A woman has accused Alabama Republican senator candidate Roy Moore of coming onto her when she was only 14-years-old and he was 32.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said that if the sexual assault allegations against Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore are true he must step aside. From Politico:

“If these allegations are true, he must step aside.”

Allegations

Leigh Corfman said the incident happened in 1979 after Moore, who served as assistant district attorney at the time, offered to keep her company on a bench outside of a courtroom during a custody hearing. From The Washington Post:

“He said, ‘Oh, you don’t want her to go in there and hear all that. I’ll stay out here with her,’ ” says Corfman’s mother, Nancy Wells, 71. “I thought, how nice for him to want to take care of my little girl.”

Alone with Corfman, Moore chatted with her and asked for her phone number, she says. Days later, she says, he picked her up around the corner from her house in Gadsden, drove her about 30 minutes to his home in the woods, told her how pretty she was and kissed her. On a second visit, she says, he took off her shirt and pants and removed his clothes. He touched her over her bra and underpants, she says, and guided her hand to touch him over his underwear.

“I wanted it over with — I wanted out,” she remembers thinking. “Please just get this over with. Whatever this is, just get it over.” Corfman says she asked Moore to take her home, and he did.

Two of Corfman’s childhood friends say she told them at the time that she was seeing an older man, and one says Corfman identified the man as Moore. Wells says her daughter told her about the encounter more than a decade later, as Moore was becoming more prominent as a local judge.

WaPo said that three other women had been pursued by Moore when they were between the ages of 16 and 18:

Wendy Miller says she was 14 and working as a Santa’s helper at the Gadsden Mall when Moore first approached her, and 16 when he asked her on dates, which her mother forbade. Debbie Wesson Gibson says she was 17 when Moore spoke to her high school civics class and asked her out on the first of several dates that did not progress beyond kissing. Gloria Thacker Deason says she was an 18-year-old cheerleader when Moore began taking her on dates that included bottles of Mateus Rosé wine. The legal drinking age in Alabama was 19.

Of the four women, the youngest at the time was Corfman, who is the only one who says she had sexual contact with Moore that went beyond kissing. She says they did not have intercourse.

Moore denied the allegations:

“These allegations are completely false and are a desperate political attack by the National Democrat Party and the Washington Post on this campaign,” Moore, now 70, said.

The campaign said in a subsequent statement that if the allegations were true they would have surfaced during his previous campaigns, adding “this garbage is the very definition of fake news.”

The Senate Race

Other Republicans have agreed with McConnell:

“The allegations against Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore are deeply troubling,” added Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. “If these allegations are found to be true, Roy Moore must drop out of the Alabama special Senate election.”

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) was unequivocal. “I’m horrified, and if this is true he needs to step down immediately,” she told reporters.

Texas Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn have come under pressure after these allegations since both have supported Moore. From Texas Tribune:

Cornyn, the second-ranking GOP senator, called the allegations “deeply disturbing and troubling.”

“I think it’s up to the governor and the folks in Alabama to make that decision as far as what the next step is,” he said.

Cruz declined to answer questions as he passed reporters.

A cascade of other GOP senators — including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — told reporters that if the allegations are true, Moore must drop out of the race.

Cornyn then returned to reporters.

“Obviously, it’s very troubling, but I think people are trying to sort it out and figure out what the appropriate response is, including Sen. [Luther] Strange,” he said, referring to the temporarily-appointed senator whom Moore defeated in the GOP primary.

“If it is true… I don’t think this candidacy is sustainable, but we believe in a presumption of innocence until proven guilty, and so I think it’s important for the facts to come out.”

The Senate Leadership Fund President and CEO Steven Law emailed this statement:

“If there’s even a shred of evidence to these accusations, Gov. Ivey and the Alabama Republican Party need to do everything in their power to remove Judge Moore from the ballot. There is no place in our party for sexual predators.”

Alabama state law says that “the ballot cannot be changed within 76 days of an election.” This special election will take place on December 12. From WaPo:

But a candidate can still withdraw or a state party can request a state judge or the secretary of state to disqualify a candidate from the race.

In the event of either disqualification or withdrawal, the appropriate state canvassing boards would not certify any votes cast for Moore.

However, Alabama allows write-ins during the special election as long as the vote is for a living person and actually written-in. In other words, you cannot use a rubber stamp or label.

This means that his primary opponent Luther Strange is eligible.