Roy Moore went on the offensive Wednesday, attempting to discredit one of the six women who have accused him of sexually assaulting them when he was a 30-something district attorney and they were teenagers.
Moore’s attorney, Phillip L. Jauregui, did not deny Nelson’s allegations — that he trapped her in a car, grabbed her breasts and tried to force her head into his lap — instead he focused on the yearbook inscription as some sort of indecipherable smoking gun.
Jauregui demanded Nelson “release the yearbook” where the disgraced GOP senate candidate allegedly wrote an inscription wishing her a Merry Christmas after attacking her.
But as Jauregui was speaking, another woman came forward to say Moore groped her during a meeting at his then-law office when she was 28. Tina Johnson told Al.com she met Moore in 1991 during a custody transfer for her 12-year-old son.
“He kept commenting on my looks, telling me how pretty I was, how nice I looked,” Johnson told the site. “He was saying that my eyes were beautiful.”
And when the papers were signed, Johnson said, Moore pounced, groping her buttocks.
“He didn’t pinch it; he grabbed it,” she said, explaining she was so surprised she didn’t say anything at the time, but later told her sister who confirmed the conversation to the paper.
Moore has now been named by six women, who have accused him of a wide range of inappropriate behavior that began when he was a 30-something assistant district attorney and they were teenagers in high school. One woman, who was 14 at the time, says Moore took her to his home, removed her clothes and groped her. The other three women say Moore approached them with sexual intentions — behavior that was apparently so regular for him that he was banned from a local mall in the 1980s.
Jauregui’s press conference did little to address the ever-growing list of accusers and instead focused specifically on the allegations made by Nelson, who is represented by feminist attorney Gloria Allred. Moore’s attorney did not deny Moore grabbed Nelson’s breasts or tried to force her head into his lap. Instead, he spent most of the press conference discussing the yearbook inscription, purportedly signed by Moore, which he seemed to suggest had been forged by Nelson.
“[Attorney Gloria Allred and Nelson] both said that Ms. Nelson, after the allegations, had never seen nor had any contact with Judge Moore. As it turns out in 1999, Ms Nelson filed a divorce action against her then-husband Mr Harris. Guess who that case was before? It was filed in Etiwah County and the judge was Roy S. Moore. There was contact,” Jauregui said.
“Judge Moore says he can’t ever remember ever signing his name with ‘D.A.’ after, but he had seen it before. You know where he had seen it? When he was on the bench, his assistant whose initials are D.A. would stamp his signature on documents and then put “D.A.” That’s exactly how the signature appears on the divorce action Judge Moore signed,” Jauregui said.
Nelson has offered to testify to Congress under oath about the allegations, an offer that Moore has not publicly addressed.
Jauregui ended the press conference by repeating his demand that Allred and Nelson “release the yearbook,” saying the campaign’s lawyer was writing or had already sent a written demand.
He did not take questions.