Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Beverly Young Nelson held a press conference on Monday, alleging that Alabama Senate candidate assaulted her when she was 16 years old. (Photo: RVAWonk/Twitter)

Roy Moore Backers Circle the Wagons as Second Woman Steps Forward With Assault Allegations

Beverly Young Nelson says she was 16 when the Alabama Senate candidate attempted to rape her and then threatened her

Julia Conley

A second woman has come forward to accuse Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexually abusing her when she was a teenager, less than a week after the Washington Post published a report alleging similar abuses.

Beverly Young Nelson held a press conference on Monday to share her story, alleging that Moore had attempted to rape her in 1975. Nelson was 16 at the time and Moore was 28.

Nelson's press conference followed the release of poll results Monday showing that Moore—despite last week's bombshell allegationscontinued to hold a lead over Democratic opponent Doug Jones. The survey was taken by Emerson College last Thursday through Saturday, just after the Post released its thoroughly-researched report alleging that Moore had sexually abused a 14-year-old girl when he was 32 and Alabama's assistant district attorney.

The Post report also included allegations that Moore had pursued romantic relationships with girls ranging in age from 16 to 18 when he was an adult. The age of consent in Alabama was and still is 16.

On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called on Moore to step aside in the race, saying "I believe the women" who accused Moore of pursuing relationships with them when they were teenagers and he was an adult in his 30s. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) also urged Moore to leave the race, after previously saying he should step aside only if the allegations were found to be true.

Contrasting with the calls from Washington, D.C. on Monday, however, were the voices of evangelical Christian leaders. More than 50 pastors signed a letter pledging their support of Moore, accusing "the Washington establishment" of waging an "all-out war on his campaign."

The pastors praised Moore's resolve in fighting "the culture wars"—suggesting that the question of whether it's acceptable to sexually abuse teenagers is a topic up for debate between Alabama residents and the rest of the country—and urged voters to join them in supporting him.

About 86 percent of adults in Alabama are Christians and nearly half of those are evangelical Protestants. On Sunday, 37 percent of evangelicals in the state reported that they were more likely to vote for Moore following last week's allegations, according to a JMC Analytics poll.

Last year, President Donald Trump won 80 percent of evangelical voters' support in the general election, a month after an audio recording was released in which Trump bragged about sexually assaulting women.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

... We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

'Congress Must Act': Bernie Sanders Demands End of Filibuster to Codify Abortion Rights

"We must pass legislation that codifies Roe v. Wade as the law of the land in this country. And if there aren't 60 votes to do it, and there are not, we must reform the filibuster to pass it with 50 votes."

Jon Queally ·


Human Rights Defenders Warn Biden Border Policy 'Quickly Transforming Into Trump 2.0'

Like his predecessor, President Joe Biden now being accused of "using racist, xenophobic tropes about immigrants to weaponize Covid-19 against migrants and asylum-seekers."

Jon Queally ·


'Bombshell': Israeli Spyware Used to Hack iPhones of US State Department Officials

Calling the Israel-based spyware maker NSO Group an "in-plain-sight national security threat," one expert warned that "a multi-agency investigation is immediately needed."

Jessica Corbett ·


US Progressive Caucus Hails Honduran Election as Chance for 'New Chapter' in Relations

"We encourage the Biden administration to use this opportunity to make a clean break with previous presidential administrations, which worked to ensure that the 2009 coup d'état succeeded."

Brett Wilkins ·


'The Facts of This Case Are So Egregious': Parents of Michigan School Shooter Charged in Killings

"There were a lot of things that could have been so simple to prevent," the Oakland County prosecutor said of the mother and father now being sought by law enforcement.

Kenny Stancil ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo