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In a gut-wrenching news conference on Monday, an Alabama woman alleged that Roy Moore sexually assaulted her when she was 16

Beverly Young Nelson said she was 16 years old when U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore sexually assaulted her behind the restaurant where she worked.

In a press conference in New York with attorney Gloria Allred, Nelson detailed the alleged assault.

Nelson first met Moore, she said, when she was a 15-year-old student at Gadsden High School.

“Mr. Roy Moore was a regular customer. He came in almost every night and would stay until closing time,” she said.

“When he was at the restaurant, he would speak to me, and he would sometimes pull the ends of my long hair when I walked by him,” she said. “He would compliment me on my looks and I did not think anything of it.”

But things changed one cold night after she turned 16, she said, when she was waiting for her boyfriend to pick her up at the restaurant. Her boyfriend was late, and Moore offered to give her a ride home.

“I trusted Mr. Moore because he was a district attorney,” Nelson said. “I thought he was simply doing something nice by offering to drive me home.”

Things changed, she said, after she got into his vehicle. Nelson said Moore drove to the back of the restaurant and parked the car in a dark area between two dumpsters.

“I was alarmed and I immediately asked him what he was doing,” Nelson said. “Instead of answering my question, Mr. Moore reached over and began groping me and putting his hands on my breasts. I tried to open the car door to leave, but he reached over and he locked it so that I could not get out.”

“I tried fighting him off while yelling at him to stop, but instead of stopping, he began squeezing my neck to force my head onto his crotch,” Nelson said. “I continued to struggle. I was determined that I was not going to allow him to force me to have sex with him. I was terrified. He was also trying to pull my shirt off. I thought that he was going to rape me. I was twisting, and I was struggling, and I was begging him to stop. I had tears running down my face.”

At some point, Nelson said, Moore gave up.

“And he looked at me, and he said, ‘You’re just a child. I am a district attorney for Ettowah County. If you tell anyone about this, no one will believe you.’ I finally opened the door, and I either fell out or I was pushed out. The passenger door was still open as he burned rubber, leaving me there on this cold concrete in the dark.”

Nelson said her boyfriend arrived to pick her up shortly after, but she didn’t tell him because he had a violent temper and she feared he would react in a way that could get him in trouble. The next day, she said, she had bruises on her neck, which she hid with makeup.

Nelson said she kept quiet for years out of fear of retaliation from Moore, but she eventually told her sister about two years after the incident, as well as her husband prior to their marriage. She finally told her mother four years ago, she said.

“If I thought I was Mr. Moore’s only victim, I probably would have taken what Mr. Moore did to me to the grave had it not been for the courage of four other women who were willing to speak out about their experiences with Mr. Moore,” Nelson said. “I was frightened by his position and his power. I want Mr. Moore to know that he no longer has any power over me and I no longer live in fear of him.”

Nelson said that she is a Republican who voted for Trump, and that her motivations are not political.

Nelson produced a yearbook that Moore had signed prior to the alleged assault, addressed to “a sweet or more beautiful girl,” and signed, “Roy Moore, D.A., Old Hickory House.”

Her attorney, Gloria Allred, called on the Senate Judiciary Committee to hold public hearings, where Nelson said she was willing to testify under oath.

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