Roy Moore, who is running for U.S. Senate in Tuesday’s special election, is facing multiple allegations of child sex abuse. He has largely avoided the campaign trail since these allegations first surfaced.
But on Monday night, the last day before the election, Moore held a rally. It got off to an interesting start.
One of the introductory speakers was Bill Staehle, who said he served with Moore in Vietnam. Staehle told the story of a night he spent with Moore and a third man, who he did not name. According to Staehle, it was the third man’s last night in Vietnam and the man invited them to a “private club” in the city to celebrate with “a couple of beers.”
Moore and Staehle agreed. According to Staehle, they didn’t expect there was anything untoward going on at the “private club” because “there were legitimate private clubs” in Vietnam. The third man drove them to the club in his Jeep.
Staehle said that, when he and Moore arrived, they soon realized the man had taken them to a brothel. The third man, Staehle suggested, essentially tricked them. “I could tell you what I saw but I don’t want to,” Staehle said mischievously.
“There were certainly pretty girls. And they were girls. They were young. Some were very young,” Staehle acknowledged. But according to Staehle, Moore was shocked by what he saw. “We shouldn’t be here, I’m leaving,” Moore said, according to Staehle.
They asked the third man to leave with them but he didn’t want to. So Staehle and Moore took his Jeep and left him there all night with sex workers, who they agreed were underage. The man returned to base the next morning on the back of a motorcycle, Staehle said with a grin.
Staehle viewed this story as a triumphant example of Moore’s sterling moral character. Although Staehle hasn’t seen Moore in 45 years, he said, “He’s the same guy… He’s honorable. He’s disciplined. Morally straight. Highly principled.”
In other words, he’s the kind of guy who might end up at a brothel with underage sex trafficking victims, but only by accident.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misspelled Bill Staehle’s name.