A woman named Beverly Young Nelson claims that Roy Moore tried to rape her in 1975, when she was 16 years old and working at a restaurant she says Moore patronized rather obsessively. Nelson said this during a press conference alongside celebrity attorney Gloria Allred.
Nelson, who says she successfully fought Moore off but suffered injury to her neck in the process, has a picture from her high school yearbook signed by Moore with an affectionate personal note. This shows that Moore, in his early 30s at the time, knew the girl and flirted with her. [NOTE: Assuming the note is authentic.]
But we knew already about this propensity from the three women who told their story to the Washington Post. As I have said, it seems clear that, during this period, Moore liked to flirt with and date teenagers. That’s not good, but I don’t view it as a disqualification from serving in the Senate.
The question is whether Moore went beyond interest, flirting, and dating. In other words, did he sexually touch Leigh Corfman and/or attempt to rape Beverly Young Nelson?
Weighing in favor of these claims is the fact that we now have two people saying Moore engaged in very serious unwanted sexual touching. Weighing against them is the fact that, in both cases, the alleged victim waited four decades to publicly report the alleged criminal conduct of a man who has featured prominently in Alabama’s political and judicial life. In Nelson’s case the alleged criminal conduct was attempted rape that resulted in physical injury.
On these facts, I’m not sure I could draw even a tentative conclusion. However, there’s an additional consideration that may tip the balance against Moore.
Reportedly, Moore has denied knowing Beverly Young Nelson. According to Breitbart News, Moore said this about her:
I don’t even know the woman. I don’t know anything about her. I don’t even know where the restaurant is or was.
But the note on the yearbook photo, if authentic, shows that Moore did know her. And if Moore isn’t telling the truth about whether he knew the girl, it tends to undercut his denial of the incident she describes, as well as his denial of Leigh Corfman’s allegations.