Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore has been accused of sexual misconduct or impropriety by eight women, some of whom accused Moore of pursuing them as teens when he was in his 30s.
Moore has since outwardly denied any allegations and said the charges are politically motivated.
Alabama’s special election runoff, in which Moore faces Democratic contender Doug Jones, is slated for Dec. 12.
At least 25 GOP senators and other Republican leaders have disavowed Moore following the accusations and said he should get out of the race, but Moore has repeatedly said he wouldn’t do so.
In a Thursday press conference in Birmingham, Alabama, leaders of various religious organizations announced their support for Moore.
Moore once again slammed any sexual misconduct allegations against him as lacking evidence and addressed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s call for him to quit the race.
“There's been comments about me taking a stand,” he said. “I'll quit standing when they lay me in that box and put me in the ground.”
Here are the eight women who have accused Moore so far and his reactions:
Corfman, 53, spoke to the Washington Post about an incident in 1979 when Moore, then a 32-year-old assistant district attorney, made sexual advances toward her. She was 14 years old.
Corfman said she met Moore outside a courthouse where her mother was attending a child custody hearing.
Moore offered to wait with Corfman while he mother attended the hearing.
When they were alone, Corfman said Moore asked for her number, later picked her up and drove her to his house.
She alleged Moore took his clothes off during another visit, touched Corfman over her underwear and guided her hand to touch him.
The account was published by the Washington Post on Thursday, Nov. 9. The Post also published accounts from three other women who alleged sexual misconduct against Moore.
In response to the allegations, several Republican leaders, including former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney spoke out.
In a written statement to the Post, Moore, now 70, denied the allegations:
“These allegations are completely false and are a desperate political attack by the National Democrat Party and the Washington Post on this campaign,” Moore said.
The campaign said in a subsequent statement that if the allegations were true they would have surfaced during his previous campaigns, adding “this garbage is the very definition of fake news,” the Post reported.
Moore also went on the Sean Hannity Show the day after the allegations were published. Here’s what he said about Corfman:
"I don't know Miss Corfman from anybody. I never talked to or never had any contact with her. Allegations of sexual misconduct with her are completely false .... I never knew this woman. I never met this woman and these charges are politically motivated.”
He said Sunday a lawsuit would be filed over the newspaper report.
Gloria Thacker Deason
Deason was 18 when 32-year-old Moore pursued a relationship with her, she told the Washington Post. It was 1979.
She worked the jewelry counter at a mall department store in Gadsden, Alabama.
The pair dated on and off for several months and during that time, Deason, now 57, told the Post that Moore took her to his house at least twice and ordered her cocktails when they went out to restaurants when she was still underage.
Deason told the Post their physical relationship didn’t go beyond kissing and hugging.
In an interview exchange with Sean Hannity on his radio show, Moore denied serving Deason alcohol and denied the allegations as a “direct attack on the campaign.”
When Hannity asked if he remembered dating girls that young, Moore said: “Not generally, no. If did, you know, I'm not going to dispute anything but I don't remember anything like that.”
Moore met 14-year-old Miller when she was dressed as an elf and working as a Santa’s helper at Gadsden Mall. He told her she looked pretty.
Two years later in 1979, Miller told the Post, Moore began asking her out on dates in front of her mother, who worked the mall photo booth.
Miller declined, though she said that at the time, she was “flattered by the attention.”
Her mother told the Post she refused to grant Moore permission to date her 16-year-old daughter.
“Now that I’ve gotten older,” Miller said, “the idea that a grown man would want to take out a teenager, that’s disgusting to me.”
During the same Hannity interview, Moore was asked about Miller and Corfman in a single question and denied the allegations.
“I've run five successful campaigns or five campaigns, statewide campaigns, three in the county. This has never been brought up. It has never been even mentioned and all of a sudden, four weeks out, they're bringing out — they're bringing up — because it's political,” he said.
Debbie Wesson Gibson
In 1981, Moore spoke to 17-year-old Gibson’s high school civics class and asked her out, she told the Post.
Gibson asked her mother what she would say if she wanted to date 34-year-old Roy Moore, who Gibson said “had this godlike, almost deity status — he was a hometown boy made good.”
“I’d say you were the luckiest girl in the world,” her mother said.
The two ended up dating for a few months, and she told the Post he kissed her twice, once in his bedroom and once by a pool.
In the Hannity interview, Moore said he didn’t remember speaking to a civics class and recalled being friends with Gibson’s parents.
“I don't remember going out on dates,” he said. “ I knew her as a friend. If we did go out on dates then we did. But I do not remember that.”
Beverly Young Nelson
Nelson spoke about her account in a press conference Monday and accused Moore of sexually assaulting her when she was 16 and he was in his early 30s.
She said that in 1977, after he offered to drive her home from an after-school gig at a local restaurant in Gadsden, Alabama, Moore stopped the car between the dumpster and the back of the building, where it was dark.
Nelson said Moore groped her and tried to force her head toward his crotch and pleaded him to stop, but he wouldn’t.
She alleged that Moore grabbed her and locked the door as she tried to get out 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.”
According to Nelson, Moore eventually gave up 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.”
She said that once she fell out or was pushed out, he drove away and left her on “the cold concrete in the dark.”
During the press conference, Nelson also showed her yearbook from 1977, in which Moore wrote: “to a sweeter, more beautiful girl, I could not say Merry Christmas.”
Roy Moore’s attorney and campaign chair said in a press conference Wednesday that the yearbook signature Nelson presented is a fake.
They argued that Moore’s signature had actually been forged from court documents.
In 1991, when Johnson was 28 years old, met Moore to review a custody petition on her son and mother. After the meeting, Moore grabbed her buttocks, she told AL.com.
“He didn't pinch it; he grabbed it,” Johnson said, and admitted she was caught off guard but said nothing.
According to her, Moore had complimented her looks and sat close to her during the custody meeting.
Moore was married at the time.
“I want people to know that it's OK to finally say something," she told AL.com. “I guess I'm ashamed I didn't say nothing, didn't turn around and slap him.”
Moore’s campaign or Moore himself have not yet commented on Johnson’s allegations, AL.com reported.
When Richardson was a high school senior in 1977, she told the Post that Moore, 30, approached her at the Gadsden Mall and asked for her number.
Though she declined to give it out, Richardson, whose father was a very strict minister, said he called her while she was at school and eventually agreed to go on a date with him.
Richardson, now 58, said at the end of the date, Moore drove her to a parking lot behind Sears and gave her a “forceful kiss.”
“I never wanted to see him again,” she told the Post in a story published Wednesday.
Moore’s campaign did not directly address Richardon’s or Gray’s accounts and accusations in a statement to the Post, but it read: “If you are a liberal and hate Judge Moore, apparently he groped you. If you are a conservative and love Judge Moore, you know these allegations are a political farce.”
Gray also told the Post in a story Wednesday that when she was 22, Moore came up to her at the mall and asked her out multiple times.
She worked at the department store Pizitz, the same store Deason told the Post she worked at when Moore asked her out.
Gray always declined his offers.
According to the Post, she said “he was persistent in a way that made her uncomfortable” and often lingered in a specific section of the mall.
When Gray complained about him to her late manager, she said he told her it wasn’t the first time he received a complaint about Moore.
Eventually, Gray told ABC News Wednesday, her manager said Moore had been banned from the mall.
Moore’s campaign did not directly address Richardson’s or Gray’s accounts and accusations in a statement to the Post, but it read: “If you are a liberal and hate Judge Moore, apparently he groped you. If you are a conservative and love Judge Moore, you know these allegations are a political farce.”
The different ways Moore could be blocked from serving in the U.S. Senate
According to Alabama state law, it’s too late to take Moore’s name off the ballot, though if he drops out, any votes cast for him wouldn’t count.
But Moore dropping out doesn’t seem likely. He’s been adamant about continuing to run.
Another unlikely outcome: Politico reported the possibility of completely scrapping the entire special election and rescheduling it, but only the governor of Alabama has the power to schedule the state’s elections and the process has all kinds of complications, according to the Washington Post.
So, if Moore stays in the race, here’s how he could be blocked from serving:
1. He loses to Democrat Doug Jones
Though Jones appears to be gaining on him in recent polls since the allegations, Alabama political reporter Leada Gore told the Post, “I'm not sure if the rural vote, which is 99.99 percent of Alabama, would leave Moore under almost any circumstances.”
2. He loses to a Republican write-in candidate
There was talk of asking Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign from his Cabinet role and launch a last-minute write-in campaign for Alabama’s Dec. 12 election, according to the Washington Post.
But Sessions hasn’t shown any public interest in returning to the Senate.
It would take a very popular and recognizable candidate to beat Moore.
In 2010, when Sen. Lisa Murkowski lost the primary in Alaska, she ran a write-in campaign in the election and actually won, but she was a very popular candidate already.
And voters would not only have to be excited to vote for this new candidate, but they’d also have to remeber how to spell his or her name if they’re to write it in.
3. He wins and the Senate expels him
The last time the Senate expelled a member was 1862 — a total of fifteen members were expelled then for supporting the Confederacy, though one senator’s (William Sebastian) expulsion was reversed, because the state he represented (Arkansas) supported secession.
The Washington Post regards this as the likeliest option for Moore, but it won’t be easy at all.
All 48 Democrats and at least 19 Republicans would have to agree and it could take six months to a year for him to be removed from the Senate. Then, Alabama will need to have another special election.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.