Speed Reads

Roy Moore

Watch GOP Sen. Luther Strange accuse Roy Moore of being soft on pedophiles back in September

Back in late September, a few days before Alabama's Republican primary runoff election, Sen. Luther Strange (R) released an ad accusing his rival, Roy Moore, of being soft on pedophiles. Moore won the primary, but on Thursday, his campaign hit strong headwinds when four women told The Washington Post that Moore had made inappropriate sexual advances when he was a prosecutor in his 30s and they were teenagers, including one who was 14.

The ad focuses on a 2015 case where Moore, then chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, was the lone dissenter in a push by Strange, then attorney general, to reinstate charges against 17-year-old Eric Higdon, accused of sexually assaulting four young children at a daycare center. "Unbelievably, Roy Moore was the only 'no' vote in the 8 to 1 decision favoring Big Luther's appeal," the ad states. "Moore stated he saw no threat of serious physical injury to the child victim. Roy Moore, too risky for us."

"While it's true that Moore dissented in the Higdon case, the judge made his decision on constitutional grounds, not criminal leniency," notes The Washington Examiner. Still, this wasn't the only case where Moore dissented in cases where men were convicted of raping or sexually abusing underage girls, calling for the introduction of evidence that might cast doubt on the female accusers. In any case, Alabama Republicans are stuck with Moore. "It's too late to substitute a candidate," said John Merrill, Alabama's Republican secretary of state. "Judge Moore will be the candidate on the ballot with this election cycle remaining on the schedule it's currently on."