This week saw a new accusation of sexual misconduct against Republican Senate Candidate Roy Moore. Beverly Young Nelson, flanked by Gloria Allred, stated that she had known Roy Moore, that he had signed her yearbook and that he had attempted to rape her in 1977 when she was 16 and a waitress at the Olde Hickory Restaurant (transcript here):
Mr. Moore reached over and began groping me, putting his hands on my breasts. I tried to open my car door to leave, but he reached over and locked it so I could not get out. I tried fighting him off, while yelling at him to stop, but instead of stopping he began squeezing my neck attempting to force my head onto his crotch. I continued to struggle. I was determined that I was not allow him to force me to have sex with him. I was terrified. He was also trying to pull my shirt off. I thought that he was going to rape me. I was twisting and struggling and begging him to stop.
Roy Moore denied the allegations: “I can tell you without hesitation this is absolutely false,” Moore told reporters. “I never did what she said I did. I don’t even know the woman. I don’t know anything about her. I don’t even know where the restaurant is or was,”
Since both these stories cannot be true, there are three possibilities:
- Roy Moore did know the woman in 1977 but over time had forgotten about her – and the restaurant. Since she claims he was a frequent visitor and sat in the same place (assuming she is telling the truth) then it seems dubious that he would have no recollection. One question that has been raised was whether there actually was an Olde Hickory Restaurant in 1977. Moore’s wife posted on facebook that the restaurant did not open until 2001. But that appears to be a newer restaurant with the same name. The Daily Caller researched it and found that there was a restaurant by that name in 1978. Even though it’s a little blurry you can see “Olde Hickory Restaurant” listed on the same road she mentions. But this still wouldn’t indicate guilt of sexual assault on his part.
- Roy Moore is lying when he said he didn’t know her or the restaurant. Again, this is not proof that he sexually assaulted her but would cause serious doubt about his trustworthiness. And it would add credibility to her story.
- Roy Moore is telling the truth when he said he had never met her. Now this is where it would get difficult. Because if he is telling the truth then it means that she is not only lying but that he didn’t sign her yearbook. And that would indicate forgery (of course we’ve seen that before haven’t we?). In researching the internet, I found many opinions on it (pro and con to name a few). When looking at the photo from the yearbook myself, I did notice a few things. The signature ends with D.A. Yet Roy Moore was never District Attorney, only Assistant or Deputy Attorney. Several times during the press conference she referred to him as District Attorney. Unless he lied in order to impress her then she has her facts confused (which would shed serious doubt on her story that he said “…you are a child. I am the District attorney of Etiwah County. If you tell anyone about this, no one will believe you”). Also, the 7’s in the two separate dates are different. It could be that the last line, “Olde Hickory House, 12/22/77” was added later as a notation to remember the place/date. If so, when and by whom was that done?
So we are left with a serious accusation and a rigorous denial. Only God knows with certainty whether it actually happened or not. Roy Moore’s legal team has demanded that the yearbook be turned over for analysis but I seriously doubt that will happen. Maybe Dan Rather could offer to help.
In closing, the one thing that makes me doubt the accusation against Roy Moore is that Gloria Allred is involved. She is and has been a political opportunist for a long time. Isn’t it interesting how often she shows up just days or weeks before an election with salacious allegations that are impossible to disprove easily? But of course that is the point of it all – to try people in the court of politics or public opinion, not legally. Which is the exactly what is happening to Roy Moore. The names and places may change but the method is the same.
To this point Roy Moore is pushing back against this and appears to have no intention of dropping out. Which probably means more allegations will be forthcoming.
Update: And just as I was finishing up my article, I see that another woman has come forward with new allegations.