- Beverly Young Nelson says Roy Moore sexually assaulted her when she was 16 years old, making her the fifth woman to publicly accuse Moore of pursuing a sexual or romantic relationship while they were teenagers and he was in his 30s.
- Nelson said that in the late 1970s, Moore assaulted and injured her in his car in the parking lot of an Alabama restaurant she worked at and he frequented.
- Nelson, who voted for President Donald Trump, said her accusations had “nothing whatsoever to do with the Republicans or the Democrats.”
Beverly Young Nelson says Roy Moore, who is running for a US Senate seat in Alabama, sexually assaulted her when she was 16 years old and he was in his 30s.
Nelson, 56, said at a press conference with her attorney on Monday that she got to know Moore in the late 1970s, when she was a waitress at the Old Hickory House restaurant in Gadsden, Alabama, and he was the deputy district attorney of Etowah County.
‘I was terrified … I thought he was going to rape me’
Nelson said Moore was a regular at the restaurant who often complimented her looks and would sometimes touch her long hair as she walked past his seat at the counter.
One day, Nelson said, Moore offered her a ride home after her shift ended at 10 p.m.
Nelson, who accepted the offer because her boyfriend was late to pick her up, said Moore drove her around to a dark corner of the parking lot behind the restaurant.
“Instead of driving to the street, he stopped the car, and he parked his car in between the dumpster and the back of the restaurant, where there were no lines,” Nelson said. “The area was dark, and it was deserted. I was alarmed, and I immediately asked him what he was doing.
“Instead of answering my questions, Mr. Moore reached over and began groping me, him putting his hands on my breasts,” Nelson continued. “I tried to open my car door to leave, but he reached over and he 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.”
Nelson said that she feared Moore was going to try to rape her and that she began crying.
“I was determined that I was not going to allow him to force me to have sex with him,” Nelson said. “I was terrified … I thought he was going to rape me.”
She added later: “At some point, he gave up. And he then looked at me, and he told me – he said, ‘You’re just a child.’ And he said, ‘I am the district attorney of Etowah County, and if you tell anyone about this, no one will ever believe you.'”
Nelson said she either fell out of the car or was pushed out, and that Moore drove away.
“The passenger door was still open as he burned rubber pulling away, leaving me laying there on this cold concrete in the dark,” she said.
Nelson said she told her sister about the incident two years later and told her husband, John, before she married him 13 years ago. She also said she told her mother four years ago.
Moore calls Nelson a ‘beautiful girl’ in a yearbook note
Nelson said that weeks earlier, in December 1977, she brought her high-school yearbook to her shift at the restaurant and that Moore asked to sign it. Nelson said she knew Moore was “an important person,” and she was flattered.
Nelson presented the yearbook at the press conference. Moore wrote, “To a sweeter more beautiful girl I could not say ‘Merry Christmas,’ and signed it, “Love, Roy Moore, D.A.”
Nelson said she “did not respond to any of Mr. Moore’s flirtatious behavior” because she “was not interested in having a dating or sexual relationship with a man that was twice my age.”
‘Nothing whatsoever’ to do with politics
Nelson’s attorney, Gloria Allred, who has represented dozens of women in high-profile sexual-misconduct cases, including one of President Donald Trump’s accusers, told reporters that politics had nothing to do with her decision to represent Nelson.
Nelson, who voted for Trump in the 2016 presidential election, also said she was not motivated by politics.
“This has nothing whatsoever to do with the Republicans or the Democrats,” she said. “It has everything to do with Mr. Moore’s sexual assault when I was a teenager.”
Nelson is not pursuing any civil or criminal charges against Moore. Instead, she is asking the US Senate Judiciary Committee to hold a public hearing, during which she could publicly testify about her allegations, and to subpoena Moore to respond under oath.
If a hearing is scheduled within two weeks, Allred said, Nelson will not speak to the press before she testifies. If not, she will answer questions from reporters.
Moore’s campaign has been in turmoil since The Washington Post published a report on Thursday detailing allegations of sexual misconduct against him. One woman said Moore initiated a sexual encounter with her when she was 14 and he was 32.
Several other women told The Post that Moore had pursued romantic relationships with them while he was in his 30s and they were between the ages of 16 and 19. The age of consent in Alabama is 16.
Cory Gardner, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, wrote on Monday in one of Moore’s strongest rebukes yet that Moore was “unfit to serve in the United States Senate” and “should not run for office.”
“If he refuses to withdraw and wins, the Senate should vote to expel him, because he does not meet the ethical and moral requirements of the United States Senate,” Gardner said.
In a statement, Moore’s campaign described Allred as “a sensationalist leading a witch hunt” and said she was “only around to create a spectacle.” The campaign denied that Moore had engaged in “any sexual misconduct.”
Moore has denied making sexual or romantic advances on the four women whose accounts the Post report detailed. But when the conservative commentator Sean Hannity asked Moore during a radio interview on Friday whether he remembered dating teenage girls, Moore responded, “Not generally, no.”
He added, “I don’t remember ever dating any girl without the permission of her mother.”
Moore’s wife, Kayla Moore, called the accusations against her husband evidence of a politically motivated “witch hunt” conducted by the media, Democrats, and establishment Republicans.
“We are gathering evidence of money being paid to people who would come forward,” she wrote on Monday. “Washington establishment and Democrat Party will stop at nothing to stop our campaign. Prayers appreciated.”
Moore, a former Alabama Supreme Court justice who was removed from the bench twice – first for refusing to remove a statue of the Ten Commandments from the court’s grounds and then for rejecting the US Supreme Court’s directive on same-sex marriage – is one of the most controversial US Senate candidates in recent history.