Several women have come forward accusing the ex-Alabama chief justice and current Senate candidate of either sexually harassing, molesting or groping them.
A retired Alabama police officer said she was told to keep an eye on Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore back in the 1980s because he was known to harass teenage cheerleaders at local school ballgames.
Ex-Gadsden cop Faye Gray told MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell that rumors of Moore’s liking young girls were heard on a daily basis and she was informed that he had been banned from Gadsden Mall because he allegedly targeted young female employees.
“We were also told to watch him at the ballgames and make sure that he didn’t hang around the cheerleaders,” Faye said.
“The rumor was that Roy Moore likes young girls,” she added. “It was not only in our department but at the courthouse, too.”
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Faye, a 37-year police veteran who was a detective for the juvenile division at the time, said the department took no action against Moore because it never received complaints on the allegations.
“Every day we were looking for a complaint to come in,” she said. “And I didn’t realize until sometime later that when they said he liked young girls, I just thought he liked young ladies, you know, maybe in their 20s. I had no idea, or we had no idea, that we were talking about 14-year-olds.”
Several women have come forward accusing the former Alabama chief justice of either sexually harassing, molesting or groping them. The youngest alleged victim was 14 when Moore was 32 and making moves on her in 1979, according to an exposé in The Washington Post.
Moore has denied the claims, while Democrats and Republicans have called for him to drop out of the Senate race. He’s running against Democrat Doug Jones in the Dec. 12 special election in Alabama.
President Donald Trump on Tuesday discounted the allegations against Moore and said voters should not support Moore’s “liberal” rival.
“We don’t need a liberal person in there,” Trump said of Jones. “We don’t need somebody who’s soft on crime like Jones.”
Trump said he will announce next week whether he will campaign on Moore’s behalf. Trump spoke to reporters at the White House before leaving for a Thanksgiving break at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida.
Trump, who won election last fall despite more than a dozen accusations of sexual misconduct against him personally, dismissed questions about backing a man accused of sexual assault over a man who is a Democrat. Trump pointed to Moore’s assertions that he did nothing wrong.
“Roy Moore denies it, that’s all I can say,” Trump said. “He denies it.”
He also noted that the allegations concerned behavior alleged to have happened decades ago.
“Forty years is a long time,” Trump said, questioning why it took so long for Moore’s accusers to come forward.
Previously, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders had said only that Trump “thinks that the people of Alabama should make the decision on who their next senator should be.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan, both Republicans, have called on Moore to leave the race in light of the accusations. The Republican National Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee have pulled their support for Moore’s campaign ahead of the special election to fill the seat once held by Republican Jeff Sessions, now the U.S. attorney general.
Trump said he is “very happy” that women are speaking out about their experiences.
“I think it’s a very special time because a lot of things are coming out and I think that’s good for our society and I think it’s very, very good for women,” Trump said.
More than a dozen women came forward in the waning days of the 2016 presidential election to say that Trump had sexually assaulted or harassed them over the years. He denied it. He was also caught on tape in 2005 boasting that he could grab women’s private parts. “When you’re a star, they let you do it,” Trump said on the “Access Hollywood” tape.