WASHINGTON (CBS SF/AP) — A second woman has come forward to accuse Alabama GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore of sexual misconduct when she was a minor.
Beverly Young Nelson cried at a news conference in New York with attorney Gloria Allred Monday, where she alleged Moore assaulted her when he gave her a ride home one night in the late 1970s during a time when Moore was the district attorney of Etowah County, Alabama.
Nelson said she was a 16-year-old high school student at Gadsden High School in Gadsden, Alabama and worked at the nearby Olde Hickory House where Moore was a regular customer. He sat in the same seat night after night.
Nelson said she accepted a ride home from Moore, but instead of driving onto the road, he pulled around to an unlit area at the back of the restaurant and stopped the car. As she recounted in her statement:
The area was dark and deserted. I was alarmed and I immediately asked him what he was doing.
Instead of answering my question, Mr. Moore reached over and began groping me, putting his hands on my breasts. I tried to open my car door to leave, but he reached over and 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. I continued to struggle. I was determined that I was not allow him to force me to have sex with him. I was terrified. He was also trying to pull my shirt off. I thought that he was going to rape me.
She said he finally relented and, as she fell or was pushed out of the car, warned her no one would believe her if she spoke about the encounter.
At some point he gave up. 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.”
Moore’s campaign sent out a statement before a news conference, saying Allred “is a sensationalist leading a witch hunt.” Nelson’s statement follows a Washington Post report that the 70-year-old Moore had sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl and pursued three other teenagers decades earlier.
The statement said Moore is innocent and “has never had any sexual misconduct with anyone.” The statement also reiterated that Moore “will pursue all legal options against these false claims.”
Moore has refused to quit the race even with pressure mounting, including from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who said Monday he believed the women accusing Moore and called for the Senate candidate to step aside from the race.