More Christians want to vote for Roy Moore after he is accused of sexually assaulting a child
A disturbing proportion of Evangelical Christians have said they will still vote for Roy Moore after he was accused of initiating a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old.
The disgraced former judge is the frontrunner in the race for the US Senate seat vacated by Trump’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Moore, who believes that homosexuality should be illegal, has previously been accused of drawing a salary from the anti-LGBT Foundation for Moral Law, a non-profit he founded in 2002.
And a month ahead of the special election, it was revealed that he allegedly sexually abused 14-year-old Leigh Corfman in 1979, when Moore, an assistant district attorney, was 32.
But despite this allegation, and since it came out, the percentage of Evangelical Christians who intend to vote for Moore has actually increased.
Moore has called the report of the allegation “fake news”. and more than a third of Evangelical Christians have said they will still vote for him.
37 percent of Evangelicals said they would vote for Moore over Democratic candidate Doug Jones.
And 29 percent overall said they will still vote for Moore, despite the allegations.
Analysing the results, JMC pollsters said: “Those who approve of President Trump support a Republican by a near-unanimous 82-11 per cent, but Moore is only favoured 76-10 per cent.
“In summary, Roy Moore has in the last month seen the race move against him.
“While the general election is still a month away, he needs to reassemble the Republican base and recognise that in the aftermath of the 7 November national elections, there is tangible evidence that Democrats are clearly more energised, and that benefits Jones.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said: “If these allegations are true, he must step aside.”
Republican Arizona Senator John McCain went further, saying: “The allegations against Roy Moore are deeply disturbing and disqualifying.
“He should immediately step aside and allow the people of Alabama to elect a candidate they can be proud of.”
After meeting the girl outside an Alabama courtroom, Moore allegedly talked to her and asked for her phone number.
Days later, he picked Corfman up and drove her 30 minutes to his house in the woods, she has told The Washington Post.
It was there that he told her how pretty she was and kissed her, she said.
On her second time in his home, she said, he removed her shirt and trousers and stripped off his clothes, touching her over her bra and underpants.
He also allegedly guided her hand to touch him over his underwear and gave her alcohol, she said.
“I wasn’t ready for that — I had never put my hand on a man’s penis, much less an erect one,” Corfman recalled.
She remembered thinking: “I don’t want to do this” and “I need to get out of here.”
She got dressed and asked Moore to take her home, which he did, she said.
The legal age of consent in Alabama, as it was in 1979, is 16.
Under Alabama law both then and now, a person who is at least 19 years old who has sexual contact with someone between 12 and 16 years old has committed sexual abuse in the second degree.
This is defined as touching of sexual or intimate parts, and is a crime punishable by up to one year in prison.
There is also a section in the law – which still existed back then – about enticing a child under 16 to enter a home with the purpose of proposing sexual intercourse or fondling of sexual and genital parts.
This is a felony which is punishable by as much as 10 years in prison.
Corfman explained why she decided to tell her story now, saying: “I have prayed over this.
“All I know is that I can’t sit back and let this continue, let him continue without the mask being removed.”
Three other women have told The Washington Post that Moore pursued them sexually while they aged between 16 and 18 and he was in his early 30s.
They said they found his approaches flattering when they happened, but more troubling as they got older. None of them said that Moore coerced them into any relationship or sexual encounters.
Other Republican Senators have, like McConnell, said that if the allegations are proven, Moore should drop out of the race.
“It’s devastating,” said Georgia Senator David Perdue.
“I think if those allegations are true, he should step aside. I mean, I’m sorry but this is untenable — if they’re true. I have no facts, I just saw the story. But it’s very serious,” he added.
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Senator Richard Shelby, from Moore’s state of Alabama, said that if the allegations were true, Moore “wouldn’t belong in the Senate.”
Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski said she was “horrified, and if it’s true he should step down immediately.”
Moore, now 70, has denied the accusations, saying: “These allegations are completely false and are a desperate political attack by the National Democrat Party and the Washington Post on this campaign.”
The candidate’s campaign added: “Judge Roy Moore has endured the most outlandish attacks on any candidate in the modern political arena, but this story in today’s Washington Post alleging sexual impropriety takes the cake.
“National liberal organisations know their chosen candidate Doug Jones is in a death spiral, and this is their last-ditch Hail Mary.”
The campaign added: “This garbage is the very definition of fake news and intentional defamation.”