Another woman has come forward to accuse Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexual misconduct.
In a press conference Monday with prominent attorney Gloria Allred, Beverly Young Nelson alleged that when she was 16, Moore groped her against her will and when she resisted, “began squeezing my neck and attempting to force my head into his crotch.”
Nelson said she first met Moore when she was 15 and he was a regular at the restaurant where she worked. Moore was the district attorney of Etowah County, Alabama, at the time and Nelson said she trusted him and saw him as an important local figure. At first, she didn’t think anything of what she alleged was Moore’s “flirtatious behavior.” He would “sometimes pull the ends of my long hair as I walked by him” and “compliment me on my looks,” she recalled.
Later that same day, Moore held his own press conference, calling Nelson’s accusation a “political maneuver.”
“I can tell you without hesitation 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 the restaurant is or was,” he said.
Moore’s wife of 32 years Kayla also spoke to reporters, calling her husband “godly” and “most gentle.”
“He has never one time lifted a finger to me. He is the most gentle, most kind man that I’ve ever known in my life,” she said.
Speaking through tears during her press conference, Nelson said she was alarmed when Moore immediately drove to the back of the restaurant and parked his car in a dark and deserted area. Nelson alleged that Moore then “reached over and began groping me and putting his hands on my breasts.”
“I tried fighting him off and yelling,” she tearfully recalled, but “instead of stopping, he began squeezing my neck and attempting to force my head into his crotch.”
“He was also trying to pull my shirt off,” the visibly upset Nelson continued. “I thought he was going to rape me.”
Nelson said that Moore eventually “gave up” and then warned her not to tell anyone. She alleges that he told her at the time: “You’re just a child and I am the district attorney … and if you tell anyone about this, no one will ever believe you.”
“The following morning, my neck was black and blue and purple,” she recalled.
Nelson said she was too frightened to tell anyone about the incident at the time but eventually told her mother and sister — and later her future husband — in the years that followed.
Nelson and Allred also referenced a note Moore allegedly wrote in Nelson’s yearbook before the incident, in which he called her “sweet” and “beautiful.” A copy of the note was distributed along with Nelson’s written statement.
The press conference comes four days after The Washington Post first reported on sexual misconduct allegations against Moore, including from one woman who claimed he initiated sexual contact with her when she was 14 and he was 32. The Post also interviewed three other women who alleged that Moore pursued them when they were between the ages of 16 and 18 and he was in his early 30s. Moore has denied the allegations but has not yet commented on Nelson’s specifically.
Moore, a Republican, has painted the allegations and subsequent calls for him to step down — including from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — as a politically motivated “witch hunt” against him.
But Nelson noted that she and her husband supported Donald Trump for president and said the timing of her allegations were not motivated by politics but by the four “brave” women who spoke to The Washington Post.
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As she introduced her client, Allred noted that she had personally spoken with Nelson’s mother and sister, who confirmed her account of the alleged attack.
Allred urged the Senate Judiciary Committee to hold a hearing as soon as possible to allow Nelson to testify under oath to her allegations.
If the Senate does not schedule a hearing within two weeks, Allred said that Nelson would answer questions about the allegations in a different setting.