Roy Moore 'banned' from local Alabama mall for harassing teenage girls

Mythili Sampathkumar
The Independent
Roy Moore greets supporters at an election-night rally on September 26 in Montgomery, Alabama: Getty Images
Roy Moore greets supporters at an election-night rally on September 26 in Montgomery, Alabama: Getty Images

Roy Moore - the Republican candidate currently facing allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct from five women - was allegedly banned from his hometown mall for “badgering” teenage girls.

The New Yorker reported that the Alabama Republican running for Senate was banned from the Gadsen shopping mall sometime during the early 1980s.

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The magazine spoke with “five members of the local legal community, two cops who worked in the town, several people who hung out at the mall in the early eighties, and a number of former mall employees” who all said they heard about Mr Moore’s banishment.

One local independent journalist, Glynn Wilson, wrote on his website that his sources told him the Senate candidate was also banned from the local YMCA for “soliciting sex from young girls.”

Both the New Yorker and Mr Wilson's sources all asked to keep their names unpublished.

Mr Moore’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

One of the people the New Yorker spoke with was a local police officer.

The officer is reported to have said that “general knowledge at the time when I moved here was that this guy is a lawyer cruising the mall for high-school dates.”

He may not have had an official ban from the shopping centre and frequent hangout for teenagers in the area but he was “run off” from “a number of stores,” according to the officer.

Blake Usry, a teenager in Gadsen at the time, told AL.com that Mr Moore was a known entity among his friends.

The then-District Attorney would "flirt with all the young girls," and hang out at the mall on weekends "like the kids did,” according to Mr Usry.

Then there is the account of Teresa Jones, a deputy district attorney for Etowah County in the early eighties.

She told CNN last week that “it was common knowledge that [Mr Moore] dated high-school girls.”

The conservative Christian values candidate denied all accusations and any wrongdoing repeatedly since the original report late last week.

He also said on Sean Hannity’s Fox News programme that he never dated any women without their mother’s permission.

Several prominent state Republicans have come forward defending the grandfather of five and called into question the timing and motivation of the five women.

In its original report the Washington Post spoke to 30 sources, four of whom agreed to go on the record, about Mr Moore’s alleged child sex abuse.

The legal age of consent is 16 in the state of Alabama, so one particular accuser - Leigh Corfman - has caught the attention of the public.

Ms Corfman told the Washington Post that when she was just 14, a 32-year-old Mr Moore made advances towards her on multiple occasions.

The pair met when Ms Corfman was waiting with her mother outside of a child custody hearing at which her parents were appearing. Mr Moore was working as a district attorney at the time.

The paper wrote: “While reporting a story in Alabama about supporters of Moore’s Senate campaign, a Post reporter heard that Moore allegedly had sought relationships with teenage girls. Over the ensuing three weeks, two Post reporters contacted and interviewed the four women. All were initially reluctant to speak publicly but chose to do so after multiple interviews, saying they thought it was important for people to know about their interactions with Moore. The women say they don’t know one another.”

The latest accuser is Beverly Young Nelson who, sitting next to famed attorney Gloria Allred, told a crowded newsroom that Mr Moore sexually assaulted her when she was 16 years old and living in Etowah County, Alabama.

Mr Moore was in his 30s at the time and Ms Nelson produced a high school yearbook which Mr Moore had written in, using the signoff “Love, Roy Moore, D.A.”

The candidate has since called Ms Allred “a sensationalist leading a witch hunt, and she is only around to create a spectacle.”

At least three polls conducted since the original report was released show Mr Moore and Democratic candidate Doug Jones roughly tied, one poll has Mr Jones ahead by four points.

But on-the-ground reporting around Alabama showed Mr Moore still has strong support among evangelicals who are staunchly anti-Democrat.

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