Alabama Senate Candidate Roy Moore has been urged by officials to step down from the ballot due to allegations of sexual assault more than thirty years ago.
These claims come from four women, Leigh Corfman, Wendy Miller, Debbie Wesson Gibson, and Gloria Thacker Deason, who ranged in age from 14 to 18 at the time of their relationships with Moore, then in his early thirties.
The women, who claim to not know each other and were shown to have no affiliation with Moore’s opponents, say that Moore initiated romantic relationships with them, taking them out on dates and buying them alcohol. The legal drinking age in Alabama at the time was 19.
The women said that their relationships with Moore never went further than kissing and hugging, and that he never tried to take it further, except for the case with Leigh Corfman. She claimed that at one point they had both stripped to their underwear while he groped her. When Corfman felt uncomfortable and said she wanted to go home, Moore stopped and drove her home.
At the time, the young women found the attention from an older man flattering, but as they matured and got older they realized how disgusting their experiences with Moore had been.
Moore denies the truth of all of these claims, but their stories all add up, and the question remains: should Roy Moore take his name off the ballot and step down from campaigning? Based on the law, the answer is no.
In the United States, the policy of law is innocent until proven guilty. These events took place such a long time ago that it is impossible to prove anything now beyond a reasonable doubt, and Moore denies all claims against him.
Politicians on both sides should know this golden rule of the judiciary system. Moore is in no way obligated to step down for a crime that cannot be proven, nor tried in a court of law. The law at the time of 1979 stated that the statute of limitations was three years to report a felony charge of sexual abuse involving a minor.
The silver lining, though, is that the people who have the power to vote are not required to believe him. Anyone can say 'I believe the women accusing him, and I don’t want a pedophile representing my state, so I will not vote for him.' Just like how it is supposed to function, the decision falls to the American people.
If their claims are true, it was very brave of the accusing women to step up and try to prevent a pedophile from representing their state. They did their job, and it is up to the voters to decide whether they believe them or not.
As of Dec. 1, Moore is leading in the polls against his Democratic counterpart Doug Jones by two points. The election will be held on Dec. 12.