A woman who worked at the Gadsden Mall in 1977 told The Washington Post on Wednesday that Roy Moore, the Republican Senate candidate in Alabama, repeatedly asked her out on dates, and when she refused to give him her phone number, he called her at Gadsden High School.
Gena Richardson said that a few days after she had refused to give Moore, then a 30-year-old attorney, her number, she was sitting in class when the principal's office alerted her to a phone call in the office. "I said, 'Hello?'" Richardson told the Post. "And the male on the other line said, 'Gena, this is Roy Moore.' I was like, 'What?!' He said, 'What are you doing?' I said, 'I'm in trig class.'" He reportedly asked her out on a date during the call, and again when he saw her at Sears a few days later.
Richardson said she felt "nervous and flattered," the Post reports, and finally agreed, telling her parents she was going out with friends. After a movie, Moore drove her to her car, then parked and gave her an unwanted kiss. "It was a man kiss — like really deep tongue," she told the Post. "Like very forceful tongue." She became scared and made up an excuse to leave, she said. Her account was corroborated by a co-worker, Kayla McLaughlin, who told the Post that after the incident, she would warn Richardson when Moore entered Sears, so she could hide.
The Post spoke with more than a dozen people who either worked at the Gadsden Mall or spent a lot of time there, and several of the former employees said they were warned to "watch out for" Moore. Richardson said she came forward after reading last week that Moore had fondled or pursued relationships with other teen girls. "All these years, I thought that was an isolated incident," she said. "Now, as a mother and a grandmother, it just makes me physically sick." Catherine Garcia