A fifth woman has come forward alleging Republican candidate for Senate Roy Moore sexually abused her when she was 15 years old and he was “twice her age,” she said Monday, at a press conference with her attorney, Gloria Allred.
The woman, Beverly Young Nelson, tearfully detailed her interactions with Moore from when she worked at a diner while in high school, as well as one instance in which she claimed Moore attacked her. The incident took place some 40 years ago, she said. Lawyer Allred said that, until Monday, Nelson had told only members of her family about the incident.
Nelson said she and her husband voted for Trump and her allegation has nothing to do with politics. She also said she thought she was the only victim, but that last week’s Washington Post story empowered her to come forward.
During Monday’s press conference, Nelson claimed that Moore was a regular at the restaurant where she worked, and said he would touch her hair and talk about her looks whenever he stopped in.
“I had a boyfriend,” Nelson said through tears Monday. “Even if I had not had a boyfriend, I was not interested in having a dating or sexual relationship with a man twice my age.”
One day, Nelson said, Moore asked to sign her yearbook, which he signed, “To a sweeter more beautiful girl, I could not say Merry Christmas. Christmas 1977. Love, Roy Moore, DA.”
Nelson brought a copy of the inscription to the press conference, where she shared it with reporters.
She also detailed the night Moore allegedly attacked her.
According to Nelson, her boyfriend at the time was late one night picking her up from work. Moore came out of the restaurant and offered her a ride home.
Nelson said that, after she got in the car, Moore parked it behind the restaurant and began to grope her. Nelson claimed he then locked the door so she couldn’t escape.
“He forced my head onto his crotch,” Nelson said Monday, reading from a prepared statement. “I continued to struggle. I was determined that I was not going to allow him to force me to have sex with him. I was terrified. He was also trying to pull my shirt off. I thought he was going to rape me.”
Moore then looked at Nelson, she said Monday, and said, “You are a child and I am the District Attorney of Etowah County. If you tell anyone about this, no one will ever believe you.” Nelson said Moore then left her, lying on the concrete behind the restaurant. She quit her job the next day.
Allred said Nelson is not interested in speaking with the press or pursuing a lawsuit, but that she would like to testify under oath at a hearing.
Moore’s campaign responded to the allegations in a statement Monday, saying, “Gloria Allred is a sensationalist leading a witch hunt, and she is only around to create a spectacle.”
During Nelson’s press conference, National Republican Senate Committee Chairman Cory Gardner released a statement saying that, if Moore refuses to withdraw and win, the Senate should vote to expel him.
“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,” the statement said. “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.”
Earlier Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he believes the women alleging Moore sexually abused them and called for Moore to step aside. Several other Senate Republicans echoed his comments.
Moore has continued to deny the allegations and responded to McConnell Monday, tweeting, “The person who should step aside is… Mitch McConnell.”