A former police officer in the Alabama county where Senate candidate Roy Moore (R) worked as an assistant district attorney said the stories about Moore being interested in young girls were treated “like a joke.”

“It was a known fact: Roy Moore liked young girls,” Faye Gary, a retired Gadsden police officer, told The New York Times.

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“It was treated like a joke. That’s just the way it was.”

Other local residents told the Times that they also knew about Moore approaching teenage girls, including several that said Moore would often work out at the YMCA gym shirtless.

Delores Abney told the paper that Moore would talk to girls that “appeared to be high school on up” in her exercise class, adding that “it just did not look appropriate.”

And Janet Reeves, who used to work at a local mall that Moore was known to frequent, said Moore once asked her friend, who was 17 or 18, for her number.

“I just thought he was the creepy old guy,” she told the Times.

And Glenn Day, who managed two stores at the mall at the time, said security had asked him to let them know if Moore was at the mall.

“I can’t believe there’s such an outcry now about something everybody knew,” Day said to the Times.

Numerous local residents have come forward with stories about Moore approaching teenage girls during his time as assistant district attorney in Etowah County, Alabama.

The Washington Post first reported earlier this month that a woman said Moore initiated a sexual encounter with her in 1979, when she was 14 years old and he was 32.

Several more women have accused Moore of sexual misconduct or assault in the days since the report.

Moore has denied the allegations and is refusing to drop out of the Alabama Senate special election.