NEW YORK — An Alabama woman said Senate candidate Roy Moore sexually assaulted her when she was 16 years old in 1977, becoming the fifth woman to go on record to accuse Moore of misconduct with them when they were young.
Appearing with attorney Gloria Allred at a news conference here on Monday, Beverly Young Nelson recounted how Moore, now 70, assaulted her when she was a waitress at a restaurant that the then-district attorney of Etowah County frequented.
Fighting through tears, Nelson recounted how one night, Moore forced himself on her in his car behind the restaurant in Gadsden.
After she screamed at him to stop, she said, “Instead of stopping, he began squeezing my neck, attempting to force my head onto his crotch. I continued to struggle.”
“I thought he was going to rape me,” Nelson said.
“At some point he gave up,” she continued. “And he looked at me, and he told me, he said, ‘You’re just a child, and I am the district attorney of Etowah County, and if you tell anyone about this, no one will ever believe you.”
Nelson said her neck was “black and blue and purple” for the following days. “I did not tell anyone about what would happen — I was scared,” she said. "I felt that if I told anyone, Mr. Moore would do something to me or my family.”
Allred, who said Nelson approached her, called for the Senate Judiciary Committee to subpoena Moore and hold a hearing with him within the next two weeks. She said Nelson would volunteer to testify.
After Nelson gave her statement, Allred presented Nelson’s high school yearbook from 1977, carrying a note from Moore, which is signed, “Roy Moore, D.A.” She was 15 years old at the time. Allred said she had spoken with Nelson’s sister, mother, and husband, who all said they knew about the alleged assault.
The Washington Post, in a story published last week, identified four other women who said Moore pursued them as teenagers.
Noting that she supported Donald Trump in the election, Nelson said her accusation has nothing to do with politics. She said she would not have come forward had the other four women done so. They have not been in touch with Nelson, Allred said.
"This has nothing to do with Republicans or Democrats,” Nelson said. "This has everything to do with Mr. Moore’s assault when I was a teenager.”
Ahead of the news conference, Moore’s campaign chairman Bill Armistead responded: “Gloria Allred is a sensationalist leading a witch hunt, and she is only around to create a spectacle. Allred was the attorney who claims credit for giving us Roe v. Wade, which has resulted in the murder of tens of millions of unborn babies.”
“We’ve said this before and we’ll say it again: Judge Moore is an innocent man and has never had any sexual misconduct with anyone. This is a witch hunt against a man who has had an impeccable career for over 30 years and has always been known as a man of high character,” Armistead continued in the statement circulated by the campaign. “Let it be understood: The truth will come forward, we will pursue all legal options against these false claims and Judge Moore will be vindicated."
The news conference, held at New York’s Palace Hotel, came just hours after Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called on Moore to exit the race, saying he believes the women who have launched the allegations. Moore promptly fired back on Twitter: “The person who should step aside is @SenateMajLdr Mitch McConnell.”
Later Monday, the head of the Senate Republican campaign arm said Moore should be expelled from Congress if he wins the election.