The home of one of the women who accused Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexual misconduct was destroyed in an early-morning fire this week. Now, investigators are looking into whether the blaze was set deliberately.
Tina Johnson, who alleged Moore had aggressively groped her while she was visiting his law office in 1991, told AL.com on Friday that she and her family have nothing but “the clothes on our backs” following a mysterious fire at her Gadsden-area home. According to the site, emergency dispatchers were notified of the blaze on Tuesday morning while Johnson and her family were at work and school. No one was injured in the fire.
“I am devastated, just devastated,” Johnson said.
Alarmingly, officials are now investigating the fire as a potential case of arson.
“That fire is still under investigation by the Etowah County Arson Task Force,” a spokeswoman for the Etowah County Sheriff’s Department told AL.com “A suspect of interest is being spoken to. But there have been no charges, to my knowledge, related to the fire at this time.”
A subsequent statement from a representative for the county’s arson task force downplayed any suspicion of political motivation behind the blaze, telling local Fox 10 anchor Bob Grip that their investigation so far “does not lead us to believe that the fire is in any way related to Roy Moore or allegations made against him.”
According to the site, several of Johnson’s neighbors witnessed a young man known in the area for public intoxication near the house before the fire. One neighbor even claimed the man had approached her that morning, and asked whether she thought Johnson’s home was flammable.
Johnson has already had a very difficult few months. Following her allegations during the election, she and the other women who accused Moore of sexual assault and misconduct were routinely scrutinized, attacked, and condemned by the candidate, who repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
According to Al.com, Johnson and her family are currently living in a motel.