Senators call on Roy Moore to step aside if sexual misconduct with teen true

By Danielle Haynes  |  Nov. 9, 2017 at 5:45 PM
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Nov. 9 (UPI) -- Multiple U.S. senators on Thursday said Roy Moore, a Republican running for the seat left vacant by Jeff Sessions, should step aside if allegations he was sexually inappropriate with a 14-year-old girl prove to be true.

The senators' statements came in response to a Washington Post report that Moore, 70, attempted to pursue relationships with four women in their teens while he was in his 30s. Moore is the former chief justice on the Alabama Supreme Court.

Leigh Corfman, now 53, said Moore approached her outside a courtroom in Etowah County while he was an assistant district attorney in 1979. He asked for the 14-year-old's phone number and took her on a date twice -- both times to his home.

She said they never had intercourse, but during her second visit to his home, he stripped them both down to their underwear and touched her over her underwear. Corfman said he also put her hand on him over his underwear.

"I wanted it over with -- I wanted out," she told the Post she thought at the time. "Please just get this over with. Whatever this is, just get it over."

In 1979 -- and now -- the legal age of consent for sexual contact in Alabama is 16. Sexual contact is defined as touch of intimate body parts. The statute of limitations expires three years after an offending act in Alabama, and Corfman said she never filed a police report.

The Washington Post interviewed three other women who said Moore attempted to pursue relationships around the same time. Wendy Miller said Moore asked her out on dates when she was 16 in 1979, but her mother prevented it. Debbie Wesson Gibson said Moore asked her out on dates when she was 17, also in 1979; they did nothing more than kiss, she said.

Gloria Thacker Deason said she dated Moore in 1981 when she was 18 and 19, and when she was under the legal drinking age -- 19 at the time -- he would order her drinks at dinner.

Moore, who defeated the appointed sitting senator, Luther Strange in September, denied the allegations. Moore faces Democratic candidate Doug Jones in a Dec. 12 special election.

"These allegations are completely false and are a desperate political attack by the National Democrat Party and the Washington Post on this campaign," he said.

"Judge Roy Moore has endured the most outlandish attacks on any candidate in the modern political arena, but this story in today's Washington Post alleging sexual impropriety takes the cake," added Moore campaign chair Bill Armistead. "National liberal organizations know their chosen candidate Doug Jones is in a death spiral, and this is their last ditch Hail Mary."

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said that should the allegations against Moore prove to be true, "he must step aside." Others echoed his call.

"I'm horrified, and if this is true he needs to step down immediately," Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said.

And Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., called for Moore's immediate withdrawal from the election.

"The allegations against Roy Moore are deeply disturbing and disqualifying," he said. "He should immediately step aside and allow the people of Alabama to elect a candidate they can be proud of."

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