Roy Moore, the Republican nominee in the special election on December 12, 2017 to fill the United States Senate seat, is accused of having inappropriate sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl. Also, three other women claimed Moore pursued them when they were between the ages of 16 and 18 and he was in his early 30s, episodes they say they found flattering at the time, but troubling as they got older. Now, the fifth woman accused Roy Moore on Monday of sexually assaulting her when she was 16. Senate Republicans are now openly discussing not seating him or expelling him if he wins the Dec. 12 special election.
The fifth accusation is also the most brutal. The new accuser, Beverly Young Nelson, was a waitress at a local restaurant and Moore was a prosecutor in Etowah County, Ala. at that time. Ms. Nelson was represented at the news conference by Gloria Allred, a lawyer who has championed victims of sexual harassment. “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,” Ms. Nelson said. She said the assault happened one night after her shift ended at the restaurant.
A number of prominent Republicans have called on Moore to leave the race. But other conservatives are standing behind the former judge ― and some onlookers suspect that evangelical voters will still support him, just like they stood by Donald Trump after abuse allegations against him emerged before the 2016 presidential election, the Huffington Post reports.
Moore has been accused of undressing a teenage girl in a private setting, and using physical force to try to initiate sexual contact ― behavior that falls well outside the chaste, parent-sanctioned practices of traditional fundamentalist courtship. The problem is that in some evangelical circles, grown men pursuing teens isn’t all that unusual.
Alabama State Auditor Jim Ziegler claim there’s nothing “immoral or illegal” about a man in his 30s pursuing a teenage girl. He turned to Scripture to justify his reasoning: “He’s clean as a hound’s tooth,” Ziegler claimed. “Take the Bible. Zachariah and Elizabeth for instance. Zachariah was extremely old to marry Elizabeth and they became the parents of John the Baptist,” Ziegler said choosing his words carefully before invoking Christ. “Also take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus.”
Roy Moore’s campaign for Senate in Alabama has been rocked by those allegations against him, but many of the candidate’s most fervent supporters aren’t ready to abandon ship. Frank Raddish, pastor at the Capitol Hill Independent Baptist Ministries (a nationally focused group) expressed skepticism that Nancy Wells, the mother of a woman who accused Moore of sexually assaulting her decades ago when she was 14 years old, didn’t seek redress for her daughter sooner. “If the mother was so concerned for her daughter and what had happened, you would be at the police’s door that day or the next day when they found out, or the daughter would,” Raddish told HuffPost.
We can see here that sometimes, for the sake of political victory, individuals justify actions that must certainly be condemned.
Photo Credits: Politifact