Republican Alabama Senate nominee Roy Moore, accused of inappropriate sexual conduct with a minor in 1979, has received a vote of confidence from a prominent evangelical: Jerry Falwell Jr.
“It comes down to a question [of] who is more credible in the eyes of the voters — the candidate or the accuser,” Falwell Jr. told the Religious News Service (RNS).
In an emailed statement published on Friday, Falwell said, “The same thing happened to President Trump a few weeks before his election last year except it was several women making allegations.”
President Donald J. Trump was accused of several instances of sexual abuse, although none of the allegations was prosecuted or proven.
“[Trump] denied that any of [the accusations] were true and the American people believed him and elected him the 45th president of the United States,” Falwell noted, saying that Moore has also denied the allegations against him.
“And I believe the judge is telling the truth,” Falwell stated. “I don’t think this kind of story will change support for him among Christians since he has categorically denied it. Most will see it as dirty politics.”
The allegations of sexual abuse against Moore come from a woman identified as Leigh Corfman. Her story, published in The Washington Post on Thursday, detail events said to have occurred in 1979 when Moore was a 32-year-old assistant district attorney.
Corfman, 14 at the time, said she was waiting with her mother outside an Etowah County, Alabama, courtroom when Moore offered to stay with her while her mother went inside the courtroom for a child custody hearing. Moore allegedly asked the girl for her phone number, arranged a meeting, took her on a 30-minute drive to his home, and kissed her. Later, during a subsequent visit, he is accused of sexually molesting her.
Two of Corfman’s childhood friends say they were made aware at the time that she was seeing an older man, and one says Corfman identified the man as Moore.
Moore, a former Alabama judge, issued a response to the sexual abuse allegations through his campaign, which said: “Judge Roy Moore has endured the most outlandish attacks on any candidate in the modern political arena, but this story in today’s Washington Post alleging sexual impropriety takes the cake.”
The statement said the Post had endorsed Moore’s opponent and “for months, they have engaged in a systematic campaign to distort the truth about [Moore’s] record and career and derail his campaign.”
The statement contends that throughout a long political career, none of these allegations has ever been made, prior to this election
“If any of these allegations were true, they would have been made public long before now,” the statement concludes.
In an email on Thursday, Moore said, “These allegations are completely false and are a desperate political attack.”
Moore continued, “The forces of evil are on the march in our country … I have a duty to stand up and fight back against the forces of evil waging an all-out war on our conservative values.”