The enemies of Judge Roy Moore have proven themselves very adept at conflating the charges of enticement and harassment of one minor into an account of Judge Moore having had immoral relationships with three other young women. Yet, the original story in the Washington Post does not support this spin job. What the narrative alleges is that Judge Moore had an illicit relationship with one young woman while affirming that he did nothing untoward while dating three other women who, though admittedly young, were nonetheless of the age of legal consent in the State of Alabama!
Whereas, I would condemn Judge Moore if in fact he did have sexual contact with a minor back in 1979, I am nonetheless having a real tough time believing the story for a variety of reasons. First of all, how many sitting assistant district attorneys are going to hit on an underage girl while at work in the county courthouse while the girl’s mother was in the next room? That would have been extremely risky, stupid and desperate – words never used to describe Judge Moore!
Second, while Judge Moore certainly did date younger women, there is no evidence or accusation of his abusing the other three young women in the Post story. Judge Moore eventually did marry a younger woman, fourteen years his junior. That is peculiar for most of us, but it is not so in the South. My wife’s grandmother got married when she was 15 and not because she had to! Her marriage, as well as, that of Judge Moore, lasted a life time.
With respect to character reference, the Post indicates that the mother of one of the other young women, whom Moore dated, told her daughter she considered her the luckiest girl on earth by way of his interest in her! This had to do with his outstanding reputation, “godlike” is the term the Post used, in the small town where he grew up! Small towns, especially in the South, unlike Hollywood, are not good at keeping open secrets, nor do they tolerate this type of behavior, especially from public figures of the law professing to be Christians!
This reminds me too much of the Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill controversy. In both cases, you have men who have lived their entire lives scandal free. Out of the blue comes one accusation, at the 11th hour during a pivotal point in their career. It is hard to believe, because typically men-behaving-badly behave badly for their entire lives with lots and lots of corroborating witnesses, read that victims, strewn along the path (e.g. Bill Clinton and Bill Cosby!).
Sardonically, the hyperbolic, vitriolic animus against Moore by these relatively godless crusaders has to do with his faith-based, constitutional attempts to withstand government enforced immorality in our society.
For all these reasons, Judge Moore, I believe, deserves the presumption of innocence and the benefit of the doubt. Our society has a statute of limitations law for a reason. It is impossible and unrealistic for Moore to defend himself these many decades later.
First published at the Santa Barbara News-Press
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