Beverly Young Nelson points to a yearbook picture of herself during a press conference on Monday in New York. She claims Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore sexually assaulted her when she was a minor in Alabama without her consent. The US Senate’s top Republican Mitch McConnell on Monday urged Moore to end his Senate campaign. Photo: AFP
A fifth woman on Monday accused Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexual misconduct, claiming he assaulted her when she was a teenager, as the evangelical conservative came under mounting party pressure to quit the Alabama election.
Moore -- a former state supreme court judge running a tight race against a Democratic lawyer - denies any wrongdoing, calling the allegations "absolutely false."
But Beverly Young Nelson claimed the now 70-year-old grandfather sexually assaulted her when she was a 16-year-old waitress and he was a county district attorney twice her age around January 1978.
Nelson, who is now a 55-year-old businesswoman in Alabama, told reporters in New York that Moore, a regular in the restaurant where she worked, one night offered to drive her home after she finished her shift.
But he instead parked between a dumpster and the back of the restaurant, in a dark and deserted spot, locking the car so she could not get out.
Moore then groped her and squeezed her neck, attempting to force her head onto his crotch, she said, reading from a prepared statement alongside celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred, who has represented women who accused felled Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault.
"I was terrified. He was also trying to pull my shirt off. I thought that he was going to rape me. I was twisting and struggling and begging him to stop," Nelson said, speaking through tears.
She alleged that Moore eventually gave up and drove off, leaving her behind "on the cold concrete in the dark."
Nelson said she was motivated to speak out after four other women told The Washington Post that Moore also pursued them in their teens, while he was in his early 30s working as an assistant district attorney.
"I can tell you without hesitation this is absolutely false," Moore said, speaking alongside his wife, who expressed support. "I never did what she said I did. I don't even know the woman. I don't know anything about her. I don't even know where the restaurant is or was," he told reporters, declining to take any questions.