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Alabama's Moore Face New Accusers, Calls To Quit

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(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File) (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) - The path to victory for Roy Moore, Alabama's GOP nominee for the U.S. Senate, grew narrower Monday as more accusers emerged and calls for him to step aside grew louder.

Moore has faced accusations, first reported by The Washington Post, that when he was in his 30s he tried to initiate a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl and pursued romantic relationships with three other teenagers. 

Moore has denied any allegations of sexual misconduct. He faces Democrat Doug Jones in a Dec. 12 special election.

A new accuser came forward Monday, saying Moore assaulted her when he offered her a ride home one night in the late 1970s.

Beverly Young Nelson cried at a news conference in New York with attorney Gloria Allred.

Nelson says she was a 16-year-old high school student working at a restaurant where Moore was a regular. She says Moore groped her, touched her breasts and locked the door to keep her inside his car. She said he squeezed her neck while trying to push her head toward his crotch and that he tried to pull her shirt off.

She said he finally relented and, as she fell or was pushed out of the car, warned her no one would believe her if she spoke about the encounter.

She said she was a student at Southside High School and worked at the Olde Hickory House and that Moore was a regular customer. He sat in the same seat night after night.

Moore called the allegations a "witch hunt" in a statement shortly before the news conference.

Jones' campaign issued a statement Monday applauding what it calls "the courage" of Moore's accusers, who have detailed allegations Moore sexually harassed them when they were teens.

Establishment Support Fades

Earlier Monday, Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Moore "should step aside," dropping his previous formulation that Moore should quit only if the reported behavior was true. McConnell added that he "believed the women" who have accused Moore.

Moore fired back via Twitter, saying McConnell should quit.

Later, the head of the Senate Republican campaign committee said Monday that if Moore wins, the Senate should vote to expel him.

Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado says in a statement that he believes the women who accused Moore of sexual misconduct and that they spoke with "courage and truth."

Gardner says if Moore refuses to withdraw from the Alabama race and wins, "the Senate should vote to expel him, because he does not meet the ethical and moral requirements of the United States Senate."

Holding On

Moore insists the latest allegations against him are a "witch hunt."

In a statement released by Moore's campaign before Monday's news conference, Moore's team said Allred "is a sensationalist leading a witch hunt." It says Moore is innocent and "has never had any sexual misconduct with anyone." The statement reiterates that Moore "will pursue all legal options against these false claims." Moore also threatened to sue The Washington Post.

Alabama's governor, meanwhile, says there are no plans to change the date of the special election for the Senate.

Gov. Kay Ivey said Monday: "The election date is set for Dec. 12."

The governor office has said since Saturday that she is not considering moving the election.

Ivey says she plans for now to vote for Moore, but added that "there may be some more facts to come out."

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