In a report published Thursday, a woman told the Washington Post that Roy Moore, the Republican nominee for Senate in Alabama, pursued sexual encounters with her when she was just 14 and he was 32. Three others said he asked them out on dates as teenagers.
Moore’s campaign denied the allegations in a statement to the Post.
What did the women say?
Leigh Corfman told the post that Moore approached her outside a courtroom in Etowah County, Alabama, in 1979 during her mother’s child custody hearing. He asked for her phone number.
“I was kind of giddy, excited, you know? An older guy, you know?” Corfman said.
A few days later, Corfman said Moore called her and arranged to pick her up around the corner from her house. He drove her to his home about 30 minutes away, Corfman said, told her she was pretty, and kissed her. During a similar encounter, she said, Moore brought her inside the house, stripped to his underwear and removed her shirt and pants. He then touched her over her bra and underwear and placed her hand over his underwear.
“I wasn’t ready for that — I had never put my hand on a man’s penis, much less an erect one,” Corfman said.
Corfman said during the encounter she thought “I don’t want to do this” and “I need to get out of here.” She said she then got dressed and asked Moore to take her home, and he did.
“I wanted it over with — I wanted out,” she said. “Please just get this over with. Whatever this is, just get it over.”
The Post noted that the legal age of consent in Alabama — both in 1979 and now — is 16.
Corfman, now 53, is a self-described Republican voter who said she voted for President Donald Trump in 2016. Two of her childhood friends told the Post she described the incident to them shortly after it took place.
Corfman said she didn’t come forward during Moore’s previous campaigns because her two children were still in school and she was concerned about how it could affect them. She also said she was concerned people wouldn’t believe her, citing her three divorces and “a messy financial history.”
“I have prayed over this,” she said of coming forward. “All I know is that I can’t sit back and let this continue, let him continue without the mask being removed.”
Three other women told the Post that Moore asked them out on dates when they were between the ages of 16 and 18 and he was in his early 30s. The three women did not allege forced sexual contact.
What did Moore’s campaign say?
In a written statement to the Post, Moore, 70, denied the allegations.
“These allegations are completely false and are a desperate political attack by the National Democrat Party and the Washington Post on this campaign,” Moore said.
In another statement, the campaign said, “This garbage is the very definition of fake news.”
How did Republican senators react?
Multiple Republican senators — including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby — called for Moore to step aside if the allegations are true.
If there is any truth at all to these horrific allegations, Roy Moore should immediately step aside as a Senate candidate.
— Sen. Susan Collins (@SenatorCollins) November 9, 2017
NRSC Chairman Cory Gardner: “If these allegations are found to be true, Roy Moore must drop out.” pic.twitter.com/y4UEOJmZWa
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) November 9, 2017
If there is any shred of truth to the allegations against Roy Moore, he should step aside immediately.
— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) November 9, 2017
McConnell on Moore allegations:
“If these allegations are true, he must step aside”
— NBC Politics (@NBCPolitics) November 9, 2017
And @SenShelby (also of Alabama) says of Roy Moore: “If that’s true, he doesn’t belong in the Senate.”
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) November 9, 2017