Innocent until the mob says otherwise

The rapid character assault on Alabama GOP Senate hopeful Roy Moore following the Washington Post’s accusations of sexual misconduct last week provide yet another reminder that presumed innocence is in big trouble in today’s age of social media pitchfork mobs.

Last week, The Washington Post hit Moore with serious allegations of sexual misconduct against a minor nearly 40 years ago.

The Post reported:

Leigh Corfman says she was 14 years old when an older man approached her outside a courtroom in Etowah County, Ala. She was sitting on a wooden bench with her mother, they both recall, when the man introduced himself as Roy Moore.

It was early 1979 and Moore — now the Republican nominee in Alabama for a U.S. Senate seat — was a 32-year-old assistant district attorney. He struck up a conversation, Corfman and her mother say, and offered to watch the girl while her mother went inside for a child custody hearing.

The piece continues with Corfman’s account, alleging that the young district attorney later attempted to court the then 14-year-old in a sexual manner

The newspaper also reported that three other women told its reporters “Moore pursued them when they were between the ages of 16 and 18 and he was in his early 30s.”

Moore and his campaign denied all charges of misconduct– but that hasn’t stopped the national media from holding the candidate up as a portrait of sexual abuse.

And by Sunday, the bad press was beginning to take a toll. A number of influential Republicans have suggested that Moore should abandon his campaign and his poll numbers in Alabama have slipped slightly.

As reported by Marketwatch:

A new poll of Alabama voters shows Roy Moore’s support is waning after bombshell allegations he molested a 14-year-old girl in 1979.

Democrat Doug Jones now leads Moore by 4 percentage points in the special election race for U.S. Senate — 46% to 42%, with 9% undecided, according to a JMC Analytics and Polling survey.

That’s a significant swing from October, when Moore had a 48%-40% lead in the same survey.

Still, beyond the long time it took for the allegations to surface, there are some strange details emerging about Moore’s accusers.

For instance, this from Fox:

One of the women accusing Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexual impropriety reportedly worked as a sign language interpreter for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, a new report claims.

Deborah Wesson Gibson, who told The Washington Post that she briefly dated Moore when she was 17 and he was 34, founded the language interpreting company, Signs of Excellence, and has worked for a number of democratic campaigns, according to Alabama Local News.

The company’s Facebook page shows Gibson working for and posing with several democratic candidates at political rallies including 2016 presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, former Vice President Joe Biden, former Sen. Patrick Murphy, D-Fla., and Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla.

Moore says he intends to sue over the allegations.

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