WASHINGTON — Alabama Republican senatorial candidate Roy Moore was faced with a new sexual misconduct charge on Monday, this time coming from a woman who said he sexually assaulted her when she was 16.
In a news conference organized by women’s rights attorney Gloria Allred in New York City, Beverly Young Nelson said the incident took place when Moore offered her a ride home from her job as a waitress in 1975.
According to Nelson, Moore parked his car behind the restaurant in Gadsen, Ala. and “reached over and began groping me, putting his hands on my breasts.”
“I tried to open my car door to leave, but he reached over and locked it so I could not get out. I tried fighting him off, while yelling at him to stop, but instead of stopping he began squeezing my neck attempting to force my head onto his crotch,” Nelson said. “I continued to struggle. I was determined that I was not going to allow him to force me to have sex with him. I was terrified. He was also trying to pull my shirt off. I thought that he was going to rape me.”
After the incident, Nelson said that Moore told her, “You are a child. I am the District Attorney of Etowah County,” adding that he told her nobody would believe her.
Nelson said Moore signed her yearbook two years later and displayed the inscription at the news conference.
Reading from a statement, Nelson emphasized that both she and her husband voted for President Donald Trump, and that the accusation is not rooted in politics.
“This has nothing whatsoever to do with the Republicans or the Democrats. It has everything to do with Mr. Moore’s sexual assault when I was a teenager,” Nelson said.
Moore has denied the latest claim and attacked the attorney, who has previously represented women in high-profile sexual misconduct cases.
“Gloria Allred is a sensationalist leading a witch-hunt, and she is only around to create a spectacle. Allred was the attorney who claims credit for giving us Roe v. Wade which has resulted in the murder of tens of millions of unborn babies,” campaign spokesperson John Rogers said in a statement. “We’ve said this before and we’ll say it again: Judge Moore is an innocent man and has never had any sexual misconduct with anyone. This is a witchhunt against a man who has had an impeccable career for over 30 years and has always been known as a man of high character.”
Rogers added that the campaign will pursue “all legal options against these false claims.”
On Thursday, the Washington Post released a story detailing an account from a woman who said Moore attempted to initiate a sexual relationship in 1979.
Three other women said Moore pursued them when they were between the ages of 16 and 18.
On Monday, prior to Nelson’s news conference, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said that he believes Moore’s accusers and that the candidate should vacate the race.
Moore replied on Twitter that McConnell should be the one to resign.
Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), the chair of the National Republican Senate Committee, took inter-party criticism of Moore one step further, saying in a statement that if Moore stays on the ticket and wins, then the upper chamber should vote to expel him.
“He does not meet the ethical and moral requirements of the United States Senate,” Gardner said.
The election in Alabama, in which Moore is running against Democrat Doug Jones for the Senate seat vacated by U.S. Attorney Jeff Sessioons, is Dec. 12.