Leigh Corfman was just 14 when she says Roy Moore—the former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court who’s now poised to win a U.S. Senate seat—initiated a sexual encounter with her, according to explosive new reporting by The Washington Post.
Corfman told the paper that Moore, who was then a 32-year-old district attorney, approached her and her mother outside an Alabama county courthouse, offering to watch her while her mother took care of court business inside. Corfman said she gave Moore her phone number and they made plans to meet up. When Moore picked her up around the corner from her childhood home days later, he drove her to his home in the woods. She said that on either that visit or the next, Moore gave her alcohol.
From the Post:
She recounted that on that second visit:
He took off her shirt and pants and removed his clothes. He touched her over her bra and underpants, she says, and guided her hand to touch him over his underwear.
“I wanted it over with — I wanted out,” she remembers thinking. “Please just get this over with. Whatever this is, just get it over.” Corfman says she asked Moore to take her home, and he did.
It’s the first time Corfman has come forward publicly with her allegations.
The Post also found three other women who say Moore propositioned them when they were between the ages of 16 and 18 and he was in his early 30s, one of whom said she was 14 and working as a “Santa’s helper” at the local mall when he first approached her. None of the woman said that Moore forced them to engage in any relationship or sexual contact.
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In a statement to the newspaper, Moore denied the allegations, saying if they were true they would’ve surfaced before now, adding “this garbage is the very definition of fake news.”
“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 in the statement. The latest polling found Moore has a double digit lead over Doug Jones, his Democratic opponent.
Just minutes before the original story was published, Breitbart ran its own post, which read as a transparent effort by Moore’s camp to preemptively discredit the Post’s reporting.
Moore—who waged a war on LGBTQ rights from the bench of the state’s highest court and was removed from his post twice—is far from the first far-right religious zealot whose sexual misconduct has later surfaced, but he’s been widely embraced by members of the Republican Party, including the national committee, who’ve rallied around his campaign. A month after Moore secured the GOP nomination over Luther Strange, the candidate that Donald Trump reluctantly backed, the Post’s Dave Weigel reported that Senator Jeff Flake, who’s not running for re-election, was the only Republican member of the Senate who refused to back Moore.
Splinter is reaching out to GOP senators who’ve supported Moore, even though his horrifically racist and homophobic track record was well known, for comment on the allegations. We’ll update if we hear back.
UPDATE, 1:57 pm: Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who’s been no fan of Moore’s, responded to the allegations:
Flake also called for Moore to withdraw from the race if the allegations are true.
UPDATE, 2:08 pm: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell became the highest-ranking voice to call for Moore to “step aside” if there’s truth to the allegations.
UPDATE, 2:24 pm: The Moore loyalists are starting to comment, but with the same hedging language regarding the allegations.
UPDATE, 3:06 pm: Moore’s camp has responded to the Post story by recycling talking points about the newspaper as a bastion of the liberal media and called their extensive reporting “intentional defamation.”
Additional reporting by Rafi Schwartz.