The narrative of yet another accuser claiming high-profile sexual misconduct against a judge is crumbling before the close scrutiny of the legal process, this time an accuser of Judge Roy Moore of Alabama.
In a filing Thursday by Moore attorney Melissa Isaak, the issue was whether Moore must give details that would help accuser Leigh Corfman embellish her lacking recollection of the facts.
Corfman’s accusation was part of a Washington Post hit piece on Moore a month before Election Day last year in his bid for Alabama’s U.S. Senate seat vacated by rising U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
She told a team of Post reporters that as a 14-year-old she rode with Moore, then a 32-year-old local prosecuting attorney, in his car to his house in 1979, on two occasions.
According to Corfman, attempts of sexual assault took place during one such visit.
But now, Corfman doesn’t know where the accused incidents took place, specifically which of two residences Moore owned at the time, Isaak said in comments to the Christian Action Network Friday.
According to Corfman, there were two visits to Moore’s home, but was it the trailer home Moore lived at for part of that time frame, or was it the constructed house that Moore had built at about that time?
“Corfman simply refuses to respond,” Isaak said. “She is saying she was at Judge Moore’s home two times that year. We have been asking her to describe the residence, the driveway, anything. Was it a house, a trailer home?”
The lack of response is total, meaning there is no acknowledgement of the inquiry at all: no official indication from Corfman that she simply does not remember.
“She wants to refuse to respond, and then be able to amend her responses after forcing us to disclose those details. That way, she can change her story without penalty to her narrative,” Isaak said.
“Well, we’re not playing that game.”
She should state clearly that she simply does not know, because she actually does not know.
According to Isaak, Corfman’s team of attorneys continues to compel Moore to fill in blanks on the car make and model, household floor plan details, carpeting, landscaping, for Corfman’s benefit as she maintains the right to revise and extend her official statements on the incidents.
Isaak said, and it is noted in her case filing as well, that a signing of an agreement that Corfman does not remember the contested details would be sufficient to move on.
“She should state clearly that she simply does not know,” Isaak said, “because she actually does not know. That way we can take that before a jury.
“It is absurd,” she concluded.
The contested details have been at issue since May. A hearing in September cleared up some details, but not many, as Corfman noted very ambiguous facts of a side entrance to a home, a carpet, a TV, a lamp – the kitchen had a refrigerator. She also mentioned a gravel driveway.
There were a few things for Moore to respond to. He didn’t own a television set in 1979, for one thing, and Corfman’s statements about a TV have been consistent since even the Post article.
“When asked if the house had a gravel driveway, Judge Moore said, ‘no,’” Isaak noted in Thursday’s filing. “Thus Judge Moore often attempted to be responsive where Ms. Corfman had herself provided an answer.”
According to Isaak, obtaining a full and honest review of Corfman’s responses regarding detailed facts is important as others who actually did visit Moore’s residences and recall his belongings can then collaborate Moore’s responses in contrast to Corfman’s.
The core takeaway:
Corfman’s team of attorneys noted she “does not know” the specified answers, but that’s not good enough to solve the legal impasse.
“An attorney’s representation does not suffice,” Isaak said, to legally and officially clear up the problem of a morphing narrative.
Moore contends the incidents described by Corfman never took place. Because of Moore’s denials, Corfman is claiming financial losses that she wants Moore to pay for.
Moore has filed a counter suit claiming defamation. He has filed other lawsuits claiming defamation against two other accusers.
Delaying the cases: a problem over presiding judges, with yet a fourth judge expected to be appointed early next year following a request based on bias against Moore, Isaak said.