 and he spoke to her high school civics class. She and Moore, then 32, dated for two or three months, Gibson said, but did not progress physically beyond kissing.
Gloria Thacker Deason
Deason said she encountered Moore when she was 18 and working at a jewelry counter in a department store in the Gadsden mall. Throughout “several months” of off-and-on dating, Deason told the Post, Moore would order alcohol for her at restaurants before she was of age. Deason said she and Moore did not go beyond kissing.
Beverly Young Nelson
Nelson, another Gadsden resident, said she knew Moore from working as a waitress after school when she was 15 and 16. Moore ate at the restaurant frequently, Nelson said at a press conference, and would flirt with her, complimenting her on her looks and tugging her long hair. One day, she brought her yearbook to work with her, which she said Moore spotted on the counter and asked to sign. Nelson showed the yearbook, with what she said was his message inscribed, at the press conference.
“To a sweeter more beautiful girl I could not say Merry Christmas. Christmas 1977. Love, Roy Moore, D.A.”
Soon after, Nelson said, he offered her a ride home after work one night. Instead of driving her home, Nelson said, Moore, then 30, pulled into the dark parking lot behind the restaurant, where he groped her and tried to force her head into his crotch, squeezing her neck so hard she had bruises. Nelson said she thought he was going to rape her, and when she tried to get out of the car, Moore pulled the door shut. Eventually, Moore gave up, and told Nelson, “You’re just a child. I am the district attorney of Etowah County and if you tell anyone about this, no one will ever believe you,” according to her account. Nelson said she either fell out of the car or Moore pushed her out before he drove away.
Johnson said she encountered Moore in 1991 when he was an attorney. Johnson, then 28 and in the middle of a divorce, was signing paperwork granting custody of her son to her mother, who had hired Moore, then 44. Johnson told AL.com that Moore sat uncomfortably close to her during the meeting, and asked about her young daughters, such as what color eyes they had and if they were as pretty as her. When she was leaving the meeting, she claimed, he grabbed her buttocks.
“He didn’t pinch it; he grabbed it,” Johnson said. Moore was married at the time.
Kelly Harrison Thorp
Thorp was a hostess at the Gadsden, Ala., Red Lobster, where she met Moore in 1982, when she was 17 and he was 35, she told AL.com. He asked her on a date, and Thorp said she responded by asking him, “Do you know how old I am?”
“And he said, ‘Yeah. I go out with girls your age all the time,’” Thorp recalled.
Richardson worked in the Sears men’s department in the Gadsden mall, and met Moore there either right before or just after she turned 18 in 1977, she told the Post. The then-30-year-old Moore asked for her phone number, and she said she declined. He then asked where she went to school, and, a few days later, she said, she was called out of class to answer a phone call in the principal’s office.
“I said ‘Hello?’” Richardson told the Post. “And the male on the other line said, ‘Gena, this is Roy Moore.’ I was like, ‘What?!’ He said, ‘What are you doing?’ I said, ‘I’m in trig class.’”
When Moore went to Sears and asked her out yet again, Richardson said she relented, and the two met for a movie in the mall. Afterward, she said, Moore drove her to her car, but before she got out, he kissed her.
“It was a man kiss — like really deep tongue. Like very forceful tongue. It was a surprise. I’d never been kissed like that,” she recalled to the Post. “And the minute that happened, I got scared then. I really did. Something came over me that scared me. And so I said, ‘I’ve got to go, because my curfew is now.’”
After that, Richardson claimed that a co-worker would warn her when Moore came in so she could hide.
Gray said she also encountered Moore in the Gadsden mall, where she worked in the men’s section of a department store. In 1977, when Gray was 22 and Moore was 30, “he started coming up to me,” Gray told the Post.
She said he asked her out persistently, and even after she told him she had a boyfriend, Moore continued hanging around in her section or by the bathrooms, and she said she was alarmed enough to complain to her manager.
Gray told ABC News it was this complaint that triggered Moore’s ban from the mall.
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