MIAMI (CBSMiami) – U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore is facing new allegations of sexual misconduct involving teens while he was in his 30s.
On Wednesday, Moore’s attorney Phil Jauregui questioned Beverly Young Nelson’s credibility.
Nelson, who earlier this week alleged that Moore tried to push her head into his lap in a parked car when she was 16, said Moore signed her 1977 high school yearbook.
Jauregui is calling for Nelson to release the yearbook so tests could be conducted to see if the inscription – “To a sweeter more beautiful girl, I could not say, ‘Merry Christmas'” – is real or forged.
“We’ll find out: is it genuine, or is it a fraud?” Jauregui said, noting that Moore’s campaign had hired a handwriting expert to examine the inscription.
But Moore’s lawyer had barely finished his press conference when two more women came forward.
One said he grabbed her in 1991, when he was married.
And another said he came on to her in 1982 when she was in high school. She said she asked him, “Do you know I’m only 17?” She says more responded, “Yeah, I go out with girls your age all the time.”
Moore reiterated his stance at a Christian revival meeting in Alabama Tuesday night and told supporters the sexual misconduct allegations are a political ploy.
Speaking in between hymns and sermons urging people to accept Jesus, the controversial candidate dismissed the allegations as an effort to derail his rise to the Senate and end his political career that included an effort to halt same-sex marriage in the state and install a granite Ten Commandments monument in the lobby of the state appellate courthouse.
“After 40-something years of fighting this battle, I’m now facing allegations. And that’s all the press want to talk about,” Moore said. “But I want to talk about the issues. I want to talk about where this country’s going and if we don’t get back to God, we’re not going anywhere.”
Previously, two women have accused Moore of sexually molesting them in the 1970s when one was 14 and the other 16 and he was a deputy district attorney in his 30s. Three others have said he pursued romantic relationships with them when they were between the ages of 16 and 18.
“I thought that he was going to rape me,” Beverly Young Nelson said in a news conference Monday as she accused Moore of assaulting her when she was a 16-year-old waitress after he offered to drive her home.
Moore has denied the accusations of sexual misconduct, but in his limited media interviews did not wholly rule out dating teenagers as a man in his 30s. He has largely avoided reporters in his recent campaign stops.
Speaking at the “God Save America Revival Conference,” a defiant Moore vowed to stay in the Senate race to the end.
“I want to take the truth about God to our capitol. That’s what I will do, God willing.”
Republican leaders say if Moore does not bow out and goes on to win, it is unlikely he will hold the office for long.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hasn’t ruled out a write-in campaign or if Moore wins, expulsion from the Senate.
“He’s obviously not fit to be in the US Senate. And we’ve looked at all the options to try to prevent that from happening,” said McConnell.
On Tuesday, the Republican National Committee cut fundraising ties to Moore’s campaign.
Tuesday night, Fox News host Sean Hannity delivered an ultimatum to Moore calling on him to clarify conflicting statements he made on his show.
“For me, the judge has 24 hours. You must immediately and fully come up with a satisfactory explanation for your inconsistencies. If you can’t do this, than Judge Moore, you have to get out,” said Hannity on his show.
Hannity said he was troubled by different answers Moore had given to questions about whether he had dated teenage girls. He also noted that Moore had denied knowing a fifth accuser who had charged the future Senate candidate with sexual assault three decades ago, yet it appeared that Moore had written in the teen’s yearbook.
Two Fox News panelists on Hannity’s show Monday, Jeanine Pirro and Geraldo Rivera, both said after the emergence of the latest accuser that they could not support Moore.
So far, President Trump has remained silent on the issue but now that he’s back in the US, many Republicans are hoping he can persuade Moore to withdraw.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)