Cartoon by Clay Bennett

Roy Moore: new woman comes forward, claiming sexual assault when she was 16 

The Guardian: Another woman has come forward to accuse Alabama GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore of sexual misconduct when she was a teenager, as national Republicans continued to flee from the controversial candidate.

Beverly Young Nelson, speaking Monday at a news conference in New York with attorney Gloria Allred, alleged Moore sexually assaulted her when she was 16.

Nelson said that Moore physically attacked her in a car, grabbing her breasts and trying to force her head down on to his crotch.

“I thought he was going to rape me,” said Nelson, who at one point broke down in tears.

Nelson also alleged that the Republican Senate candidate threatened her after the assault. “He then looked at me and said, ‘You are a child. I am the district attorney of Etowah County. ‘If you tell anyone about this, no one will believe you.”

And she said: “When I got home, I went to my room, and the following morning, my neck was black and blue and purple.”

In a statement released shortly before the press conference, Moore called the allegations a “witch hunt”. Later, Moore gave a statement to local news: “This is absolutely false. I never did what she said I did. I don’t even know the woman. I don’t know anything about her. I don’t even know where the restaurant is or was.”

Nelson had produced her high school yearbook, which Moore signed, and said that the Alabama Republican had been a regular at the restaurant where she worked.

Nelson’s statement follows a Washington Post report last week that the Moore had had sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl and pursued three other teenagers decades earlier when he was in his 30s.

Immediately after the press conference, Cory Gardner, the chair of the National Republican Senate Committee, said that if elected on 12 December, Moore should be expelled from the Senate.

“I believe the individuals speaking out against Roy Moore spoke with courage and truth, proving he is unfit to serve in the United States Senate and he 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.”

His statement followed remarks by Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, who said earlier on Monday that Moore “should step aside” from the race and added of his accusers: “I believe the women.”

In response, Moore said McConnell was “the person who should step aside”.

Other Republicans have distanced themselves as well. Senator Ted Cruz withdrew his endorsement of Moore on Monday. “I can’t urge the people of Alabama to support a campaign in the face of these charges without serious persuasive demonstration that the charges are not true,” said the Texas Republican. Among those senators who initially backed Moore, only Rand Paul has yet to withdraw his endorsement >>>