Who Is Beverly Young Nelson? Roy Moore Allegedly Sexually Assaulted Her When She Was 16
Following last week's bombshell report in The Washington Post revealing that Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore allegedly sexually assaulted a woman when she was 14 years old and Moore was in his early 30s, another woman came forward to accuse Moore of sexual misconduct on Monday. The woman, Beverly Young Nelson, also alleged that the assault happened when she was a minor. Moore has denied the allegations in the Post's report, calling them "the very definition of fake news," and his team quickly slammed Nelson's account as well.
During a press conference in New York City, Nelson said that at the time of the alleged assault, she was 16 years old and working at a local restaurant. At the time, Moore was a district attorney in Etowah County, Alabama. According to Nelson's statement, Moore allegedly tried to rape her while offering her a ride home in 1975. Nelson said Moore "reached over and began groping me, putting his hands on my breasts" and "began squeezing my neck attempting to force my head into his crotch."
"I thought he was going to rape me," Nelson said as she teared up.
Nelson contacted high-powered attorney Gloria Allred for help. She also gave Allred's law firm permission to speak to her mother, younger sister, and soon-to-be husband, John, who all said Nelson told them about the alleged assault. Allred said during the press conference that Nelson had kept her secret for more than 40 years because she "feared Mr. Moore and the power he had," but that Nelson decided to come forward after the Post revealed Moore allegedly assaulted another woman. In her statement, Nelson said that Moore told her, "If you tell anyone about this, no one will believe you."
"I thought he was going to rape me."
Moore's team responded to the new allegations in a statement, which was attributed to campaign chair Bill Armistead.
Leigh Corfman, the woman who told the Post that Moore assaulted her, said Moore asked her on a date in 1979, then took her to his house in the woods and touched her over her bra and underwear. Corfman told the paper that Moore also took off his clothes and moved her hand so that she touched him over his underwear. Moore has denied those allegations, calling them "completely false" and "a desperate political attack by the National Democrat Party and The Washington Post on this campaign."
Three other women also told the Post that Moore asked them out when they were teenagers during the 1970s and 1980s. Two of them went on dates with Moore, saying it didn't go beyond kissing, while a third woman said her mother forbid her to go on the date.
Moore has threatened to sue the Post over its reporting. Meanwhile, several well-known Republicans, including Mitt Romney and Arizona Sen. John McCain have called for the Senate candidate to step down. On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Moore "should step aside" before the Dec. 12 special election. Moore is running for the Senate seat left by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
"I believe the women, yes," McConnell said at a news conference in Louisville, Kentucky. McConnell said supporting a write-in candidate instead of Moore is "an option we're looking at."
Moore responded Monday afternoon to McConnell's comments, writing on Twitter that "The person who should step aside is @SenateMajLdr Mitch McConnell. He has failed conservatives and must be replaced."
Moore claims the sexual assault allegations are a way for the Post to derail his campaign, and has even tried to use them as a fundraising tactic. "The forces of evil will lie, cheat, steal — even inflict physical harm — if they believe it will silence and shut up Christian conservatives like you and me," he wrote in an email asking for an "emergency contribution."
On Nov. 10, Moore denied the allegations again and told Fox News' Sean Hannity that they were "completely false and misleading." Moore said in the same interview that he wasn't "going to dispute anything," but also doesn't "remember anything like that" happening. "I don't remember ever dating any girl without the permission of her mother," Moore told Hannity.