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A fifth woman has accused U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore, of Alabama, of sexually assaulting her. The woman said the assault took place some 40 years ago when she was 16 and Moore was in his early 30s.
Beverly Young Nelson in a press conference Monday said Moore groped her and tried to force her head toward his crotch after he offered to drive the teen home from her after-school job at a restaurant in Gadsden, Alabama, in 1977.
Nelson, at times crying, described the encounter that allegedly took place behind the restaurant, between the dumpster and the back of the building, after Moore had offered the 16-year-old the ride.
Nelson said during the attack she pleaded with Moore to stop, but he would not. She said Moore grabbed her, locked the door as she tried to get out of his two-door car, and then tried to pull her shirt off.
"Instead of stopping, he began squeezing my neck, attempting to force my head onto his crotch. I continued to struggle," Nelson said. "I thought that he was going to rape me."
“At some point, he gave up. He then looked at me and said, ‘You are a child. I am the district attorney of Etowah County. ‘If you tell anyone about this, no one will believe you.'
“He finally allowed me to open the car door and I either fell out or he pushed me out. I was on the ground as he pulled out of the parking area behind the restaurant. The passenger door was open as he burned rubber pulling away, leaving me laying there on the cold concrete in the dark.”
Nelson said she did not tell anyone, especially her boyfriend, who was supposed to pick her up from work that night. She said that, years later, she told her sister, her future husband and her mother years later, but has never told anyone else.
According to Nelson, Moore was a regular at the restaurant in which she worked, coming in “every night” and sitting in the same seat. Nelson said Moore would compliment her and at least once tugged on her hair as she passed by him.
Nelson said Moore had signed her yearbook before the alleged attack occurred. Nelson said Moore signed the book: “To a sweeter more beautiful girl I could not say Merry Christmas. Christmas 1977. Love, Roy Moore, D.A. 12-22-77 Olde Hickory House.”
Nelson read her statement after her attorney, Gloria Allred, first read a statement that called for a Senate hearing into the allegations against Moore.
Allred said Nelson would voluntarily testify at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing and that Moore should be subpoenaed to be there.
If a hearing is not held within two weeks, Allred said, Nelson would speak in a public setting about the alleged attack.
In a story in The Washington Post last week, a woman came forward to accuse Moore, the former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, of inappropriate sexual conduct.
The newspaper found three other women who said that Moore had approached them around the same time. The women were between the ages of 16 and 18 at the time. Moore was in his 30s.
The most serious allegations from the Post report involve Moore driving then 14-year-old Leigh Corfman to his house in the woods, and touching her over her bra and panties in 1979.
Moore has denied the accusations.
Moore is on the ballot in December, facing Democrat Doug Jones for the Senate seat vacated when Jeff Sessions became U.S. attorney general.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Monday that Moore “should step aside” in light of the allegations.
McConnell spoke to reporters Monday after visiting a plant in Kentucky and said he believes the women who were quoted in The Post story. McConnell said Republicans are looking at a write-in option in Alabama.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions told Fox News that he is not interested in being a write-in candidate for his former Senate seat. Several Republican senators have urged Moore to drop out of the race,-- John McCain, Susan Collins, Bob Corker and Lindsey Graham among them.
Below are live updates from Monday’s press conference.