The Washington Post’s story about Roy Moore persuades me that, when he was in his early 30s, he liked to date teenage girls. It does not persuade me that he engaged in inappropriate sexual touchings with the 14 year-old girl who claims he did.
There are three main reasons why.
First, the other teenagers the Post interviewed don’t allege inappropriate touchings. It seems likely that, if Moore inappropriately touched one teenager, he would have inappropriately touched others. Allegations that he did may surface, but so far they haven’t, to my knowledge.
Second, the alleged misconduct is from 38 years ago. Roy Moore has been a major and polarizing figure in Alabama politics for years. It seems likely that, if he committed the misconduct, the victim would have come forward before now.
Third, the accuser clearly has had a troubled life. She does not appear stable. I would not, for this reason alone, conclude that she probably is not telling the truth. But, for me, it reinforces this conclusion.
The Post found four women whom Moore dated as teenagers. His conduct towards all four might well have been basically the same. The unstable woman of the four might well have embellished.
I’m not saying she has. Her allegations may be true. But based on what has been reported so far, I think her most serious allegations — the ones that, if true, would constitute criminal conduct — are more likely false than true.