DID NEW ACCUSER “REACH OUT,” OR DID MEDIA SEEK HER OUT?
by Sharon Rondeau
(Nov. 16, 2017) — On Wednesday, AL.com published an article reporting that a Gadsden, AL woman, Tina Johnson, claimed “in interviews” that Alabama U.S. Senate candidate and former judge Roy Moore groped her while she was leaving his office in 1991.
“Johnson reached out to AL.com earlier this week to talk about her experience with Moore,” the article contends at approximately the halfway point.
The reporter said that Johnson “remembers that she was wearing a black and white dress” on that day in Moore’s office 26 years ago and that Johnson admitted to a criminal history.
Johnson reportedly claimed that Moore made her “uncomfortable” with many of the things he said while arranging for the custody of her then-12-year-old son to transfer to her mother, Mary Katherine Cofield.
Although Cofield is not quoted in the article, Johnson reportedly told her sister “years later” about the alleged experience with Moore. “Her sister told AL.com she remembers the conversation,” the author, Anna Claire Vollers, reported.
On Monday another Moore accuser, Beverly Young Nelson, said that she, too, told a sister about her alleged sexual assault by Moore a number of “years” after it allegedly occurred as well as her mother several years after that. Neither was identified by name at the press conference called by high-profile civil-rights attorney Gloria Allred.
A total of seven women have alleged that Moore made advances to them when they were teenagers, with two of the allegations, Nelson’s and Leigh Corfman‘s, rising to a clearly criminal level if accurate. Neither woman filed charges against Moore, but it appears from Alabama law that Corfman could file a criminal complaint even now.
The article concludes with two purported explanations as to why the recent spate of women accusing Moore of improprieties and illegalities did not arise sooner in his four-decades-old career as a deputy district attorney, private attorney, Circuit Court Judge, and twice-elected Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.
One explanation was that Johnson contended that she and the other women would not have been found credible given Moore’s “power in town and in the state.”
The other explanation Johnson reportedly gave was that, “It’s because somebody asked. If anybody had asked, we would have told it. No one asked.”
The article does not state who “asked” Johnson given that Johnson reportedly “reached out” to the newspaper of her own volition.
On Thursday morning, The Post & Email sent the following message to the reporter, Anna Claire Vollers, at the email address provided in her byline:
Moore has denied all of the women’s allegations and told Sean Hannity in an open letter on Wednesday evening that he is preparing a defamation lawsuit against The Washington Post, which last Thursday reported four women’s allegations from the 1970s of alleged activity on Moore’s part ranging from flirtation to molestation of the 14-year-old Corfman.
In a press conference late Wednesday afternoon, Moore’s attorney, Philip Jauregi, told reporters that the handwriting purported to be Moore’s in Young Nelson’s yearbook shown to the public by Allred on Monday is suspicious in at least several places. Jauregi identified one of those as the initials “D.A.” appearing after Moore’s purported signature, which Jauregi said belonged to Moore’s assistant at the time and appear after his signature on Young Nelson’s divorce decree of 1999.
In 1977, Moore was not the Etowah County, AL district attorney, but rather, the assistant district attorney.
Jagueri has called for the release of the yearbook to a “neutral custodian” so that the Moore campaign can send an “expert” to examine whether the inscription was written four decades ago, as it indicates, or if it is “a week old.”
In response, Allred agreed to release the yearbook to “an independent expert” if congressional hearings she has requested on the women’s accusations are held “within the next two weeks.” Allred is quoted by The Hill as having written in letters to the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Ethics:
In the event that either or both Committees agree to conduct our requested hearing, then we would agree to have the original yearbook examined by an independent expert or experts who would obtain exemplars of Mr. Moore’s handwriting during the period in question and compare that handwriting to that contained in the yearbook.”
As Moore has not been elected to the Senate and the violations are alleged to have occurred decades ago, it is unlikely that that body would have any authority over the matter.
As TruePundit first reported on Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is weighing ways in which to prevent Moore from winning the December 12 special election, which most polls continue to show would be the case with Alabama voters over Democrat Doug Jones.
We will update this story if a response is received from Vollers.
Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news. She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.