It is not only the sheer number of complaints against Moore that is troublesome. It is the details provided by each of the women that lends credibility to their reports. Leigh Corfman explained that when she was 14 years old an older man approached her outside a courtroom in Etowah County, Ala. She was sitting on a wooden bench with her mother, they both recall, when the man introduced himself as Roy Moore. It was early 1979 and Moore — now the Republican nominee in Alabama for a U.S. Senate seat — was a 32-year-old assistant district attorney. Moore officed just down the hall from the wooden bench where Leigh sat. Moore reportedly struck up a conversation, Corfman and her mother. Moore offered to watch the girl while her mother went inside for a child custody hearing.
Nancy Wells, Leigh’s mother, now 71, recalls Moore said: “He said, ‘Oh, you don’t want her to go in there and hear all that. I’ll stay out here with her. ” “I thought, how nice for him to want to take care of my little girl.”
Alone with Corfman, Moore chatted with Leigh, and asked for her phone number. Days later, Leigh remembers Moore picked her up at a specific location. It was around the corner from her house in Gadsden, drove her about 30 minutes to his home in the woods, told her how pretty she was and kissed her. On a second visit, she says, he took off her shirt and pants and removed his clothes. He touched her over her bra and underpants, and guided her hand to touch him over his underwear.
Two of Corfman’s childhood friends confirmed the story. They recall Leigh saying that she was seeing an older man. One of the friends even recalled that Corfman identified the man as Moore. Wells says her daughter told her about the encounter more than a decade later, as Moore was becoming more prominent as a local judge. That would have been when Leigh was in her twenties.
None of Moore’s accusers suggest that Moore forced them into any sort of relationship or sexual contact. None report sexual intercourse or rape. Yet each woman provided very specific details about Moore. For example, Wendy Miller recalls how she met Moore. She remembers 14 and working as a Santa’s helper at the Gadsden Mall when Moore first approached her. She was 16 when he asked her on dates, which her mother forbade. Debbie Wesson Gibson says she was 17 when Moore spoke to her high school civics class and asked her out on the first of several dates that did not progress beyond kissing. Gloria Thacker Deason says she was an 18-year-old cheerleader when Moore began taking her on dates that included bottles of Mateus Rosé wine. The legal drinking age in Alabama was 19.
Of the four women, the youngest at the time was Corfman, who is the only one who says she had sexual contact with Moore that went beyond kissing.
In a written statement, Moore said:
“These allegations are completely false and are a desperate political attack by the National Democrat Party and the Washington Post on this campaign.”
Corfman, 53, who works as a customer service representative at a payday loan business, says she has voted for Republicans in the past three presidential elections, including for Donald Trump in 2016. She says she thought of confronting Moore personally for years, and almost came forward publicly during his first campaign for state Supreme Court in 2000, but decided against it. Her two children were still in school then and she worried about how it would affect them.
Corfman consistently described details of the report in six interviews with The Washington Post. The Post confirmed that her mother attended a hearing at the courthouse in February 1979 through divorce records.
Neither Corfman nor any of the other women brought the story to the Washington Post. While reporting a story in Alabama about supporters of Moore’s Senate campaign, a Post reporter heard that Moore allegedly had sought relationships with teenage girls. Over the ensuing three weeks, two Post reporters contacted and interviewed the four women. All were initially reluctant to speak publicly but chose to do so after multiple interviews, saying they thought it was important for people to know about their interactions with Moore. The women say they don’t know one another.
Corfman recalls speaking to Moore on her phone. She recalls that she was in her bedroom talking on the phone. She recalls their plan for him to pick her up at Alcott Road and Riley Street, around the corner from her house, a specific location. Corfman recalls the weather that night being dark and cold. She thought they were going out to eat. Instead, he drove her to his house, which seemed “far, far away.”
“I remember the further I got from my house, the more nervous I got,” Corfman says. She remembers that Moore told her she was pretty, put his arm around her and kissed her, and that she began to feel nervous and asked him to take her home, which she says he did.
Soon after, she says, he called again, and picked her up again at the same spot. That time Corfman reports that Moore kissed her, that he took off her pants and shirt, and that he touched her through her bra and underpants. She says that he guided her hand to his underwear and that she yanked her hand back.
“I wasn’t ready for that — I had never put my hand on a man’s penis, much less an erect one,” Corfman explained.
The legal age of consent in Alabama, then and now, is 16. Under Alabama law in 1979, and today, a person who is at least 19 years old who has sexual contact with someone older than 12 and younger than 15 has committed sexual abuse in the second degree. Sexual contact is defined as touching of sexual or intimate parts. The crime is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail.
The law then and now also includes a section on enticing a child younger than 16 to enter a home with the purpose of proposing sexual intercourse or fondling of sexual and genital parts. That is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Betsy Davis, who remains friendly with Corfman and now lives in Los Angeles, says she clearly remembers Corfman talking about seeing an older man named Roy Moore when they were teenagers. She says Corfman described an encounter in which the older man wore nothing but tight white underwear. She says she was firm with Corfman that seeing someone as old as Moore was out of bounds.
A second friend, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of losing her job, has a similar memory of a teenage Corfman telling her about seeing an older man.
Gibson says that Moore took her to his house, read her poetry and played his guitar. She says he kissed her once in his bedroom and once by the pool at a local country club.
Moore has also suggested, without providing any evidence, that former President Obama is secretly a Muslim.
Moore’s background is also relevant in considering the allegations against him. Neo-Confederate groups held events at the Foundation for Moral Law, a foundation led by Moore, in 2009 and 2010. The events “promoted a history of the Civil War sympathetic to the Confederate cause, in which the conflict is presented as one fought over the federal government violating
The foundation’s then-executive director, Rich Hobson, now Moore’s campaign manager, claimed in 2010 that Moore was unaware of these events and that it was Hobson who approved them. However, the organizer of the events thanked Moore for allowing them to hold the events in his building.
In 2007, Moore opposed preschool, claiming that attendees are “much more likely to learn a liberal social and political philosophy” and that state involvement in early childhood education is characteristic of totalitarianism.
Moore rejects the theory of evolution, saying “There is no such thing as evolution. That we came from a snake? No, I don’t believe that.”
In October 2017, Moore said that NFL players who protested police violence by kneeling during the playing of the national anthem were violating federal law. This assertion is incorrect; the United States Flag Code, which outlines proper conduct when the national anthem was played, is an advisory description of proper etiquette, not an enforceable law.
When asked whether he approved of free trade, Moore stated that he supported protectionism. Moore has suggested pulling out of various free trade agreements, saying that he would rescind “unfair free trade agreements which have severely damaged our economy”.
In July 2017, Moore stated that he was unfamiliar with what the Dreamer program was. Later, in September 2017, Moore criticized Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which grants temporary stay to unauthorized immigrants brought to the United States as children. In an interview with Breitbart News, Moore stated that he is supportive of the RAISE ACT, along with supporting a significant and immediate reduction in legal immigration, arguing that immigrants hurt native-born Americans.
Moore has called for banning Muslims from serving in Congress, described Islam as a “false religion” and made false claims about Sharia law in the United States.
In 2006, Moore wrote that Keith Ellison of Minnesota, the first Muslim to have been elected to the United States House of Representatives, should be barred from sitting in Congress because in his view, a Muslim could not honestly take the oath of office. Moore said that the Quran did not allow for religions other than Islam to exist, and added that “common sense alone dictates that in the midst of a war with Islamic terrorists we should not place someone in a position of great power who shares their doctrine.”
IT also appears that Moore has committed fraud against the IRS through the creation of the Foundation for Moral Law, organized as a non-profit organization. Between 2007 and 2012, Moore collected $1 million in undisclosed payments to himself from the Foundation for Moral Law, which he had founded in 2002. This amount exceeded the revenue the foundation reported in its public tax filings. The foundation also paid for an assortment of fringe benefits and perks for Moore, and supported Moore’s political ambitions. A number of charity and tax-law experts have said that the foundation’s activities “raised questions about compliance with IRS rules, including prohibitions on the use of a charity for the private benefit or enrichment of an individual”.
It appears that Roy Moore should be banned from running for Senate. The details provided by his accusers give rise to an assumption of guilt. The number of complaints, the verification of the reports by others at the time, and the details provided by the accusers suggests that the allegations are true. The only question left is “Why would a Republican support Roy Moore?”