I don’t know if Judge Roy Moore (R-AL) is guilty or innocent of the crimes he’s been accused of. If guilty he deserves every sling and arrow he’s faced thus far, and many more to come.
However, if he’s innocent, he deserves to be heard and his accusers should face repercussions for maligning his good name and for attempting to destroy the democratic process in Alabama.
The majority of the accusations against Moore are NOT criminal, but sure are icky. Basically, they seem to suggest that Moore had a penchant for underage girls. However, two of the accusations rise to the level of criminal action. One accusation claims that Moore had a physical, sexual relationship with a 14-year old girl (though the two never had sex, they committed sex acts with each other). The other, more recent accusation, is that Moore cornered another girl and attempted to force himself on her but then kicked her out of his car.
Moore denies both of these accusations, but is more cryptic on the possibility that he dated teenage girls.
Moore’s legal team has also begun the process of suing the media outlets that he believes have acted irresponsibly in reporting this story, and may also be planning to sue his accusers.
While Moore has faced withering criticism from all who oppose his candidacy, the last few days have also brought some hard questions for his accusers.
A young woman who worked with Judge Moore as a teen told the Conservative Post that she never saw an inkling of this kind of behavior from Moore.
Yes, I absolutely believe (the) Judge is innocent!” Beth told Conservative Tribune. “I’ve known him and his family for years. I was a teenager when I first started working in his campaign. And he always honored and respected me and all the others. I always felt safe around him, I never once felt uncomfortable.”
Earlier this week the New Yorker and Mediaite both reported that Judge Moore had been “banned” from the mall in Gadsden, Alabama because of his bad behavior. The only problem with this is that it’s just not true.
The man who actually ran the mall recently told the local Fox News affiliate that the stories about Moore being banned aren’t true.
The stepson of Judge Moore’s most aggressive accuser is telling anyone who will listen that Beverly Young Nelson is an untrustworthy liar.
“I know for a fact that there is a lot that that woman does not tell the truth on,” Nelson claimed in an in-person interview with Breitbart News. “Do I think that Beverly is trustworthy? No, I really don’t. Could I see her making it up? …The odds are in that favor.”
The stepson, John Nelson, further argues that he believes his stepmother is being paid to make false accusations against Judge Moore.
During the interview here in Attalla, Nelson surmised numerous times without offering any evidence that Beverly Nelson was getting paid to make the accusations against Moore.
“There is a lot of details that just does not add up,” he stated. “Do I believe that she is being paid? I have got a feeling that that is so.”
“It’s got to be money. Financially, I really do believe that she is out for the money part. Somebody is paying somebody. It seems awful funny. Twenty-five days or so until the election. Why wait until just now to start doing all of this?”
Finally, the most damning piece of evidence offered by Beverly Young Nelson and her attorney Gloria Allred, was a yearbook that had reportedly been signed by Judge Moore. The only problem? The inscription seems to have been written by at least two different people and the dates don’t make a whole lot of sense in the flow of the story Nelson is telling. Because of these facts, Moore’s lawyers have asked that Allred allow the inscription to be validated by handwriting experts but Allred flatly refused.
Allred then called into CNN, reaching Wolf Blitzer live on The Situation Room. She said that she would be willing to submit the yearbook to “an independent expert or experts” — but only once her client and Moore had testified under oath before the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Ethics before the election. She would not agree to have the yearbook examined otherwise, claiming “we’re not going to be distracted.”
That was a major mistake. By trying to use the yearbook — the critical piece of evidence in establishing Nelson’s credibility — as leverage to force a Senate hearing before the election, Allred seemed to put politics ahead of the truth. Worse, she opened herself and her client to questions about whether they have something to hide. Whatever the truth of Jauregui’s claims that the yearbook signature is a “fraud,” Allred lent those claims greater credibility.
None of these things offer definitive proof of Moore’s innocence but they do at least demand that we proceed with care in adjudicating what has taken place. Moore should not be judged guilty for crimes he may not have committed, and his accusers should not be called liars before the truth has been discovered. Both sides deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, and both sides deserve a rational, and considerate media investigating the allegations.
Sadly, from what we’ve seen so far, the media cares more about reporting a salacious story than they do finding the truth.