Heat on Senate candidate over underage scandal
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