MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A woman who says failed U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore molested her when she was 14 filed a defamation lawsuit against Moore and his campaign Thursday.
Leigh Corfman said Moore and his campaign defamed her and made false statements as they denied the accusations in the midst of the U.S. Senate race in Alabama. The lawsuit, filed in Montgomery Circuit Court, asks Moore to publicly apologize.
"Mr. Moore sexually abused me when I was only 14 years old. Then he and his campaign called me a liar and immoral when I publicly disclosed his misconduct," Corfman said in a statement. "By this lawsuit, I seek to do what I could not do as a 14-year-old — hold Mr. Moore and those who enable him accountable."
Corfman said she was a teen when Moore, then a 32-year-old assistant district attorney, touched her sexually during an encounter. Moore has denied the allegations.
Corfman was one of several women who said Moore pursued them when they were teens.
Corfman and her mother have said that Moore first approached her as she waited outside a custody hearing at the Etowah County courthouse. Corfman said she later arranged to meet Moore and that he took her to his home and initiated the encounter. Corfman said he took off her shirt and pants and removed his clothes except for his underwear before touching her over her bra and underpants.
Efforts to immediately reach Moore for comment were unsuccessful, and a text message to Kayla Moore, Moore's wife, was not immediately returned.
His campaign issued a statement saying, "We look forward to transparently discussing these matters in a court of law."
Moore's campaign was roiled by the accusations as he sought the U.S. Senate seat previously held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Moore, a Republican, lost the race to Doug Jones, the first Alabama Democrat elected to the U.S. Senate in 25 years. The lawsuit was filed a day after Jones was sworn in as a member of the Senate.
The lawsuit cites numerous statements made by Moore and his campaign staff and surrogates denying the allegations and accusing her of not telling the truth. Moore on several occasions denied knowing Corfman. In a church speech, he dismissed the misconduct allegations against him as "dirty politics." Moore, who filed an unsuccessful lawsuit seeking to stop the certification of the Alabama election, submitted an affidavit saying the accusations were false and malicious and that he passed a polygraph test.
"Mr. Moore's continued attacks against Ms. Corfman after the election and the content of his affidavit demonstrate that if not enjoined, he will continue to defame Ms. Corfman, if simply for the purpose of furthering his political goals," Corfman's attorney wrote in the lawsuit.
Corfman's lawsuit asks Moore and his campaign to pay legal fees but does not ask for monetary compensation.