A number of residents of Gadsden, Ala., where GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore grew up and practiced law, say his alleged behavior towards teenage girls was “common knowledge” to locals.
“These stories have been going around this town for 30 years,” Blake Usry, who grew up in Gadsden and lives there currently, told Al.com. “Nobody could believe they hadn’t come out yet.”
Moore, 70, has now been accused by five women of inappropriate advances when he was in his 30s and they were in their teens. Four were detailed in a Washington Post report last week. On Monday, another woman stepped forward with an allegation against Moore, saying he sexually assaulted her at 16 while she was working at a local restaurant.
“Him liking and dating young girls was never a secret in Gadsden when we were all in high school,” Sheryl Porter told Al.com. “In our neighborhoods up by Noccalula Falls we heard it all the time. Even people at the courthouse know it was a well-known secret.”
“He watched us girls quite openly,” added Victoria Beverstock, who said she was a 20-year-old waitress in 1992 working at a local restaurant Moore frequently dined at. “His eyes crawled over our shirts and our backsides. He was so open about it that I would try and handle his order as quickly as possible.”
Despite the allegations and a number of Republican Senators urging him to withdraw from the Dec. 12 election, Moore has continued to deny all accusations and said he is pushing on with his race to beat his Democratic opponent, Doug Jones.
“I can tell you without hesitation, this is absolutely false,” Moore said Monday of the allegations from the fifth and most recent accuser, Beverly Young Nelson. “I never did what she said I did. I don’t even know the woman. I don’t know anything about her. I don’t even know where the restaurant is or was.”