NEW YORK ― As accused molester Roy Moore heads into a special election for a U.S. Senate seat this week, Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.) is taking steps to protect the teenagers in the Senate Page Program from predatory members.
The congresswoman asked the Senate Sergeant at Arms in a letter on Monday to “take steps to prepare the Page Program for the possible election of Roy Moore,” the Alabama Republican accused of pursuing sexual relationships with girls as young as 14. The 30 Senate pages, who are essentially interns, are mostly rising high school juniors and seniors, some as young as 16.
“I write you today to share my urgent concern regarding the threat to the safety of the young men and women working in the United States Senate Page Program if Roy Moore becomes the U.S. senator to Alabama,” Rep. Moore wrote.
“The nature of life on Capitol Hill necessitates long hours in close proximity to lawmakers and staff that can create power dynamics of which young people are not fully aware,” she added.
The congresswoman noted that in 2006, then-Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) resigned from Congress after it came out that he had sent sexually suggestive texts and emails to teenage boys in the Congressional Page Program.
Roy Moore denies having sexually pursued teenage girls, but at least 10 accusers have come forward so far to make claims against him. Polls still show him leading his Democratic opponent, Doug Jones, in Alabama’s special election.
Gwen Moore’s office said she is waiting to hear what steps the Sergeant at Arms will take to protect the pages, and then she will work with child abuse experts and social workers to determine whether those measures are adequate.
“It would be unconscionable for Congress not to be vigilant and proactive in taking precautions to safeguard these children given the well sourced allegations against Moore,” she wrote.