Roy Moore defamation trial begins
Jury selection finished on Monday in the defamation case against former Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore, who is being sued by a woman who has accused the former judge of molesting her when she was teenager and he was in his 30s.
As The Birmingham News reported, a jury of six Black men, five Black women and a white man — along with four alternates — were chosen from 50 potential jurors.
Opening arguments in the trial were set to begin Tuesday.
Moore, the former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, is being sued by Leigh Corfman, who alleges that Moore sexually touched her when she was 14 years old and he was a 32-year-old assistant district attorney. The lawsuit filed in 2018 has to do with Moore’s denials of these accusations.
“It never happened,” Moore said when the allegations first surfaced.
During his 2017 Senate run in Alabama, multiple women came forward and accused Moore of engaging in inappropriate sexual conduct with them when they were underage teenagers.
The allegations ultimately derailed Moore’s campaign, and he ended up losing to Democratic candidate Doug Jones, the first Democrat Senate candidate to be elected in Alabama in 25 years.
Instead of financial damages, Corfman is seeking a declaratory judgment that she was defamed by Moore.
Both Moore and Corfman are expected to testify during the trial, The Birmingham News noted. Moore’s attorney Julian McPhillips said they were pleased with the majority-Black jury.
“We think the African Americans here are tired, sick and tired of this kind of injustice that he’s been subjected to,” she said.
Retired Circuit Judge John Rochester, who is overseeing the case, will not sequester the jury, but has asked that they not speak to their families or read news about the case. Rochester said the trial will likely last between seven to 10 days.