Celebrity attorney Gloria Allred, who is counsel to Beverly Young Nelson (the woman who has accused Judge Roy Moore of attempted rape in 1977), has refused to allow handwriting analysis of her client's high-school yearbook, as requested by the political campaign of Roy Moore. Moore is running for U.S. Senate in Alabama. The yearbook had been offered as evidence that Moore engaged in improper sexual advances to Nelson.

Moore has denied the allegations or even knowing the woman, who accused him of an assault that occurred when she was a teenager and he in his 30s. At a news conference on Monday, Nelson offered the yearbook as evidence to support her claims because she claimed it bears Moore's signature. Nelson was 16 years old at the time, and alleged that Moore offered to give her ride home from the restaurant where she was working, Old Hickory House. Instead of taking her home, Nelson alleged that Moore tried to make her perform a sexual act on him in the parking lot.

On Wednesday, the Moore campaign demanded that Nelson and Allred allow the yearbook to be subjected to handwriting analysis, arguing that the signature does not match Moore's. Moore's attorney, Phillip Jauregui, said at the Monday news conference, “We demand that you immediately release the yearbook to a neutral custodian, so that we can see the ink on the page, we can see the indentations, and we can see how old is that ink. Is it 40 years old or is it a week old?”

Jauregui recalled that he has known Moore for 24 years and had been in Moore’s presence as he met over 10,000 women and “not once” did Moore “act in an inappropriate manner” with any of them. Jauregui also charged that Nelson had lied about not having had any contact with Moore since the 1977 alleged incident. He said that Moore was the judge in Nelson’s 1999 divorce case, who signed the order. He suggested that this order was where Nelson obtained a copy of Moore’s signature to use to forge his name in the yearbook. In the divorce decree order, the Moore signature adds “D.A.” after his name. Jauregui said that D.A. were the initials of Judge Moore’s assistant at the time, who would routinely initial the judge’s signature in court documents.

In Nelson’s yearbook, “D.A.” also appears after Moore’s name, with the implication that Moore added those two letters to indicate that he was Etowah County district attorney. Actually, Moore was not the district attorney at the time, but was only an assistant. Nelson explained earlier that she got into the car with Moore because she felt safe with Moore, because he was a district attorney. “No way in the world” that Moore would write “D.A.” after his signature, Jauregui insisted.

Jauregui asked the yearbook be given to a neutral third party, with a chain of custody, to allow a handwriting expert to examine it. Jauregui asked the media to note the two "77"s that appear in the yearbook, asserting that they were clearly not written by the same person.

Allred flatly refused to allow the yearbook to be examined by a neutral third party. She said that they would only loan it a Senate committee, if the Senate should want to see it before deciding whether to seat Moore, should he win the election.

On CNN, show host Wolf Blitzer asked Allred if the signature could have been forged. Allred responded, “Well, all I’m saying is, we will permit an independent examiner of the writing.... We will allow all of this to be asked and answered at the [Senate] hearing.” When Blitzer response, “But that’s not a flat denial, Gloria,” Allred said, “Well, all I’m saying is, we’re not denying, we’re not admitting, we’re not addressing. We will not be distracted.”

Blitzer then wondered out loud why a Senate hearing would be needed to take a look at the yearbook, rather than an independent expert. Allred explained, “Well, uh, all I can say is we want it done in a professional setting to the extent possible, that’s the only setting in which people can testify under oath.”

Allred has had many high-profile cases over the years, furthering feminist causes, including the case of an 11-year-old girl who wanted to join the Boy Scouts in 1995. She also represented the family of Nicole Brown Simpson during the murder trial of O.J. Simpson that same year.



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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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