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Leigh Corfman, the first woman to accuse Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexual assault, spoke out Monday for the first since her allegations were published 10 days ago by the Washington Post. Corfman told the newspaper that in 1979 — when she was 14 and Moore was 32 — Moore partially undressed her and himself, touched her over her undergarments and guided her hand to touch him.
Moore has fiercely denied misconduct allegations from a series of women, and he has denied even knowing Corfman.
“I wonder how many me’s he doesn’t know,” Corfman said on NBC’s “Today” show.
She also elaborated on the alleged encounter.
Corfman said that she met Moore, then Alabama’s assistant district attorney, around the corner from her house without her mother’s knowledge, and he brought her to his home.
“I wouldn’t exactly call it a date. I would say it was a meet. At 14, I was not dating. At 14, I was not able to make those kind of choices,” Corfman said. The age of consent in Alabama was then and remains today 16.
“He basically laid out some blankets on the floor of his living room and proceeded to, um, seduce me, I guess you would say,” she recalled. “He touched me over my clothing, what was left of it, and he tried to get me to touch him as well.”
Corfman said she “pulled back” and got dressed, and Moore took her home.
“I was a 14-year-old child trying to play in an adult’s world,” she said. “And he was 32 years old.”
Corfman said when Moore called to meet her again, she made up an excuse and didn’t go.
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) November 20, 2017
She dismissed critics who have wondered why she why she didn’t come forward with her allegations until now.
“It’s very simple, really — I did tell people,” Corfman said, adding that they included her family and friends. And as Moore rose in the ranks of Alabama’s judicial system, Corfman said, she considered confronting him.
“I wanted to walk into his office and say, ’Hey, remember me? You need to knock this stuff off. I need to go public,’” she said. “My children were small, so I didn’t do it.”
Corfman said she was “absolutely not” paid to come forward, as some Moore supporters have alleged without evidence.
“My bank account has not flourished,” Corfman said. “If anything, it’s gone down because I’m not working.”
Corfman said she would not have gone public had the Post not heard about the encounter.
“I didn’t go looking for this — this fell in my lap,” Corfman said, adding that she told the paper’s reporters that she would only go on the record if they found more accusers.
“And they found those people,” she said.
Corfman was the first of nine women to publicly accuse Moore of various forms of misconduct. All but one said they were teenagers when Moore pursued sexual relationships with them.
Congressional Republicans have distanced themselves from Moore amid the allegations, with many saying he should withdraw from the race. The White House, though, has taken a noticeably less forceful stance. President Trump has yet to comment publicly on Moore, and White House officials say that while the president is deeply troubled by the allegations against Moore, the matter should be left for Alabama voters to decide.
Moore and Democratic candidate Doug Jones are vying for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions when he was appointed attorney general. The special election is scheduled for Dec. 12.
In an appearance on “Fox & Friends” Monday, Kellyanne Conway, special counselor to the president, seemed to suggest that voters dismiss the claims against Moore and vote for the Republican.
“Doug Jones in Alabama — folks, don’t be fooled,” Conway said. “He’ll be a vote against tax cuts. He’s weak on crime, weak on borders. He’s strong on raising your taxes. He’s terrible for property owners.”
“So vote Roy Moore?” co-host Brian Kilmeade asked.
“I’m telling you we want the votes in the Senate to get this tax bill through,” she replied.
Meanwhile, Alabama’s three biggest newspapers published a front-page editorial by the Alabama Media Group on Sunday, urging readers to “stand for decency, reject Roy Moore.”
“This election is a turning point for women in Alabama,” the editorial said. “A chance to make their voices heard in a state that has silenced them for too long.”
“The seriousness of these incidents, including one involving a 14-year-old child, cannot be overstated,” it continued. “Do not let this conversation be muddled. This election has become a referendum on whether we will accept this kind of behavior from our leaders.”
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