America is talking about the serious allegations against Alabama’s GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore. Talk is not enough. We need to think about these allegations and analyze them to reach useful conclusions. Independent thinking is tough in an increasingly partisan America where the primary consideration for believing the best or worst about someone is made by determining if he or she is on the right side politically.
As a lawyer and legal commentator, I set out to analyze the Roy Moore allegations as I might if investigators brought them to me to consider pursuing legal action. If a lawyer does his or her job correctly, only the law, the verifiable facts, and the credibility of the witnesses’ matter in that analysis.
For practical purposes, as the explosive Washington Post story points out, even if all the allegations are entirely true, Moore faces no legal jeopardy due to the applicable statutes of limitation.
The purpose of my analysis is not to try convict or clear Mr. Moore. It is to determine if I and other Americans of good faith have cause to be concerned about the character of this man. Whatever the facts may be, the purpose of the story is not legal, it is now political.
Make no mistake; the Washington Post is a highly partisan paper that uses its power, including the credibility of its news reporting, to slant and influence elections. The Post does not want Moore to be elected, and the timing of this story, like the credibility of any witnesses in the story, or worthy of examination too.
I get criticized for being partisan too, but that doesn’t mean I am wrong just because I am conservative or my site has a conservative name.
Conservatives too must realize that just because the Washington Post hates Roy Moore, and its story has politically useful timing to destroy him, that does not mean it’s untrue.
The truth, to the extent we can discern it, comes from our analysis of all the facts. I have read the Post’s story on Roy Moore repeatedly. It raises serious questions that can’t be ignored.
The Washington Post Story
The Post’s piece on Moore is both thorough journalism and a carefully crafted story that weaves into it details and facts meant to play to the bias of casual readers. The story alleges Moore engaged in sexual molestation of a 14-year-old girl her after illegally enticing her. Read the Post piece rather than relying on anyone’s short synopsis of it.
My analysis narrowly focuses on the relevant details.
Before I do that, I want to identify the Post’s bias I mentioned. The Post included stories of several other encounters by and between Roy Moore and teenage girls and young women. Moore, at the time of these encounters, was between 29 and 32. The women involved were between 16 and 19.
Other than the allegations about the 14-year-old, these other allegations are political in nature, and a complete distraction. Read by a lawyer, the stories are more helpful to Moore than hurtful, though the Post includes them to be prejudicial. In a legal case, none of the evidence of these relationships or encounters would be admissible. The Post includes them to convince the reader that Moore had a “thing” for young girls or “underage” women.
One woman he dated was 18 when he was 30 and single. She reports a very plain relationship that never was inappropriate. It is not now, nor has it ever been inappropriate for a 30-year-old single man to date an 18-year-old woman. Here’s a news flash. Single, 30-year-old, straight men are attracted to young beautiful women.
What the law seeks to stop is adult men taking advantage of, molesting, and preying on girls. It is not legal or appropriate for a 32-year-old man to date or have a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old. Fourteen-year-old girls are just that … girls. They are at an awkward age physically and emotionally. They have nothing in common with adult men, and a man attracted to such girls are sick.
There are people who will say, “well, some 14-year-olds look 20, and they act older.” Maybe. But Mr. Moore was a West Point graduate, a lawyer, and a prosecutor. He knows the law forbids such interaction. Moreover, I never met a lawyer in his 30’s who would want to date and interact with a 14-year-old.
Accordingly, the analysis of Moore’s alleged wrong-doing starts and ends with the allegations centering around the 14-year-old he purportedly met outside of a courtroom and later enticed and allegedly molested.
If these allegations are true, not one decent American could vote for Mr. Moore.
Moreover, it is incumbent upon us … irrespective of political ideology … to speak out against him, shun him and drive him from the civil society. That is our only recourse given that criminal, legal remedies are no longer available.
According to the Post account, taken from multiple interviews with the now 53-year-old accuser, her mother, and two childhood friends at the time, Roy Moore had some form of relationship with the accuser. One childhood friend can specifically recall the accuser identifying Moore, though only the accuser verifies the alleged inappropriate sexual assault and illegal enticing with alcohol.
Let’s walk through the allegations, witnesses, purported facts:
The witnesses all corroborate that the accuser had a relationship that constituted “seeing” an older man, and one witness confirmed the name as “Roy Moore.”
Without yet getting at the specific allegations of molestation, these credible, cross-referenced, witnesses should be a major red flag for anyone preparing to go out on a limb and deny the allegations or profess them to be “fake news.” Men don’t “see” women for anything other than a relationship that involves the hope of sexual encounters.
The allegation that Moore was picking up a 14-year-old girl and treating her like a dating subject is very troubling. Even if the girl lied about her age, Moore would know the circumstances under which they met at the courthouse, and he would know for certain she was under-age. Likewise, unlike one of the other young ladies under 18, Moore made no inquiries to the mother or parents to date this girl.
Based on the allegations, he met her somewhere other than her home and picked her up so that her mother would not know they were together.
My analysis of these “facts” is constrained to reading the third-party reporting of the purported events. A good lawyer would want to meet and question these witnesses. I have no way of knowing the competency of the questioner. Likewise, without being present, I can’t make a judgment on credibility and motive.
However, we have three witnesses (including the accuser). They tell the same story of a relationship. One of the witnesses recalls the name, and the two corroborating witnesses report receiving this information contemporaneously with events. One of them remembers that she counseled her friend not to see such an older man.
To this experienced lawyer, we now can place Roy Moore in contact with a 14-year-old in a social relationship that he initiated and hid from the guardian of the 14-year-old girl. If you don’t have a problem with that alone, you have on partisan blinders.
The Alleged Criminal Activity
Mr. Moore was picking up and meeting a 14-year-old girl for social purposes. That alone would cause me not to support him. The allegation, of course, is that the social purpose was for dating and some form of sexual activity.
Men don’t chase the opposite sex to learn more about boy bands. The end game is sexual activity. As young teens, we hope to steal a kiss or get to second base with our our first loves … or beyond. As grown men, the end game needs no explanation.
Grown men want sex, and they shouldn’t want it from little girls. The law prohibits it.
The specific allegation is that Moore picked up the girl on the first encounter or “date” and drove her to his home. There, he plied her with compliments and put the moves on her, to include kissing her. The allegation is that she was a little uncomfortable and that she asked him to take her home and he complied.
Some of his defenders may try to excuse the encounters by suggesting that the girl was a willing participant and that Moore didn’t force her to do anything. In fact, for some true believers, they will say that Moore complied when she asked him to stop, and he took her home both times when she requested he do so. If true, that would make him what … a kind pedophile?
The reason you can’t have sexual relations with a 14-year-old as a 32-year-old man in nearly every state is that the law recognizes these girls are too young to consent to that activity, both because of their maturation and the power adults hold over them. They are children in the eyes of the law. That Moore allegedly enticed her, brought her into his home and tried to pressure her to engage in any sexual activity, is all illegal. It matters not that he stopped when she asked.
According to the alleged facts in the second encounter, the young girl found all this scary, but exciting. None of that would be surprising. She accepted a second “date” and Moore allegedly brought her back to the house again. There, he purportedly gave her alcohol, which is illegal. Likewise, if true, it evidences a further effort to gain a greater advantage over her by making her child-judgment even more impaired.
According to the story, she was a participant in the event, though the law gives her no right to consent. Reading the facts, she knew why she was there, and based on her own description, the events escalated to the point where he took both her pants and shirt off. He did this after he stripped down to his own skivvies.
Again, some might ask, why didn’t she demand to leave then? The answer is simple, she was a young, foolish, impressionable child, confused and intimidated. The law does not ever permit a man to put a child in this position.
Based solely on her account, he allegedly fondled her and attempted to have her fondle his genitals. As a matter of regular “procedure,” that story makes sense. According to her accusation, once this form of adult behavior began, she panicked, didn’t want to do it, and ultimately asked to leave.
She then never saw him again.
The central question to be answered here is whether these specific acts took place. For this alleged encounter, all we have are the accuser’s allegations, both of which include the criminal acts of molestation and enticement of a minor.
No other witness in the Post’s story corroborates these events. That too is important. While the accuser now says she kept quiet because she believed she had done something wrong, a plausible and believable explanation, the gaping hole is here: Why didn’t she convey this story to her two best friends who knew of the relationship?
In fact, one girl had warned her of the relationship. In addition, when she chose to end it, why didn’t she tell either of her two 14-year-old best friends why and what happened? It is one thing to be afraid, concerned and scared to give this information to an adult. It is another to say she conveyed nothing to the close friends who already knew she was seeing him. That piece of the puzzle calls into question just exactly what happened that day.
It doesn’t mean she is lying or that her story is not true. It simply means it is harder to give it the full faith and credit that we might if she had contemporaneously explained some nature of the encounter to the two friends who had knowledge of the relationship.
This is not a legal case, however. This is a matter of common sense and evaluating the overall credibility of the allegations.
The Additional Facts Militate Against Moore
After these events, the accuser’s life went sideways. Maybe that was part of being from a broken home. Maybe it was a lack of education or parental oversight. However, her admission to drugs, sex, parties, attempted suicide, and a life marked by bad decisions point to a life that went off the rails right at the time of these events.
As the father of teenagers and a youth sports coach, the description of these types of teenage troubles and the resultant spiraling is consistent with bad events that include broken homes, and sadly, lives touched by violations of trust by adults.
I have seen these exact issues with kids I know. These issues reported by the accuser match classic behavior of such kids who had their lives broken or tainted by predators and who did not or were not able to find the help they needed to move past it.
That alone does not prove the allegations, but it is “consistent” with the allegations.
In building any analysis, we must draw reasonable conclusions. We must look at how all the facts and events piece together. The teen years for this girl after this event piece together classically with that of a teenager in trouble from an event or events where an adult broke the trust and faith on which children rely.
In addition, her post-event path is like experiences I have had with people tainted by abuse. First, she confides in someone long after the trauma. Then, she ultimately struggles to confront the abuser. Unable to do so, and with more life considerations, she again buries the burden she should never have been required to carry.
This is classic behavior for an abused person. I have heard this story first-hand from two adults abused as children, including one I have spoken with recently. The allegations of this accuser match, nearly identically, the progression of events the person I have tried to counsel went through in the post-abuse phase.
National Political Considerations
Let’s not kid ourselves, the Post doesn’t give a damn about this woman, her life, or the issue and troubles that brought her to this spot and time. They want to take down Roy Moore, as do innumerable other people who think his brand of right-wing, anti-Constitutional, religiosity is dangerous for the country, Alabama, and even the Republican party.
Not one ounce of that factors into my analysis of the allegations.
Many people just want to make sure their team wins or the other team loses a US Senate seat in a Senate that is nearly tied. With a possible US Supreme Court appointment before the next Senate Election, the Democrats want to do whatever they can to stop a simple majority approval of a Trump nominee. Getting one seat closer helps them. For the national party, they will do anything to take down Moore. For the party’s allies and advocates, like the Post, they are happy to help.
I am rightfully wary of that reality, but I still evaluate facts based on reason and not blind partisanship.
The timing of a hit piece is worthy of consideration … but in the end … if the story is credible and real, the timing may be a matter of events pushing the story out, rather than a story being created for the events.
I experienced just this same circumstance. I too released a 100% correct, credible, story the week before the Virginia election. Not one major publication picked it up, investigated it, or followed up on the allegations. Obviously, it was not as compelling as a grown man abusing a child, but the story did not get carried by media likely for two reasons. The first is the timing was so close to the election media sources likely thought they could not properly vet it. The second reason is equally true. For some outlets, they didn’t want the story out, as it hurt the chances of the candidate they endorsed.
I’d love to see the Washington Post investigate the abuse of public office and the attempt by a lawyer and Constitutional officer in Virginia to silence a political critic. I won’t hold my breath.
Major media outlets control these stories for their own purposes. However, we have an obligation to evaluate them the best we can on the merits to ensure we are not being manipulated.
I’m a Conservative. That means America comes first and the principles of decency and the civil society go together with my American, conservative values. I’d love to keep another vote in the US Senate out of the hands of the hard left. I am not prepared to support just anyone to do it.
On Veterans Day and the Marine Corps Birthday, I am reminded of these ethical moorings.
My father crawled through the mud in the South Pacific to save the world and fight for his country. He left me many great lessons, including the indelible image of him always fighting for what was right.
Mostly … he left me his name. It was clean, bright, un-smudged, and respected when he gave it to me … and when he passed on from this earth. I intend to keep it that way.
There is no present scenario where I would put my father’s name next to, in support of, or behind Roy Moore.
The allegations here are damning. While only Moore and the accuser really know what happened in that one encounter, the credible facts and reasonable conclusions show Moore had a wholly inappropriate social relationship with a 14-year-old girl when he was a 32-year-old prosecutor.
Moore’s blanket denial and political counter-attack might be enough for partisans. It is not for me.
Moore must answer a long series of serious questions, under oath, and to my satisfaction to dissuade me from the conclusion that he preyed upon a 14-year-old girl and hoped to convert his efforts into a criminal sexual encounter.
If he is not willing to do that … or does not demand to do it … then I suggest you don’t put your good name behind him either.
Thank you to all who took the time to read both my analysis and, just as critically, the underlying Post piece. You are in the great minority having done so. Additionally, thank you to those of you who have thought long and hard about these matters. You are better for having done so, no matter the conclusion you reached.
I have been writing and published for 32 years since I was 19. Trust me, I have been called every name in the book. Little surprises me. I even had a left-wing national site feature attacks on me based on my conservative views.
I expected this analysis would receive unhappy responses, and I expected that the vast majority of them would come from people who neither read the entire piece, nor the underlying Post story. Ironically, the piece they did not read, predicts and discusses that.
The enormous pushback is too big for me to respond to individually on each site, and likewise, much of the criticism involves emotional, reactionary responses evidencing no critical thought, and thus meriting no response.
Still, some good folks have written back with honest observations and thoughts, and I just can’t get to them all.
As a conservative, I can tell you … as this site preaches … conservatives are thinkers. Conservatives are principled, thoughtful, and civil. It is sad to see people self-identifying under the conservative banner who exhibit none of those attributes. It is certainly possible to disagree with my conclusion thoughtfully, and I am happy to read and hear those thoughts. The emotional parroting of anger, innuendo, and false news does not, however, persuade me to adopt your view. Likewise, suggesting I am not conservative, a “phony,” or a “cuck” or some other pejorative may satisfy an emotional need of the critic, but that type of response only self-identifies such writers as non-thinking, non-conservatives.
As always, I am grateful to those who read my work, irrespective of their “label.”
As the piece warns, we need more thinking and less emoting, irrespective of your political proclivities.
Author: Richard Kelsey
Richard Kelsey is the Editor-in-Chief of Committed Conservative.
He is an Attorney, a former Assistant Law School Dean, Law Professor, and Virginia state court law clerk. Dean Kelsey was also the CEO of a technology company specializing in combating cyber-fraud. He is a regular commentator on legal and political issues in print, radio and on TV.
Rich graduated from George Mason law school, clerked for the Arlington Circuit Court, and later joined an AM LAW top 10 law firm practicing commercial litigation. He left the firm to be counsel and CEO to a consulting firm, rising to CEO of Turiss, LLC, a technology firm specializing in computer forensics, digital investigations, and fighting cyber-fraud through civil intel services and new technologies. Upon the sale of the company, Kelsey returned to Mason Law, where in the years before his return, he both taught at the school and served as President of the Law Alumni Association. Kelsey was the Assistant Dean for Management and Planning.
At Mason, Dean Kelsey taught legal writing and analysis and an advanced litigation seminar. In 2014 he was elected by the graduating class as the faculty speaker at their graduation. While serving the former George Mason Law, Kelsey conceived of, planned, and brought to fruition Mason’s Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property, known as CPIP.
Rich has appeared on radio, TV, and in print hundreds of times as both a legal expert and political and legal commentator. He provided the legal analysis for all stages of the Bob McDonnell trial and appeal for numerous outlets including NPR and WMAL. He writes on occasion for the American Spectator and CNSNews.com. He returned to private practice in September of 2016, and he is working on a book/expose on legal education.
In his free time, Rich is part of the baseball mafia of Northern Virginia, serving on numerous boards and as a little league and travel baseball coach.
Rich has many opinions, and they are his own. His Twitter handle is @richkelsey.