Heat on Se­nate can­di­date over un­der­age scan­dal

Weekend Herald - - World - Roy Moore

A month be­fore Alabama’s spe­cial elec­tion, Repub­li­can Se­nate can­di­date Roy Moore abruptly faced lurid al­le­ga­tions yes­ter­day of sex­ual mis­con­duct with mi­nors decades ago — and an im­me­di­ate back­lash from party lead­ers who de­manded he get out of the race if the ac­cu­sa­tions prove true.

The in­stant fall­out fol­lowed a Wash­ing­ton Post re­port in which an Alabama woman said Moore, then a

32-year-old as­sis­tant district at­tor­ney, had sex­ual con­tact with her when she was 14. Three other women in­ter­viewed by the Post said Moore, now

70, ap­proached them when they were be­tween the ages of 16 and 18 and he was in his early 30s. All four women spoke on the record to the Post.

The Moore cam­paign de­nied the re­port as “the very def­i­ni­tion of fake news and in­ten­tional defama­tion”. De­fi­ant as ever, Moore him­self is­sued a fundrais­ing ap­peal ask­ing for emer­gency do­na­tions in a “spir­i­tual bat­tle”.

“I be­lieve you and I have a duty to stand up and fight back against the forces of evil wag­ing an all-out war on our con­ser­va­tive val­ues,” he wrote. “I will NEVER GIVE UP the fight!”

Moore, a for­mer Alabama Supreme Court jus­tice, has made his name in Repub­li­can pol­i­tics through his pub­lic de­vo­tion to hard­line Chris­tian con­ser­va­tive po­si­tions. He was twice re­moved from his Supreme Court po­si­tion, once for dis­obey­ing a fed­eral court or­der to re­move a 2360kg gran­ite Ten Com­mand­ments mon­u­ment from the lobby of the state ju­di­cial build­ing, and later for urg­ing state pro­bate judges to defy the US Supreme Court de­ci­sion that le­galised gay mar­riage.

Yes­ter­day, se­nior Repub­li­cans swiftly called for Moore to step aside from the Se­nate race if the al­le­ga­tions are shown to be true. And the man he de­feated in the Repub­li­can pri­mary, cur­rent Sen­a­tor Luther Strange, left open the pos­si­bil­ity he may re-en­ter the cam­paign. AP

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