Birmingham, ALABAMA — An attorney for senatorial candidate Roy Moore has given lawyer and activist Gloria Allred forty-eight hours to release to the custody of an independent examiner the original copy of a yearbook that contains the only piece of physical evidence to be presented in the cases of numerous women who have gone public with stories alleging inappropriate conduct between Moore and teenage girls.
The letter to Allred was dated yesterday and obtained by Breitbart News. Attorney Trenton R. Garmon, who represents Moore and his wife, Kayla, further requested that Allred take steps to ensure the “immediate and professional preservation of the yearbook.”
The letter demanded that Allred and her client, accuser Beverly Young Nelson, issue a “full and fair public retraction” of all “false statements” concerning Moore.
The letter stated:
Any “testing” performed on the evidence prior to its release to my clients and/or this firm which said “testing” results in alteration and/or destruction of the evidence, and/or any part of the evidence, will be considered spoliation.
…As part of the request for preservation of evidence the Moores request: (i) immediate and professional preservation of the yearbook and all other evidence as described above, (ii) reasonable but immediate efforts to create and maintain evidence regarding a chain of custody pertaining to all potential evidence, and (iii) that the yearbook be released to the custody of our expert forensic document examiner within two (2) business days of your receipt of this correspondence.
The yearbook inscription is a critical part of the story of Nelson, 55, who has claimed that Moore sexually assaulted her in a car in December 1977 or early January 1978 when she was a 16-year-old high school student. Nelson said the alleged assault took place outside a restaurant in Gadsden, Ala., where she says that she worked as a waitress.
Nelson said that she originally met Moore when he was a 30-year-old deputy district attorney in Etowah County and would regularly eat at a restaurant in Gadsden called Olde Hickory House.
Nelson claims that Moore used to compliment her on her looks and that he signed her yearbook in 1977 sometime just before Christmas.
At a press conference in New York, Allred presented a photocopy of the yearbook with an inscription that reads: “To a sweeter more beautiful girl I could not say, ‘Merry Christmas.’ Love, Roy Moore DA, 12-22-77, Olde Hickory House.”
Yesterday, Phillip L. Jauregui, a Moore campaign attorney, raised numerous questions about the signature, including about the “DA,” attempting to link it to a signature on Nelson’s 1999 divorce document. “After Judge Moore’s signature, it has the initials capital D.A. Remember I told you about that 99 divorce action? Judge Moore looked at that ‘DA’ after his signature.”
“Judge Moore says he can’t remember ever signing his name with DA after it. But he had seen it before. You know where he had seen it? When he was on the bench, his assistant whose initials are capital D. A. Delbra Adams would stamp his signature on a document and put capital D. A. That’s exactly how this signature appears on the divorce decree that Judge Moore signed dismissing the divorce action of Beverly Nelson.”
Jauregui raised more questions about other elements of the yearbook inscription.
“Look at the 1977 after Merry Christmas. Look at those two sevens. And then look below at the 77. I want to ask you. Do you think it was written by the same person? I want you to look at ‘Old Hickory House,’ which they say Judge Moore wrote. Judge Moore says there is no way in the world that that is his handwriting.”
Following Allred’s press conference, Breitbart News contacted four signature and handwriting authentication experts certified by the American Society of Questioned Document Examiners. Each of the four independently arrived at the same conclusion, saying they would need the original yearbook inscription to definitively draw conclusions.
Handwriting expert Linda L Mitchell told Breitbart News that “an absolute identification is very difficult without the original document because photographs and photocopies do not provide a three-dimensional view of handwriting, which would include pressure and line quality.”
“Those things are important if a definitive opinion to be reached. Anything less than that would not provide enough support for a definitive opinion unless the handwriting contains highly identifiable peculiarities.”
The three other experts echoed Mitchell’s sentiments.
Nelson claims that when she was a sixteen-year-old waitress, Moore used to compliment her on her looks and that he signed her yearbook in 1977 sometime just before Christmas.
About a week or two later, she says that Moore offered her a ride home. “I trusted Mr. Moore because he was the district attorney,” she said at the news conference. “I thought that he was simply doing something nice.”
Nelson claims that Moore drove her to the back of the restaurant, where he proceeded to grope her breasts, pull the area in the back of her neck and try to force her toward his crotch. “I thought that he was going to rape me,” she said. “I was twisting and I was struggling and I was begging him to stop.”
Eventually, Nelson says that Moore let her out of the car and told her that “no one will ever believe you” if she ever mentioned their alleged encounter to others.
Moore has strenuously denied Nelson’s accusations. “I can tell you without hesitation this is absolutely false,” Moore told reporters. “I never did what she said I did. I don’t even know the woman. I don’t know anything about her. I don’t even know where the restaurant is or was.”
Moore has also denied allegations from others, including a woman who went public with her accusations against Moore in a Washington Post interview in which she alleged that Moore attempted to initiate sexual contact with her in 1979, when she was 14. Three other women between the ages of 16 and 18 claim that when Moore was in his 30s, he attempted to court them or that he dated them. The current age of consent in Alabama is 16.
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, Aaron Klein Investigative Radio. Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.