A sixth woman has accused Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexual harassment, and two other women have come forward with allegations of misconduct by the judge while they were young women working at an Alabama mall.
Tina Johnson told the news outlet AL.com she was groped by Moore during a meeting at his law office in 1991, when she was 28 years old. She said she went to see Moore to sign over custody of her then 12-year-old son to her mother, who was also in the meeting, and that as soon as she walked into his office, Moore began flirting with her.
“He kept commenting on my looks, telling me how pretty I was, how nice I looked,” she said in her account. “He was saying that my eyes were beautiful.”
She described the event as uncomfortable before noting that at one point during the meeting Moore moved around his desk, sat inches from her and asked questions about her young daughters. When the meeting ended and Johnson turned to leave, she said Moore grabbed her buttocks.
“He didn’t pinch it; he grabbed it,” she said, noting she didn’t tell her mother about the incident.
Johnson said she reached out to the news outlet after other allegations against Moore began to emerge, beginning with a Washington Post bombshell report last week in which four women accused the Senate candidate, now 70, of pursuing them when they were teens and he was in his early 30s. The report included an allegation that he sexually assaulted a 14-year-old.
Two more women came forward with allegations against Moore in an interview with the Post, published just hours after Johnson’s account on Wednesday. Gena Richardson told the Post that she was in her final year of high school in 1977 when Moore asked her out several times in the months around her 18th birthday. At one point, she said, Moore called her high school while she was in class to ask her on a date.
From The Washington Post:
A few days later, she says, she was in trigonometry class at Gadsden High when she was summoned to the principal’s office over the intercom in her classroom. She had a phone call.
“I said ‘Hello?’” Richardson recalls. “And the male on the other line said, ‘Gena, this is Roy Moore.’ I was like, ‘What?!’ He said, ‘What are you doing?’ I said, ‘I’m in trig class.’ ”
Richardson said they went out a few days later to a movie theater in the mall she worked at, but the night ended with a “forceful” kiss that left her scared.
“I never wanted to see him again,” she told the Post.
Another woman, Becky Gray, said Moore asked her out that same year. She was 22 and was working at a department store in the same mall as Richardson. He continued to ask her out, even though she declined repeatedly and even complained to her manager about him. She was told it was “not the first time” such a complaint had been leveled, according to her account.
Both women were previously interviewed by the Post, but this is the first time either had gone on the record with their accounts.
The Moore campaign did not address the allegations when asked by the Post but appeared to disparage their merits.
Moore has upheld his innocence throughout the accusations and vowed to remain in the race. He has also moved to discredit his accusers, saying the reports amount to a politically motivated attack ahead of Alabama’s Dec. 12 special election to fill the Senate seat vacated by now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
However, many leading Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), have called on Moore to leave the race, and the Republican National Committee pulled funding for his campaign earlier this week. Others in the GOP have said they could move to expel Moore from the chamber should he be voted in.
Johnson said her decision to come forward was not politically driven, calling it instead “more of a moral and religious thing.”
“I want people to know that it’s OK to finally say something,” Johnson told AL.com. “I guess I’m ashamed I didn’t say nothing, didn’t turn around and slap him.”