MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Supreme Court on Friday refused to transfer a defamation lawsuit against former U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore by a woman who says Moore molested her decades ago.
The court denied Moore's request to have the case heard in Etowah County instead of Montgomery. Moore issued a statement calling the decision "ridiculous."
Leigh Corfman accused Moore of sexually molesting her decades ago when she was 14 and he was a prosecutor in his 30s. Moore has denied the allegations, but they became an issue in the 2017 race in Alabama to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions in the U.S. Senate. Moore lost to Democrat Doug Jones.
Corfman in January filed a lawsuit against Moore and his campaign, saying they defamed her and made false statements, calling her a liar and immoral as they denied the claims in the midst of the election.
Moore sought to have the case heard in Etowah County where he and Corfman both live.
"The Court itself admits venue is proper in either county. Should not the case be tried in the county where we both live and where her reputation and character are well known?" Moore said.
Etowah County has also been friendlier territory for Moore. During the U.S. Senate race, Moore won about 60 percent of the vote in Etowah County, while he garnered just 27 percent of in Montgomery.
Several Supreme Court justices recused from the case involving Moore, who is a former chief justice of the court. Five retired judges were randomly selected to hear the case along with Associate Justice Brady Mendheim, Jr., and Associate Justice Will Sellers.
Court records show Corfman's attorneys are seeking to schedule a deposition with Moore and members of his campaign.
Corfman was one of several women who said Moore pursued relationships with them when they were teenagers. Corfman was the youngest.
Moore filed his own defamation lawsuit against Corfman and the other accusers, which he filed in Etowah County.
In the lawsuit, Moore's attorneys blamed the election loss on the accusations. Moore's attorneys said the accusations damaged his reputation, "leading to the loss of the Senate race."