The Washington Post is reporting Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore had a sexual encounter with a 14 year-old girl when he was a 32-year-old assistant district attorney.
According to the newspaper, Moore met the girl outside the county courthouse almost 40 years ago. She says that after chatting, he asked for her number and they later met up. She describes an encounter in which he undressed himself and her and initiated kissing, but says he did not force himself on her and complied when she asked to be taken home. The Post reports Moore dated three other teenaged girls ages 16 to 18 during this time period, but those relationships did not involve anything beyond kissing.
Moore vehemently denied the allegations. He called them “completely false and a desperate political attack” by Democrats and the Post. Moore’s campaign issued a statement on the report, calling it “another baseless political attack” and asserting that if the allegations were true, they would’ve been made public a long time ago.
Senate Republicans, meanwhile, are calling on Moore to withdraw from the special election amidst the allegations. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell issued a formal statement on behalf of all Republican senators saying if the allegations are true, Moore must step aside. Other Republicans had similarly strong responses to the allegations.
If there is any shred of truth to the allegations against Roy Moore, he should step aside immediately.
— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) November 9, 2017
Moore is vying against Democrat Doug Jones for the U.S. Senate seat formerly held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. He was removed as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court twice over religious issues. His first ouster came over his refusal to remove a large Ten Commandments monument from the state judiciary building, and the second was after he wouldn’t comply with federal orders legalizing same-sex marriage.
Update (4:55 p.m.): Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has released a statement in response to the allegations against Roy Moore.
“These allegations are deeply disturbing. I will hold judgment until we know the facts. The people of Alabama deserve to know the truth and will make their own decisions.”
Here’s more from WBHM’s Andrew Yeager on Here & Now.