Today, The Washington Post broke a story about Judge Roy Moore, the Republican candidate for Alabama's upcoming special Senate election, alleging a relationship with a 14-year-old girl when he was in his 30s.
In the story, The Washington Post spoke to Leigh Corfman. Corfman says she was 14 years old Roy Moore first approached her in 1979. She says she and her mother say he struck up a conversation with her. He offered to watch Leigh while her mother went inside the courtroom for a child custody hearing.
Corfman says Moore chatted with her before asking for her phone number. A few days later, she alleges he picked her up around the corner from her house. She says they then drove to his home—30 minutes away in the woods. The Post says he kissed her and told her how pretty she was.
Things became more inappropriate on the second visit. Corfman says she had sexual contact with Moore that went beyond kissing, but she also says they did not have intercourse. Three other women were also interviewed and said they dated Moore, but also never had intercourse with him.
In a written statement, Moore denied the allegations.
“These allegations are completely false and are a desperate political attack by the National Democrat Party and the Washington Post on this campaign,” said the 70-year-old candidate.
While these disturbing allegations may not be true—it’s hard to prove either way given that it happened forty years ago—one man’s defense of Moore is highly concerning.
Alabama State Auditor Jim Ziegler told the Washington Examiner that even if the allegations are true, he believes it’s "much ado about nothing."
“There is nothing to see here,” said Ziegler told the Washington Examiner. “The allegations are that a man in his early 30s dated teenage girls. Even the Washington Post report says that he never had sexual intercourse with any of the girls and never attempted sexual intercourse.”
Ziegler seemed to believe that because Moore never had “sexual intercourse” with any of the women and because it “happened almost 40 years ago” that Moore did nothing wrong. He also said added “Roy Moore fell in love with one of the younger women,” so his actions were OK.
Ziegler is referring to Roy Moore’s wife, Kayla. “He dated her. He married her, and they’ve been married about 35 years. They’re blessed with a wonderful marriage and his wife Kayla is 14 years younger than Moore.”
The Examiner also asked Ziegler if he thought The Washington Post story would lose Moore the election. He didn’t believe it would be an issue, saying that voters would be more concerned with the Post’s “desperately trying to get something negative” than Moore for his dalliances with teenage girls decades ago.
“He’s clean as a hound’s tooth,” Ziegler claimed.
His defense of Moore became even more bizarre as the interview went on. Ziegler turned to scripture to clear Moore of fault.
“Take the Bible. Zachariah and Elizabeth for instance. Zachariah was extremely old to marry Elizabeth and they became the parents of John the Baptist.”
But Ziegler doesn’t stop there. In what some might point to as a sacrilegious defense, he also referenced Jesus Christ.
“Also take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus.”
Ziegler concluded, “There’s just nothing immoral or illegal here…Maybe just a little bit unusual.”
Ziegler is clearly trying to clear Moore of blame, but in speaking out for him, he makes the situation much worse. Here we have someone who seems to confirm that Moore did, in fact, have relationships with underaged girls.
Ziegler doesn’t just seem to confirm the accusations, but he also becomes an apologist for older men preying on young girls. Whether or not Moore is guilty, people on Twitter believe Ziegler’s defense, if he’s quoted correctly, is morally reprehensible.
What do you think about the Moore scandal? Let us know in the comments. More of the details of the original story are available here.