Roy Moore held a defiant 90-second press conference. It did not go well.

A new report says he was banned from a mall for trying to pick up teenage girls.

Former Alabama Chief Justice and U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore. CREDIT: AP Photo/Hal Yeager
Former Alabama Chief Justice and U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore. CREDIT: AP Photo/Hal Yeager

Roy Moore, beleaguered Republican candidate for Senate in Alabama and alleged child sex abuser, held a bizarre press conference Monday evening as a tide of accusations of sexual assault against him continued to mount.

The appearance, which lasted a minute and a half, was only open to local Alabama media, and no questions were taken. “The people of Alabama know me, they know my character, they know what I’ve stood for in the political world for more than 40 years. And I can tell you, without hesitation, this is absolutely false,” Moore said in a statement. “This is a political maneuver and has nothing to do with reality. It’s all about politics.”

Moore’s wife Kayla also made a brief statement. “[Roy] is godly, he’s loving, and everybody in this community knows it,” she said. “These things are false. And it’s ugly. It’s the ugliest politics I’ve ever been in in my life.”

Moore’s remarks come after a fifth woman came forward to accuse the Senate candidate of sexually assaulting her when she was 15 years old. Beverly Young Nelson fought back tears as she described how, 40 years ago, Moore would regularly stop by the restaurant where she worked, touching her hair and making comments on her looks. During one incident, Nelson got into Moore’s car after her boyfriend was late to pick her up from work. Moore then allegedly forced Nelson’s head into his crotch and tried to pull off her shirt.

When she resisted, Moore told Nelson, “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 also said Moore signed her high school yearbook, and provided a picture to reporters. Moore’s signature complicates his suggestion that he never met Nelson.

But the accusations don’t stop there. On Monday evening, the New Yorker reported that Moore would regularly prowl Gadsden Mall in Etowah County in the early 1980s searching for teenage girls to pick up. “The general knowledge at the time when I moved here was that this guy is a lawyer cruising the mall for high-school dates,” one law enforcement source said. “I was told by a girl who worked at the mall that he’d been run off from there, from a number of stores. Maybe not legally banned, but run off.”

Gadsden locals later corroborated the story to AL.com, saying that Moore’s predatory nature was common knowledge.

“[Moore’s] eyes crawled over our shirts and our backsides. He was so open about it that I would try and handle his order as quickly as possible,” Victoria Beverstock, a former waitress in Gadsden, said. “When you didn’t smile and flirt back with him, give him an opening, he became rude and demanding.”

However despite the slew of allegations, and the withdrawal of support from several Senate Republicans, Moore remains defiant. The Alabama governor, Kay Ivey, said Monday that she would still vote for Moore in the December special election. “Based on what I know now, yes I will vote for him,” she said. “But we don’t have the facts. There may be some more facts to come out. But he is the party’s nominee.”