Roy Moore, now a Republican Senate candidate, was known for “badgering teenage girls” at an Alabama mall in the 1980s, The New Yorker reports.
Reporter Charles Bethea spoke with over a dozen people who worked or spent time at the Gadsden Mall during that time. They said there were many rumors that Moore was on a list of people banned from the establishment.
Moore has been accused of giving a 14-year-old girl alcohol and touching her inappropriately in 1979, when he was 32 years old, The Washington Post reported last week. Three other women told the publication that Moore pursued them when they were between 16 and 18 years old. On Monday, another woman accused Moore of sexually assaulting her when she was 16. Moore has denied the allegations.
Two of these women say Moore attempted to pick them up when they were at the Gadsden Mall.
Greg Legat, who worked at the mall in the 1980s, told Bethea that he remembers Moore was banned from the shopping center starting around 1979. Legat recalled that the mall was often “filled” with unchaperoned teens.
A local police officer, J.D. Thomas, reportedly often asked Legat to keep an eye out for Moore. ”‘If you see Moore here, tell me. I’ll take care of him,’” Legat remembers Thomas telling him, according to The New Yorker.
Alabama journalist Glynn Wilson reported Sunday that he had heard similar allegations: “Sources tell me Moore was actually banned from the Gadsden Mall and the YMCA for his inappropriate behavior of soliciting sex from young girls.”
Other people who frequented the mall during the 1980s told The New Yorker they believed Moore had been banned for “trying to pick up younger girls.”
Two police officers who worked in the area at the time also told Bethea that Moore was known for hanging around the mall to find dates.
“The general knowledge at the time when I moved here was that this guy is a lawyer cruising the mall for high-school dates,” one officer said. “I was told by a girl who worked at the mall that he’d been run off from there, from a number of stores. Maybe not legally banned, but run off.”
Moore, the Gadsden Mall and the Gadsden Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Head over to The New Yorker to read more.