UPDATE: Senator says Moore should be expelled if elected

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WASHINGTON (AP) — 3:30 p.m.

Photo: Judge Roy Moore / Facebook Photo: Pixabay

The head of the Senate Republican campaign committee says if Roy Moore wins his race in Alabama, the Senate should vote to expel him.

Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado says in a statement that he believes the women who accused Moore of sexual misconduct and that they spoke with "courage and truth." Gardner says what they recounted proves Moore is unfit to serve in the Senate and should not run for office.

Gardner says if Moore refuses to withdraw from the Alabama race and wins, "the Senate should vote to expel him, because he does not meet the ethical and moral requirements of the United States Senate."

A new accuser has come forward, alleging that Moore assaulted her when she was 16. Moore calls that new allegation part of a "witch hunt" against him.

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3:05 p.m.

Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama says the latest allegations against him are a "witch hunt."

Moore's campaign sent out a statement before a news conference Monday held by lawyer Gloria Allred and the latest accuser, Beverly Young Nelson.

The statement says Allred "is a sensationalist leading a witch hunt." It says Moore is innocent and "has never had any sexual misconduct with anyone." The statement reiterates that Moore "will pursue all legal options against these false claims."

Nelson says Moore assaulted her when she was 16 and he gave her a ride home from a restaurant where she worked.

Her statement follows a Washington Post report that the 70-year-old More had sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl and pursued three other teenagers decades earlier.

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3 p.m.

The latest accuser of Alabama Republican Roy Moore says the Senate candidate assaulted her when he gave her a ride home one night in the late 1970s.

Beverly Young Nelson cried at a news conference in New York with attorney Gloria Allred.

Nelson says she was a 16-year-old high school student working at a restaurant where Moore was a regular. She says Moore groped her, touched her breasts and locked the door to keep her inside his car. She said he squeezed her neck while trying to push her head toward his crotch and that he tried to pull her shirt off.

She said he finally relented and, as she fell or was pushed out of the car, warned her no one would believe her if she spoke about the encounter.

She said she was a high school student at Gadsen High School at the Olde Hickory House and Moore was a regular customer. He sat in the same seat night after night.

Moore called the allegations a "witch hunt" in a statement shortly before the news conference.

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2:45 p.m.

A second woman has come forward to accuse Alabama GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore of sexual misconduct when she was a minor.

Beverly Young Nelson says Moore sexually assaulted her when she was 15 and 16. She held a news conference Monday with attorney Gloria Allred.

Moore called the allegations a "witch hunt" in a statement shortly before the press conference.

Her statement follows a Washington Post report that the 70-year-old More had sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl and pursued three other teenagers decades earlier.

Moore had no immediate comment about the most recent allegations. He dismissed the Post story as "fake news" and denied the reports.

He has refused to quit the race even with pressure mounting, including from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they speak publicly, which the women have done.

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12:56 p.m.

Alabama Republican Roy Moore says it's Mitch McConnell who should quit, not him.

Moore is responding to McConnell, the Senate majority leader, who says he believes Moore's accusers and thinks he should drop out of the race for Senate. At issue is a Washington Post story saying Moore had sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl and pursued romantic relationships with other teenage girls decades ago.

Moore says on Twitter: "The person who should step aside is @SenateMajLdr Mitch McConnell. He has failed conservatives and must be replaced. #DrainTheSwamp."

The election is Dec. 12 and Moore's name remains on the Alabama ballot.

Moore's "drain the swamp" hashtag is popular with President Donald Trump and his supporters.

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11:15 a.m.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says that Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama "should step aside" in light of allegations he had sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl decades ago.

McConnell spoke to reporters Monday after visiting a plant in Kentucky. He says he believes the women who were quoted in a Washington Post story about Moore's past relationships with them as young women.

Previously McConnell had said Moore should step aside if the allegations were proven true.

He says Republicans are looking at a write-in option in Alabama.

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Alabama Republican Roy Moore says a lawsuit will be filed over the newspaper report carrying allegations that he had sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl four decades ago. And he said that neither Democrats nor Republicans want to see him win a special Senate election.

While pressure to quit the race four weeks before Election Day intensified from within the Republican Party, Moore assured supporters Sunday night at a Huntsville, Alabama, gym that the Washington Post story was "fake news."

Moore called allegations that he was involved with a minor child completely false and he threatened to sue over it. The former judge also questioned why such allegations would be leveled for the first time so close to the special election in spite of his decades in public life.