Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore is facing allegations that he sexually assaulted a 14-year-old in 1979, while he was a grown man in his 30s. This has led to a deeper examination of the life and career of the former state judge and member of the Alabama Supreme Court.
Back in 2015, Moore was on the bench for a case involving a 17-year-old day care worker who had been convicted of sexually assaulting an unidentified child. The perpetrator, Eric Lemont Higdon, was sentenced to 23 years in prison for his convictions on one count of first-degree sodomy of a child less than 12 and one count of first-degree sodomy by forcible compulsion.
The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals, however, overturned the latter conviction, stating that the court had not proven forcible compulsion. The decision was based on a precedent case that ruled that, when a sexual assault involves two juveniles, forcible compulsion cannot be established by an “implied threat,” stating that a physical threat must occur.
So the case was sent to Moore and the rest of the Alabama Supreme Court. Every single justice voted to throw out that precedent case, thus giving the ability to re-establish the second count against Higdon.
Every justice but Roy Moore, that is.
In explaining his vote, Moore wrote that there was “no evidence in this case of an implied threat of serious physical injury.” The judge seemed to base his decision on the theoretical notion of a 10-year-old sexually assaulting an 8-year-old.
“The court has potentially opened the door to cases in which a 10-year-old could be convicted of forcible compulsion intercourse with an 8-year-old,” he said.
Luther Strange, Moore’s opponent in Alabama’s Republican Senate primary, was actually the state’s attorney general as this case made its way through the system. He took Moore to task in an incendiary political ad launched during their primary contest.
The ad painted Moore as being bad for Alabama’s children, which is certainly a terrifying coincidence, given today’s accusations.
“Eric Lemont Higdon: Convicted of child sodomy, forcing a young child to have sex at a daycare center,” a voiceover announced. “A liberal court strikes down a Higdon conviction. Luther Strange fights to reinstate Higdon’s conviction to protect young children.”
“Unbelievably,” the ad continued, “Roy Moore was the only ‘no’ vote in the 8 to 1 decision favoring Big Luther’s appeal. Moore stated he saw no threat of serious physical injury to the child victim. Roy Moore too risky for us.”
Roy Moore has denied the allegations against him.
[image via screengrab]
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