NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/CBS News) — An Alabama businesswoman came forward in New York Monday – becoming the fifth to accuse U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore.
As WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported, Beverly Young Nelson said Moore assaulted her decades ago when she was a teenager. She gave her account of what happened with women’s rights attorney Gloria Allred by her side, 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reported.
Nelson said she was 15 when she met Moore. She worked at the Old Hickory House Restaurant in Gadsden, Alabama, while Moore was the district attorney for Etowah County, she said.
“He came in almost every night,” Nelson said.
Nelson said Moore would flirt with her and pull her hair. She said one night when she was 16, Moore offered to drive her home when her boyfriend was late picking her up.
“I trusted Mr. Moore because he was district attorney, I thought he was doing something nice to offer to drive me home,” said Nelson.
Instead, she recalled, he drove her to the back of the restaurant next to a dumpster and Nelson alleges he forced himself on her and groped her.
“He began squeezing my neck, attempting to force my head onto his crotch,” she said.
Nelson said Moore thought he was going to rape her. She said he locked the door when she tried to escape.
“I was twisting and I was struggling and I was begging him to stop,” she said.
At some point, she said he gave up. She said she either fell out of the car or was pushed by Moore, who, she said, drove away with the passenger door still ajar.
Before speeding away, Nelson said Moore told her: “You’re just a child. I’m the district attorney. If you tell anyone about this no one will ever believe you.”
Nelson said she thought for decades that she was Moore’s only victim. Now she says she is willing to testify under oath, telling reporters, “I no longer live in fear of him.”
Nelson said her prior encounters with Moore had not been so threatening. He flirted with her, pulling the ends of her waist-length red hair as she passed by, and he complimented the young girl’s looks.
“He wrote in my yearbook as follows: ‘To a sweeter more beautiful girl, I could not say Merry Christmas, Christmas, 1977, Love, Roy Moore, Old Hickory House. Roy Moore, DA,'” Reporters could see his inscription in the yearbook with a signature that appears to match his signature now.
“I did nothing to encourage this behavior,” said Nelson, adding, “I did not respond to any of Mr. Moore’s flirtatious behavior.” She said she was “not interested in having a dating or sexual relationship with a man twice my age.”
Nelson said she didn’t reveal the assault before now initially because she was afraid. She said she told her sister of the incident two years after it had taken place, and her mother only four years ago.
Now, some 40 years after the incident, Nelson is willing to testify before lawmakers on Moore’s alleged sexual misconduct.
Allred called for the Senate Judiciary Committee to hold a public hearing where Nelson would appear and testify before lawmakers on the incident.
Nelson said that she and her husband supported Donald Trump for president and that her coming forward on Monday “has nothing whatsoever to do with Republicans or Democrats.”
“It has everything to do with Mr. Moore’s sexual assault when I was a teenager,” Nelson added. Nelson said of Moore, “He no longer has any power over me and I no longer live in fear of him.”
Late Monday, Moore again came forward to defend himself. Both he and his wife denied the allegations against him and said it was just political mudslinging.
“I can tell you without hesitation that is absolutely false. I never did what she said I did. I don’t even know the woman,” Moore said. “This is a political maneuver and has nothing to do with reality.”
“These things are false, and it’s ugly,” said his wife, Kayla Moore. “It’s the ugliest politics that I’ve ever been in in my life.”
Moore has also condemned earlier allegations, first reported in the Washington Post, that he assaulted a 14-year-old girl when he was 32 years old as “fake news.”
He also has pledged to sue the Post for its reporting, as several U.S. GOP senators, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, are calling for him to drop his candidacy.
Contributing: CBS News’ Emily Tillett