Update: In the hours since Jauregui's press conference, a total of three women have come forward with new allegations. Shortly after Tina Johnson shared her story with AL.com, The Washington Post published a report in which Gena Richardson and Becky Gray allege that Moore made inappropriate advances towards them at the Gadsden Mall, a shopping center where Moore was reportedly banned after repeatedly harassing teenage girls and young women.
Richardson told the Post that Moore first began pursuing her in 1977 when she was a high school senior working at the mall. Although she refused to give him her phone number, Richardson told him the name of her high school. She alleges that Moore called her school, asked to be connected with her, and then asked her out. Richardson told the outlet that she eventually agreed to go on a date with Moore and it concluded with him non-consensually kissing her "forceful[ly]."
Gray, who worked at the mall's Pizitz, says she was 22 when Moore made inappropriate advances towards her. "It would always be on Friday or Saturday night. Parents would drop kids off, let them roam the mall. Well, he started coming up to me," Gray told the Post. She says that when Moore asked her out, "I’d always say no, I’m dating someone, no, I’m in a relationship. I thought he was old at that time. Anyone over 22 was just old."
Gray also told the outlet that Moore made her feel unsafe by refusing to leave her section at Pizitz and she eventually spoke to her manager, Maynard von Spiegelfeld, about the issue.
Original story follows.
On Wednesday afternoon, Roy Moore's attorney Phillip L. Jauregui held a press conference in which he defended his client against the mounting sexual misconduct claims, CBS News reports.
During a news conference with Allred on Monday, Nelson displayed her high school yearbook that appears to have been signed by Moore. "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,'" Nelson stated on Monday, as reported by CBS News.
Today, Jauregui questioned the authenticity of Moore's signature in Nelson's yearbook. "We demand you immediately release the yearbook to a neutral custodian so our expert can look at the actual document, release the yearbook so we can determine is it genuine or is it a fraud," Jauregui told reporters.
He went on to defend Moore's character by claiming that since he's never personally witnessed the candidate's inappropriate conduct towards women, the accusers must surely be lying: "I’ve been with him in probably over 100 different meetings and been probably around an excess of 10,000 different ladies in Judge Moore’s presence," Jauregui said, as reported by The Hill. "Not once, not one time have I ever seen him act even remotely inappropriate against any women, toward any women. That’s the man that I have known for the past 24 years."
(Sexual predators don't tend to openly pounce in front of large crowds of people. Do you want to tell Jauregui or should I?)
For good measure, Jauregui added that the allegations have been "incredibly painful" for Moore, CBS reports. I'd venture a guess that living with the aftermath of a sexual assault (and having your case picked apart by the media and the public) is far more painful than being forced to own up to your actions, but it seems Jauregui and I don't agree on much.
Proving that the allegations against Moore will only continue to mount, a new accuser's account was published less than an hour after the press conference concluded. In a report published on AL.com, Tina Johnson stated that Moore non-consensually groped her during a 1991 legal meeting. This marks the first accusation of sexual misconduct that occurred while Moore was married.
Johnson, who was 28 at the time of the alleged incident, went to Moore's law office with her mother to deal with a custody issue as she went through a painful divorce. She told the outlet that Moore immediately made her feel uncomfortable by commenting repeatedly on her looks. Johnson alleges that as she and her mother exited the meeting, Moore groped her backside: "He didn't pinch it; he grabbed it," Johnson told AL.com.
Despite Jauregui and Moore's repeated assertions that all these women are liars, it seems like the voters disagree. Today Politico reported that Moore is currently 12 points behind Jones, a dramatic shift from early October when Moore had a healthy lead of 16 points.