- Four previously unknown women came forward on Wednesday to allege that they were the targets of disturbing sexual advances by Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore.
- The new accounts bring the total to nine women who have alleged inappropriate sexual behavior by Moore, which he denies.
- The allegations have upended the Senate race to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a state long considered a safe Republican stronghold.
Four previously unknown women came forward on Wednesday to allege that they were the targets of disturbing sexual advances by Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore.
The four new allegations come in the wake of two separate allegations from women who said that Moore sexually assaulted them when they were teenagers. Another three women have described how Moore pursued romantic relationships with them while they were teens and he was in his early 30s.
Moore has so far denied all the allegations, calling them a politically motivated witch hunt staged by Democrats and establishment Republicans. The new allegations Wednesday were reported by two separate outlets, The Washington Post, which published two of the accounts, and AL.com, which published another two.
Moore has yet to directly address any of the four new accounts, although his campaign told the Washington Post in a statement on Wednesday, "If you are a liberal and hate Judge Moore, apparently he groped you. If you are a conservative and love Judge Moore, you know these allegations are a political farce."
Speaking to the Post, Alabama resident Gena Richardson recalled how Moore first started pursuing her at the Gadsden Mall in Gadsden, Ala., during her senior year of high school, when he was 30 years old.
When Richardson wouldn't give him her number, she says Moore called her high school, where the principal pulled her out of trigonometry class to answer his phone call. She said the two eventually went to a movie, after which Moore offered to drive Richardson to her car.
She says he parked by her car and began chatting with her, and she says she told him again about her dad.
"I just explained to him that my dad's a minister, and you know, I just can't sneak around because that's wrong," she recalls. "So I thanked him and started to get out and he grabbed me and pulled me in and that's when he kissed me.
"It was a man kiss — like really deep tongue. Like very forceful tongue. It was a surprise. I'd never been kissed like that," she says. "And the minute that happened, I got scared then. I really did. Something came over me that scared me. And so I said, 'I've got to go, because my curfew is now.'"
Another woman, Becky Gray, worked in a different part of the mall, and also recounted to the Post how Moore made her feel uncomfortable:
She says Moore kept asking her out and she kept saying no.
"I'd always say no, I'm dating someone, no, I'm in a relationship," says Gray, now 62, a retired teacher and a Democrat who supports Moore's opponent in the Senate race. "I thought he was old at that time. Anyone over 22 was just old."
Gray says he was persistent in a way that made her uncomfortable. She says he lingered in her section, or else by the bathroom area, and that she became so disturbed that she complained to the [store] manager, Maynard von Spiegelfeld. Gray says he told her that it was "not the first time he had a complaint about him hanging out at the mall." Von Spiegelfeld has since died, according to a relative.
In addition to Gray and Richardson, two other accounts were published on Wednesday in AL.com, one of Alabama's leading news sites. The first woman, Tina Johnson, said Moore groped her at his law office in 1991, where he was handling a custody matter for her. Johnson was 28 and married at the time.
According to Johnson, [Moore] asked questions about her young daughters, including what color eyes they had and if they were as pretty as she was. She said that made her feel uncomfortable, too.
Once the papers were signed, she and her mother got up to leave. After her mother walked through the door first, she said, Moore came up behind her.
It was at that point, she recalled, he grabbed her buttocks.
"He didn't pinch it; he grabbed it," said Johnson. She was so surprised she didn't say anything. She didn't tell her mother.
The fourth woman, Kelly Harrison Thorp, said Moore asked her out in 1982, when she was 17 and he was in his 30's. At the time, she said, she worked as a hostess at the Red Lobster restaurant in Gadsden, Ala.
Thorp said Moore asked her if she'd go out with him sometime.
"I just kind of said, 'Do you know how old I am?'" she recalled.
"And he said, 'Yeah. I go out with girls your age all the time.'"
Thorp said she turned him down and told him she had a boyfriend. She said he then walked away.
Wednesday's new allegations came after a week that has upended the race for a Senate seat in a state long considered a safe Republican stronghold.
In Washington, Senate Republicans led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have denounced Moore, calling him unfit to serve in the United States Senate, and threatening to remove him from the upper chamber if he is elected in the Dec.12 special election.
President Donald Trump has yet to weigh in on the allegations personally, save for a statement from White House press secretary nearly a week ago, saying that if the initial allegations were true, that Moore would "do the right thing" and step aside in the race.
Moore, meanwhile, shows no signs of stepping aside. On the contrary, he has remained steadfast in his denials, insisting that he has never acted inappropriately with any women. If he did date teenagers while he was in his 30s, then he does not remember doing so, Moore told conservative commentator Sean Hannity in an interview last week.
In that same interview, Moore emphasized that he never took any "young ladies" out without first getting their mothers' permission.