The accounts from his hometown are pretty conclusive. During his early 30s, Roy Moore, the Republican U.S. Senate candidate in Alabama, trolled for young girls. His actions were creepy, possibly criminal.
Moore, a West Point graduate and Vietnam War veteran, became chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, renowned for regarding the Bible as the crux of public policy, while installing a 5,280-pound granite Ten Commandments monument.
He was twice removed from that post by the Alabama Court of the Judiciary for, among other things, actions “grossly inconsistent with his duties.” Yet in a state where half of the electorate identifies as evangelical, Moore’s status was embellished by skirmishes with secular officials.
While many conservatives contend the recent stories about his fondness for teen girls are a Democratic or media plot, Senate Republicans, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., are siding with his accusers, requesting he step aside in the race to fill the former seat of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Moore’s aberrant behavior apparently was well known in his hometown of Gadsden, Ala., before the Washington Post stumbled on to it.
The Post focused on Leigh Corfman, then 14, who had been sitting on a bench outside the Etowah County, Ala., courtroom with her mother in 1979 when Assistant District Attorney Moore, 32, offered to watch her while her mother attended a child custody hearing.
Moore, according to Corfman, requested her phone number and then picked her up days later near her house. He drove to his home and kissed her. On the next visit, she said, he took her shirt and pants off, then removed his clothes, touched her over her bra and underpants, and guided her hand to touch him over his underwear.
“I wanted it over with — I wanted out,” she recalled. “Please just get this over with.” Corfman asked Moore to take her home, which he did. She told friends, who corroborated her story with the Post.
Three other women — teens at the time — told similar stories to the Post, unbeknownst to each other, including him plying them with liquor while underage; sexual contact, but not intercourse.
A fifth accuser, Beverly Young Nelson, said she was a 16-year-old waitress at a Gadsden restaurant when Moore sexually assaulted her in his car.
Nelson, like Corfman, said she is a Trump supporter with no political ax to grind.
“Him liking and dating young girls was never a secret in Gadsden when we were all in high school,” Sheryl Porter told the Huntsville (Ala.) Times. “In our neighborhoods … we heard it all the time. Even people at the courthouse know it was a well-known secret. It’s just sad how these girls are getting hammered and called liars, especially Leigh.”
Two unidentified Gadsden police officers told the New Yorker magazine Moore was unwelcome at the Gadsden mall.
“The general knowledge at the time … was that this guy is a lawyer cruising the mall for high school dates. I was told by a girl who worked at the mall that he’d been run off from there, from a number of stores. Maybe not legally banned, but run off,” one officer said, adding, “I heard from one girl who had to tell the manager of a store at the mall to get Moore to leave her alone.”
The revelations have given heart to Democrats supporting Senate candidate Doug Jones, best known as the U.S. attorney who successfully prosecuted the perpetrators of the 1963 Birmingham church bombing that killed four young African-American girls.
It’s also raised questions about evangelicals and other conservatives supposedly committed to family values, but more intent on electing a candidate — no matter the hypocrisy — who promotes their causes.
Yet the record on the left is hardly unblemished. Even feminist icon Gloria Steinem defended President Bill Clinton in a 1998 New York Times column, despite accusations — some seemingly valid — he was a sexual predator, most notably gubernatorial campaign volunteer Juanita Broaddrick, who contended he raped her.
Sen. Edward Kennedy, a serial philanderer, remained a Democratic star decades after staffer Mary Jo Kopechne drowned when his car careened off the Chappaquiddick Bridge in 1969.
Indeed, Congress has a creepy record on both sides of the aisle. Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., sexted his way out of Washington and eventually into prison, sending young women penis pictures.
Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., a pro-life lawmaker, resigned earlier this year after it was revealed he told his latest mistress to get an abortion.
CNN has reported sexual harassment is so rampant on Capitol Hill toward both congresswomen and female staffers that women are sharing a “creep list” and are wary of getting into elevators alone with men.
The place needs to be cleaned up. Adding more dirt like Roy Moore won’t help matters.