WASHINGTON D.C. (CBSMiami/AP) – A second woman has come forward to accuse Alabama GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore of sexual misconduct when she was a minor.
Beverly Young Nelson says Moore sexually assaulted her when she was 16. She held a news conference Monday with attorney Gloria Allred.
Nelson says Moore assaulted her when he gave her a ride home from a restaurant where she worked.
Nelson says she was a high school student working at a restaurant where Moore was a regular. She says Moore groped her, touched her breasts and locked the door to keep her inside his car. She said he squeezed her neck while trying to push her head toward his crotch and that he tried to pull her shirt off.
She said he finally relented and, as she fell or was pushed out of the car, warned her no one would believe her if she spoke about the encounter.
She said she was a high school student at Gadsen High School at the Olde Hickory House and Moore was a regular customer. He sat in the same seat night after night.
Her statement follows a Washington Post report that the 70-year-old Moore had sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl and pursued three other teenagers decades earlier.
Moore called the allegations a “witch hunt” in a statement shortly before the press conference. The statement says Allred “is a sensationalist leading a witch hunt.” It says Moore is innocent and “has never had any sexual misconduct with anyone.” The statement reiterates that Moore “will pursue all legal options against these false claims.”
Moore has also dismissed the Post story as “fake news” and is threatening to sue The Washington Post over its report. The four accusers have confirmed their allegations to CBS News.
Moore has refused to quit the race even with pressure mounting, including from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. McConnell said Monday he believes the allegations against Moore and believes he should leave the race.
Moore said it’s Mitch McConnell who should quit, not him.
Moore says on Twitter: “The person who should step aside is @SenateMajLdr Mitch McConnell. He has failed conservatives and must be replaced. #DrainTheSwamp.”
The election is Dec. 12 and Moore’s name remains on the Alabama ballot.
Moore’s “drain the swamp” hashtag is popular with President Donald Trump and his supporters.
Three conservative senators have already rescinded their support of Moore over the allegations.
“The accusations have more credibility than the denial. I think it’d be best if Roy would just step aside,” said Republican Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey on “Meet the Press.”
Speaking outside a campaign event in Huntsville Sunday night, Moore’s supporters say he is still going to win.
“Keep watching the state of Alabama. We’ve got our game on. We’re going to send Roy Moore to the U.S. Senate and we’re going to have an impact in national politics for years to come,” said Tom Fredricks, a Republican running for the District 4 seat for the Alabama House of Representatives.
Moore faces Democrat Doug Jones in the special election.
Some Republicans are urging appointed Alabama Senator Luther Strange to run as a write-in candidate but he has not yet said whether he will wage a write-in campaign.