Judge dismisses libel action against Roy Moore campaign


MONTGOMERY, Alabama (AP) – An Alabama judge has dismissed a libel complaint against Roy Moore’s unsuccessful Senate campaign filed by a woman who accused Moore of assaulting her decades ago when she had 14 years old.

The case against Moore, which stems from his lost 2018 candidacy for the US Senate, is continuing and is expected to go to trial this fall.

Montgomery Circuit Judge John E. Rochester ruled last week that Leigh Corfman failed to prove campaign staff and volunteers knowingly made false statements or acted with reckless disregard for the truth because they denied the misconduct allegations in the middle of the 2018 race.

The judge also ruled that Corfman was a public figure with a limited vocation, a status that makes a libel claim more difficult to prove.

Corfman is one of several women who have said Moore had sex and romance with them decades ago as a teenager and a prosecutor in his 30s. Moore, an outspoken Christian conservative and former state Supreme Court justice, denied the charges, but the allegations became a central issue in the 2018 Senate campaign. Moore lost the race to Democrat Doug Jones.

Corfman’s lawsuit argued that Moore and her campaign defamed her and made false claims such as calling her a liar and immoral.

Moore released a statement praising the decision to dismiss the libel action against his campaign and slapping the media for not reporting it sooner.

“The court finally recognized what we had known from the start. My campaign for the US Senate in no way defamed the plaintiff Leigh Corfman. We look forward to proving in open court, before a jury, his political motivation for making false allegations in my campaign for the Senate, ”said Moore.

While Moore’s campaign was dismissed from the lawsuit, Moore did not.

Neil Roman, a lawyer at a law firm representing Corfman, has confirmed that this case will continue against Moore.

“Mr. Moore has always been the main event,” said Roman.

Moore’s lawyers argued that there had been no defamation and that Moore had a right to defend himself under the First Amendment.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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