The “allegedlys” and “reportedlys” the mainstream media so graciously extended to Hollywood directors and film stars accused of sexually assaulting actresses have all seemed to go out the window as Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, from Alabama no less, has been accused of sexual misconduct with a 14-year-old.
The Washington Post unveiled the story, which comes just over a month out from Alabama’s special election on December 12. It lodges serious accusations against Moore and adds some corroboration from witnesses:
Leigh Corfman says she was 14 years old when an older man approached her outside a courtroom in Etowah County, Ala. She was sitting on a wooden bench with her mother, they both recall, when the man introduced himself as Roy Moore.
It was early 1979 and Moore — now the Republican nominee in Alabama for a U.S. Senate seat — was a 32-year-old assistant district attorney. He struck up a conversation, Corfman and her mother say, and offered to watch the girl while her mother went inside for a child custody hearing.
The story goes on to allege that he had sexual contact with the minor, named as Leigh Corfman:
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.
“I wanted it over with — I wanted out,” she remembers thinking. “Please just get this over with. Whatever this is, just get it over.” Corfman says she asked Moore to take her home, and he did.
Importantly, witnesses corroborate Corfman’s account, as well as Moore’s purported pattern of behavior:
Two of Corfman’s childhood friends say she told them at the time that she was seeing an older man, and one says Corfman identified the man as Moore. Wells says her daughter told her about the encounter more than a decade later, as Moore was becoming more prominent as a local judge.
Aside from Corfman, three other women interviewed by The Washington Post in recent weeks say Moore pursued them when they were between the ages of 16 and 18 and he was in his early 30s, episodes they say they found flattering at the time, but troubling as they got older. None of the three women say that Moore forced them into any sort of relationship or sexual contact.
Republican Senators Mitch McConnell and Ted Cruz has asked for Moore to withdraw if the accusations are true. John McCain, who has his own accusations of lascivious conduct with a lobbyist lurking in his past, skipped right past the “if”:
The allegations against Roy Moore are deeply disturbing and disqualifying. He should immediately step aside and allow the people of Alabama to elect a candidate they can be proud of.
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) November 9, 2017
Roy Moore also received an unlikely biblical defense from Alabama state auditor Jim Ziegler.
“There is nothing to see here,” Ziegler told the Washington Examiner. “The allegations are that a man in his early 30s dated teenage girls. Even the Washington Post report says that he never had sexual intercourse with any of the girls and never attempted sexual intercourse.”
“Take the Bible. Zachariah and Elizabeth for instance,” he continued. “Zachariah was extremely old to marry Elizabeth and they became the parents of John the Baptist. Also take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus.”
“There’s just nothing immoral or illegal here,” Ziegler said. “Maybe just a little bit unusual.”
Roy Moore has already sent out fundraising mailers in response to the Washington Post report.
For some context, Moore is nearly universally despised on the left and is not without his critics on the right. His comments that “trangenders don’t have rights,” as well as his staunch social conservative positions, have painted a giant red target on his back.
That’s why the serious nature of the charges, in combination with the politically damaging timing, raises alarms. Whether or not the accusations or true, the media has to stop dropping reports, which are in some cases decades old, alleging criminal or sexual misconduct during politically sensitive periods. It undermines the credibility of the reports, ultimately harming the victim and the political process.
Roy Moore is 70 years old. He has been in politics 40 years. The alleged incident, and again, it may very well be true, is supposed to have taken place around 38 years ago. Moore has run numerous election races for judgeships. Luther Strange, Mitch McConnell, Mo Brooks – no one could find this out through opposition research? The GOP is incompetent, but these allegations hitting a month out from an election the Democrats desperately want to win… let’s just say it doesn’t get an automatic ‘pass.’
That’s where James Woods comes in with a salient observation about all such stories as Roy Moore’s, which is assuredly one that will hang around in the media for the next month, with no judge, no trial, and no jury to adjudicate its veracity.
The two words that no longer apply in modern America: “due process”
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) November 10, 2017
That’s something the mainstream media cannot and will not give Roy Moore, whether he’s guilty or not. The American people deserve better.
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