MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - A woman has come forward to claim Roy Moore, Alabama's GOP candidate for U.S. Senate, sexually assaulted her when she was a minor.
Her claim follows statements by four other woman in a recent Washington Post article who are on record stating Moore pursued them when they were teens, one saying he initiated a sexual encounter when she was 14.
But the latest claim comes with a blunt statement from Moore's latest accuser absent the others, not of the flirtatious pursuit by a 30-something man to a teen or of initiating a sexual encounter by touching: This accuser says Roy Moore sexually assaulted her.
Nationally recognized attorney Gloria Allred says her client is willing to testify under oath about the incident and is urging the Senate Judiciary Committee to subpoena Moore to testify as soon as possible. However, Allred stated, if the Senate does nothing in the next two weeks, her clients will speak out again.
Before a crowded room at a New York City hotel, Allred and her client, Alabama resident Beverly Young Nelson, discussed the 1977 incident in which Young says Moore sexually assaulted her inside his vehicle.
Moore's campaign issued a statement prior to the news conference aimed at Allred, which can be read at the bottom of this report. At approximately 5:30 p.m., Moore and his wife, Kayla, spoke at a 2-minute long news conference in his hometown of Gallant. Moore, who did not answer any questions, denied he even knew the latest accuser.
In a prepared statement Nelson recounted her time as a 16-year-old waitress at the Old Hickory House restaurant in Gadsden where she worked after school. There, she frequently saw Moore as a customer. He was a regular, almost nightly, she stated, and he sat in the same seat.
Nelson said she knew Moore was the district attorney of Etowah County at the time but didn't understand what that meant. She just knew he was important and she treated him with respect.
Looking back, Nelson recalled the more than 30-year-old DA's flirtatious behavior.
"At the restaurant, he would speak to me and would sometimes pull the ends of my long hair," she stated as she would pass by. But she was clear that she never responded to any of his behavior toward her because she had a boyfriend and even if she hadn't, she wasn't interested in a relationship with a man "twice my age."
"I was accustomed to men flirting with me because I was a well developed and competed in beauty pageants," she stated.
Allred and Nelson stood to show the gathered media two items. First, they displayed a drawing made of her at Six Flags when she was 16 to show she did have long, red hair at that time. The second was Nelson's 1977 high school yearbook, embossed with her name, which Moore is said to have signed.
The handwritten passage in the yearbook reads:
Moore's accuser recounted a cold night after her shift when she says Moore attacked her. He came outside the restaurant and noticed she was waiting for a ride home. Her boyfriend was running late, she said, and when Moore offered her a ride to her home two-and-a-half miles away, she agreed.
Nelson didn't think much of it when Moore decided not to get onto the highway. Instead, she said, he drove his car behind the restaurant, which was another way to her house.
Nelson became emotional as she recalled the next details, the moment Moore stopped the car and parked between the dumpster and the building where there were no lights.
"The area was dark and deserted," she said, wiping her nose. "I was alarmed and I immediately asked him what he was doing."
Moore ignored her questions, Nelson went on. "Mr. Moore reached over and began groping me and putting his hands on my breasts. I tried to open the car door to leave but he reached over and he locked it..."
Nelson said she yelled at the district attorney to stop and tried to fight him off, but "he began squeezing my neck, attempting to force my head onto his crotch..." The woman said she continued struggling. "I was determined that I was not going to allow him to force me to have sex with him."
Nelson said she was "terrified," recalling that her attacker was also "trying to pull my shirt off."
Nelson went on, "I thought that he was going to rape me."
"At some point, he gave up," she continued. "Then he looked at me and he said, 'You're just a child' and he said, 'I am the district attorney of Etowah County, and if you tell anyone about this no one will ever believe you.'"
The then-waitress said she wasn't sure if she fell out of the vehicle or was pushed out.
"I was on the ground as he pulled out of the parking area...the passenger door was still open as he burned rubber, pulling away, leaving me laying there on this cold concrete in the dark," Nelson said.
Nelson said after the attack she made her way back to the front of the restaurant where her boyfriend had arrived. She didn't tell him because he had a violent temper and she was afraid he would do something to get himself in trouble.
The next day, Nelson says she called and quit her job. She covered the "black, blue and purple" bruises to her neck with makeup in the days to follow.
Two years passed before Nelson opened up, telling her younger sister after the attack. She revealed her secret to her now 77-year-old mother four years ago. Nelson, who has been married for 13 years, also revealed her secret to her husband shortly before their wedding.
Nelson's husband, John, is said to have urged her for years to come forward, but she feared Moore and doubted anyone would believe her. She didn't say anything publicly about him, believing that she had been his only victim.
"I would probably have taken what Mr. Moore did to me to my grave," Nelson explained, "had it not been for the courage of four other women that were willing to speak out about their experiences with Mr. Moore. Their courage has inspired me to overcome my fear. Mr. Moore attacked me when I was a child...I want Mr. Moore to know that he no longer has any power over me and I no longer live in fear of him."
Prior to the news conference, Moore's campaign issued this statement:
Allred reacted to Moore's campaign statement during the news conference, saying there is no political motivation to Nelson's claim and that her client is not exploring civil or criminal options.
Allred said her client has never had any other contact with Moore and has never had any communication with the four woman who made claims against him in the Washington Post story. Further, Allred said it was Nelson who reached out to her office.
Nelson and her husband supported and voted for Donald Trump for president. Allred further noted that she's come out against both Democrat and Republican politicians accused of sexual misconduct against her clients.