From the Right



Moore's story is murky, but some things are crystal clear

Ruben Navarrette Jr. on

SAN DIEGO -- The Roy Moore scandal is as messy as they come. Yet, even through all the dirt and slime, some things have come into focus.

But first, the mess. Last week, The Washington Post published an article detailing the stories of four women who claim that the Alabama Republican pursued them in the 1970s when they were teenage girls. One of the accusers said Moore undressed and fondled her when she was just 14.

Now a fifth women has come forth to say that Moore -- who is running to fill the Senate seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions -- sexually assaulted her when she was 16 and Moore was the county's top prosecutor.

Beverly Young Nelson told reporters that, in 1977, she was working as a waitress at a restaurant in Gadsden, Alabama, and that Moore was a regular customer. One night, Nelson said, he offered to drive her home. Instead, she said, he wound up locking her in his car and forcing her head into his crotch as he struggled to pull her shirt off.

"I thought that he was going to rape me," she said. "I was twisting, and I was struggling, and I was begging him to stop. I had tears running down my face."

Moore finally relented, but he warned her to keep quiet, she said. "You're just a child," he allegedly told her. "I am the district attorney of Etowah County. And if you tell anyone about this, no one will ever believe you."


If Nelson is telling the truth, then Moore answered his own question about why his accusers haven't come forward until now. He also would have acknowledged that -- even in a state where the age of consent is 16 -- a girl that age is still "a child."

Now we're getting somewhere.

Nelson said she will repeat her claims under oath -- if she is called to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The candidate denies all the women's accusations. We may never get to the bottom of this, and thus know with absolute certainty who is telling the truth.


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