Roy Moore, an evangelical activist and Republican candidate for Senate from Alabama who recently made headlines for lying about receiving a massive salary from his Christian charity, is now involved in a much bigger scandal: he’s been accused of having inappropriate sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl.
The Washington Post first reported this afternoon that Leigh Corfman, now 53, said she met with Moore several times as a child and that he touched her inappropriately “over her bra and underpants.” He was a 32-year-old assistant district attorney at the time.
Alone with Corfman, Moore chatted with her and asked for her phone number, she says. Days later, she says, he picked her up around the corner from her house in Gadsden, drove her about 30 minutes to his home in the woods, told her how pretty she was and kissed her. On a second visit, she says, he took off her shirt and pants and removed his clothes. He touched her over her bra and underpants, she says, and guided her hand to touch him over his underwear.
Corfman’s childhood friends and mother also confirmed that she told them about the encounter with Moore years ago.
This isn’t an isolated incident, either.
According to the Post’s investigation, three other women accused Moore of pursuing them when they were between the ages of 16 and 18 — despite the fact that he was in his early 30s.
Wendy Miller says she was 14 and working as a Santa’s helper at the Gadsden Mall when Moore first approached her, and 16 when he asked her on dates, which her mother forbade. Debbie Wesson Gibson says she was 17 when Moore spoke to her high school civics class and asked her out on the first of several dates that did not progress beyond kissing…
This scandal isn’t just going to go away. That much is clear. Two top Republican senators, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Cory Gardner, have already called on Moore to drop out of the race “if the allegations are found to be true.”
“If these allegations are true, he must step aside,” McConnell said.
Gardner’s statement echoed that from McConnell.
“The allegations against Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore are deeply troubling,” he said. “If these allegations are found to be true, Roy Moore must drop out of the Alabama special Senate election.”
While their statements are understandable, it also raises the question of how they plan to confirm or deny the allegations. Are they actually going to investigate the matter themselves… or do they just hope everyone will get distracted before next month’s special election?
Keep in mind that there’s no telling if more women will come forth with similar stories following the Post’s report.
The allegations are bad enough, but they’re magnified when you consider Moore is someone who suggested America is “evil” because we allow same-sex marriage. He’s the same guy who said it was “against the law” for NFL players to kneel during the National Anthem. (Do you know what else is illegal? Touching underage girls inappropriately.)
He’s the man who made a name for himself by trying to install a Ten Commandments monument in the Alabama Supreme Court in the dead of night. I guess there’s no commandment that says “Thou shalt not molest children,” so he didn’t see this as hypocritical.
Moore has denied the allegations — his spokesperson blamed the Post for making up the allegations and being in the tank for his opponent Doug Jones — but only time will tell how this plays out. Moore was thought to be the front-runner in the Senate race, but if the voters have any ethical standards, that could change quickly.
Then again, evangelical voters were well aware Donald Trump grabbed women without consent before last year’s election and it didn’t stop them from giving him their support. Can we really count on them to put ethics and decency above political power?