A jury in Alabama has cleared Judge Roy Moore, who twice was chosen by the state’s voters to be the chief justice of their state Supreme Court, of claims by a woman who accused him of assault that his denials defamed her.
The jury also decided the judge was not defamed by her claims.
The issue, however, may not be concluded, as the judge still has pending a case against this accuser, and others, claiming they were part of a political conspiracy to give the state’s Senate seat to a Democrat during an election at the time.
Moore, who surged to fame nationwide when he refused a federal court’s claim that he had to remove a Ten Commandments monument from an Alabama courthouse and eventually was removed from office over that, had been leading the race against Doug Jones by double-digits, but ended up losing by an extremely small margin.
After he was removed from the bench, voters promptly reinstalled him in the same post.
The recently decided case involved the judge and Leigh Corfman, who had claimed he sexually abused her. Corfman later sued for defamation when Moore denied her claims, and he countersued.
According to AL.com, the jury decided neither was defamed.
The jury deliberated only a few hours after an eight-day trial.
Both sides claimed it was a victory, but a lawyer for Corfman, Neil Roman, immediately renewed the attacks on Moore, stating, “To be clear, this is not a victory for Roy Moore.”
He said the jury found that Corfman was “telling the truth” about her experiences.
Moore’s lawyer, Julian McPhillips, said, “It’s a great big victory. There’s no other way to interpret this.”
Moore told reporters, “(Corfman’s claims) are false and malicious, just like they were (before the trial).”
AL.com reported the accuser’s lawyers “appeared to be consoling her immediately after the verdict was read.”
“Another of Moore’s attorneys, Melissa Isaak, said the verdict demonstrated that men who are accused of sexual misconduct can fight back,” the report said.
“These are serious allegations,” Isaak said, in the report. “I think we look at our society we look at the media, look at social media, you see on social media, the #believeher movement where men aren’t allowed to defend themselves or even deny these allegations. And I think this really definitely shows that when you make allegations, when you make false allegations, that you can deny those and you can defend yourself. And is there anything more malicious than calling someone a child molester?”
Corfman, and others, launched their claims against Moore in the Washington Post, during Moore’s race against Jones for the Senate seat.
Moore held about an 11-point lead in polling over Jones when Corfman’s allegations were published and he subsequently lost the race to Jones by less than 2 percentage points, the report explained.
Corfman claimed when she was 14, Moore asked her for dates, and she agreed.
She claimed on one, “Moore removed her outer clothing and touched her over her bra and underpants,” the report said, claims that Moore has consistently denied.
The attention now will shift to the case Moore filed, in 2018, that includes Corfman and several others as defendants over their “political conspiracy,” the report said.
That case was suspended in 2019 pending the outcome of the current case.
The attack on Moore came when Moore was the GOP candidate for Senate. Corfman then went on various television shows promoting her claims.
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