Judge Roy Moore, a darling of the religious right and a candidate for Congress, has been accused of sexual improprieties with several minor girls.
A woman is accusing Roy Moore, the Republican candidate in the Alabama Senate race to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions, of engaging in sexual conduct with her when she was a young teenager, the Washington Post reports. The Post reports that three other women say that “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.”
The youngest woman, Leigh Corfman, says she was just 14 years old when Moore, then a 32-year-old assistant district attorney, removed his clothing while alone with her and “touched her over her bra and underpants and guided her hand to touch him over his underwear.” The other three women said they were 16 to 18 when Moore asked them on dates. One woman was was working as a Santa’s helper at a mall when she says Moore first approached her.
Two of these women told the Post Moore kissed them.
Moore has denied the allegations, dismissing them as a political attack. The Postinterviewed more than 30 people for the story.
Shortly before the Post‘s bombshell report on Thursday, Breitbart News published a story preempting the allegations, in what appeared to be an attempt to undermine the Post‘s reporting.
In the wake of the Washington Post‘s explosive report alleging Roy Moore’s sexual misconduct with teenagers, Republican senators on Thursday urged Moore to bow out of the Alabama Senate race “if” the claims were true. But amid the backlash, at least two commentators have come out with similar arguments in Moore’s defense: Alabama State Auditor Jim Ziegler and Breitbart editor Joel Pollak.
“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.”
He then cited the age differences between Biblical characters to shore up his defense. “Take the Bible. Zachariah and Elizabeth for instance,” Ziegler said. “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.”
In the Bible, God is Jesus’ father and Mary is his mother. Joseph, however, was present for Jesus’ birth.
Appearing on MSNBC, Pollak took specific issue with how the story included women who allege Moore initiated relationships with them when they were 16 or 18 years old. “The 16-year-old and 18-year-old have no business in that story, because those are women of legal age of consent at the time the relationship was,” Pollak said.
He stressed that the account of one woman who says Moore sexually assaulted her when she was just 14 is just an allegation.