Could Two of Roy Moore’s Accusers Press Charges?


by Sharon Rondeau

(Nov. 15, 2017) — According to this writer’s non-legal analysis of Alabama criminal statutes, two women who say they were 14 and 15, respectively, when now-U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore allegedly sexually abused them could still file criminal charges.

Last Thursday, The Washington Post named four women who accused Moore of improprieties when they were teenagers, although from its account, only one would have risen to the level of a sexual-assault claim.

That instance allegedly involved Moore’s behavior toward 14-year-old Leigh Corfman, who reported said that Moore obtained her telephone number after offering to stay with her outside of the courtroom during a child-custody hearing in “early 1979.”

According to The Post, Moore called Corfman a few days later and picked her up outside of her home, then made sexual advances toward her.  The event allegedly took place when Moore was “assistant district attorney.”

Corfman claimed to have had a phone in her room at the time, a statement her mother contradicted.  Corfman also told The Post that her history includes drug abuse, three divorces and a suicide attempt at the age of 16.

According to Moore’s biography at the Alabama Supreme Court, where he served as elected chief justice twice, “During his legal career, Chief Justice Moore became the first full-time Deputy District Attorney in Etowah County, Alabama, and served in this position from 1977 until 1982. In 1984, Chief Justice Moore undertook private practice of law in Gadsden, Alabama.”

One of the women, Deborah Wesson Gibson, has worked for Hillary Clinton and former Vice President Joe Biden as an interpreter and posted anti-Trump slogans and statements on her Facebook page, many of which have since been removed.

Moore has denied all of the allegations, although in a radio interview with Sean Hannity on Friday, he said he remembered being acquainted with two of the women named in The Post’s article through their parents.

On Monday, a fifth accuser held a press conference alongside California high-profile attorney Gloria Allred, reading from a script in which she said that Moore awarded her unwanted attention beginning when she was 15 and violently accosted her after she accepted a ride home with him from her job at the Old Hickory House in Gadsden, AL when she was 16 in 1977.

Nelson claimed that she could not remember whether she was “pushed out” of Moore’s vehicle or if she “fell out.”

Moore’s alleged signature in Nelson’s yearbook, shown to reporters by Allred during the presser, notes beside his name, “D.A.”  Underneath the signature is printed “Olde Hickory House,” although the business spells its name “Old Hickory House.”  Its Yelp listing on Wednesday features a photo of Moore in a cowboy hat.

The business does not appear to have its own website but is listed with the Gadsden Chamber of Commerce.

On Wednesday afternoon, The Post & Email called the number provided in the listing but reached a recording stating that the number is “no longer in service.”

In response to Nelson’s claims, Moore said, “I can tell you without hesitation this is absolutely false.  I never did what she said I did. I don’t even know the woman. I don’t know anything about her.”

On Saturday, Moore and his wife pledged to file suit against The Post but do not yet appear to have done so.  In addition, both said that they are gathering “evidence” that the women were compensated financially for telling their stories to the media.

On Tuesday evening, Darrel Nelson, stepson of fifth accuser Beverly Young Nelson, gave a Facebook live talk in which he said his stepmother is lying about Moore, who he described as “a pillar of the community.”

Senate Republicans have retracted both their endorsements and financial support of Moore in the wake of the allegations. On Tuesday, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan called upon Moore to “step aside,” claiming that the women’s allegations are “credible.”

On his Tuesday night FNC show, commentator Sean Hannity gave Moore “24 hours” to produce a more compelling refutation of the women’s claims or to leave the Senate race.

Moore has vowed not to withdraw his candidacy.  Alabama’s secretary of state, John Merrill, has said that with the election then 30 days away, Moore’s name would remain on the ballot regardless of whether or not he withdraws.

Alabama Code, Section 15, Title 3, provision 5 lists the criminal “offenses having no limitation” in the state of Alabama, one of which is “(2) Any felony involving the use, attempted use, or threat of, violence to a person;”.  Another is “(4) Any sex offense involving a victim under 16 years of age, regardless of whether it involves force or serious physical injury or death;”.

Yet another is “(6) Any felony involving forgery of any type;”.

Likewise, the National Center for Victims of Crime, which has compiled sexual assault laws from each of the 50 states in an easy-to-read format, indicates that certain types of sexual assault have no statute of limitations in Alabama.



One Response to "Could Two of Roy Moore’s Accusers Press Charges?"

  1. Mark Bellison   Wednesday, November 15, 2017 at 8:28 PM

    The Alabama Code you link to includes this provision:

    (b) The amendments made by this act shall apply:

    (1) To all crimes committed after January 7, 1985; and

    (2) To all crimes committed before January 7, 1985, for which no statute of limitations provided under pre-existing law has run as of January 7, 1985.

    This article suggests he could not be brought up on charges today for the following reason:

    “At the time, the statute of limitations for bringing felony charges involving sexual abuse of a minor would have expired three years after the alleged incidents, or sometime between 1980 and 1983. Neither Corfman nor Jones filed a police report after the alleged incidents and no charges were ever brought against Moore.”

    Because at the time the felon charge had a statue of limitations that had expired (1980 and 1983) the charges would not be eligible under Alabama Code 15-3-5 (b) 2

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