New accuser comes forward; Moore calls allegations a 'witch hunt'

Beverly Nelson says she was a 16-year-old high school student working at a restaurant where Moore was a regular. She says Moore groped her.

Posted: Nov. 13, 2017 2:23 PM
Updated: Nov. 13, 2017 2:23 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) - Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama says the latest allegations against him are a "witch hunt."

Moore's campaign sent out a statement before a news conference Monday held by lawyer Gloria Allred and the latest accuser, Beverly Young Nelson.

The statement says Allred "is a sensationalist leading a witch hunt." It says Moore is innocent and "has never had any sexual misconduct with anyone." The statement reiterates that Moore "will pursue all legal options against these false claims."

Nelson says Moore assaulted her when she was 16 and he gave her a ride home from a restaurant where she worked.

Her statement follows a Washington Post report that the 70-year-old More had sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl and pursued three other teenagers decades earlier.

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3 p.m.

The latest accuser of Alabama Republican Roy Moore says the Senate candidate assaulted her when he gave her a ride home one night in the late 1970s.

Beverly Young Nelson cried at a news conference in New York with attorney Gloria Allred.

Nelson says she was a 16-year-old high school student working at a restaurant where Moore was a regular. She says Moore groped her, touched her breasts and locked the door to keep her inside his car. She said he squeezed her neck while trying to push her head toward his crotch and that he tried to pull her shirt off.

She said he finally relented and, as she fell or was pushed out of the car, warned her no one would believe her if she spoke about the encounter.

She said she was a high school student at Gadsen High School at the Olde Hickory House and Moore was a regular customer. He sat in the same seat night after night.

Moore called the allegations a "witch hunt" in a statement shortly before the news conference.

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2:45 p.m.

A second woman has come forward to accuse Alabama GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore of sexual misconduct when she was a minor.

Beverly Young Nelson says Moore sexually assaulted her when she was 15 and 16. She held a news conference Monday with attorney Gloria Allred.

Moore called the allegations a "witch hunt" in a statement shortly before the press conference. Her statement follows a Washington Post report that the 70-year-old More had sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl and pursued three other teenagers decades earlier.

Moore has refused to quit the race even with pressure mounting, including from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they speak publicly, which the women have done.

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1:10 p.m.

Alabama's governor says there are no plans to change the date of the special election for the Senate.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said Monday: "The election date is set for Dec. 12."

The governor office has said since Saturday that she is not considering moving the election.

Ivey says she plans for now to vote for Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, but added that "there may be some more facts to come out."

The Washington Post reported that a woman said Moore, at age 31, initiated a sexual encounter with her when she was 14. The paper quoted other women who said Moore pursued romantic relationships with them between the ages of 16 and 18.

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12:56 p.m.

Alabama Republican Roy Moore says it's Mitch McConnell who should quit, not him.

Moore is responding to McConnell, the Senate majority leader, who says he believes Moore's accusers and thinks he should drop out of the race for Senate. At issue is a Washington Post story saying Moore had sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl and pursued romantic relationships with other teenage girls decades ago.

Moore says on Twitter: "The person who should step aside is SenateMajLdr Mitch McConnell. He has failed conservatives and must be replaced. #DrainTheSwamp."

The election is Dec. 12 and Moore's name remains on the Alabama ballot.

Moore's "drain the swamp" hashtag is popular with President Donald Trump and his supporters.

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11:15 a.m.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says that Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama "should step aside" in light of allegations he had sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl decades ago.

McConnell spoke to reporters Monday after visiting a plant in Kentucky. He says he believes the women who were quoted in a Washington Post story about Moore's past relationships with them as young women.

Previously McConnell had said Moore should step aside if the allegations were proven true.

He says Republicans are looking at a write-in option in Alabama.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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