Roy Moore Scrambles To Shift Focus To Al Franken As New Accusations Against Him Emerge

Since Wednesday, several additional women have come forward to make allegations that Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore either sexually assaulted or harassed them between the late 1970s to the early 1990s when Moore was a local attorney in the city of Gadsden, Alabama. At the same time, a sexual assault allegation has been leveled at former comedian and liberal Minnesota Senator Al Franken by Los Angeles radio personality Leeann Tweeden. Now, Moore wants to know why the focus is on him instead of Franken.

The first new allegation against Moore came when Tina Johnson claimed that he sexually assaulted her at his law office in 1991 when she was 28-years-old and a young mother of three. She says that while working on a custody petition, Moore came up behind her and grabbed her buttocks forcefully with her hands.

“He didn’t pinch it,” she said, “He grabbed it.”

Since then, the Washington Post has published the story of Gena Richardson, who was an employee of Sears at the Gadsden Mall and a high school senior when she claims Moore both sexually harassed and assaulted her. She told the Post that after she had been already warned about him, Moore approached her in Sears, asking her on a date and inquiring where she went to school. Richardson says that she turned Moore down, but he later called her at her high school to ask again, and feeling both nervous and flattered, she relented.

Richardson claims that at the conclusion of the date, Moore took her to the dark Sears parking lot where her car was and proceeded to kiss her aggressively against her will, forcing his tongue down her throat. Richardson says that she never wanted to see him again after that and avoided him thereafter by hiding whenever he came into the store.

minnesota senator al franken
Minnesota's Senator Al Franken has now been accused of sexual misconduct. [Image by Drew Angerer/Getty Images]

Many witnesses have come forward to say that Moore had been banned from the Gadsden Mall in the ’70s. The latest allegation, as reported by ABC News, is from a woman who claims to be the one who got him banned.

Becky Gray, who worked at a department store in the Gadsden Mall when she was in her early 20s, says that Moore took a “creepy” interest in her, asking her out repeatedly, even though she kept refusing him and telling him that she was in a relationship. Gray says she found not only her own interactions with Moore to be “creepy” but also simply the fact that he spent so much time hanging out at the mall.

“Every Friday and Saturday night, he was down at the mall. Nobody his age is at the mall! You know, parents are dropping off their 12 year olds and 13 year olds, 14 year olds. I mean, come on, I just thought that was really creepy even way back then.”

Moore has steadfastly denied all the allegations against him and professed his innocence. He claims (and has said he can prove, although this proof has not been forthcoming) that his troubles are part of a witch hunt against him by the media, the Democrats, and establishment Republicans. Thursday morning, when the story of the Al Franken assault allegation broke, Moore tweeted at Mitch McConnell, asking why Franken wasn’t being immediately condemned as Moore feels he had been.

In actuality, many Democrats and those on the left have been very quick to condemn Franken for his actions. Democratic senators such as Claire McCaskill, Dick Durbin, and Amy Klobuchar have already made statements chastising Franken and calling for him to step down if the allegations are true. Mark Joseph Stern, writing for left-leaning Slate Magazine, is already demanding that Franken resign immediately or risk destroying the Democrats’ credibility on the sexual harassment issue. Conversely, although some establishment Republicans like McConnell and John McCain have called for Moore to drop out of the Alabama senate race, much of Moore’s base of support, including evangelical voters, have chosen to stick with him.

As of this moment, though, the final fates of both Roy Moore and Al Franken remain to be decided.

[Featured Image by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images]