A new wave of accusations were leveled at Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore Wednesday, including two by women who said Moore made unwanted advances on them while they were working in the Gadsden mall, where the thirtysomething Moore was notorious for cruising to meet high school girls. Gena Richardson, now 58 years old, says she was a high school senior working in the men’s department of Sears at the mall when Moore first approached her in the fall of 1977 to introduce himself.
Moore, she says, asked where she went to school before asking for her phone number. Richardson declined to give it to him, telling Moore that her dad was a Southern Baptist preacher, and wouldn’t allow them to date. Moore was a 30-year-old lawyer working in his hometown of Gadsden at the time. A few days after their first encounter, Moore called Richardson’s school to try and ask her out again. From the Post:
A few days later, she says, she was in trigonometry class at Gadsden High when she was summoned to the principal’s office over the intercom in her classroom. She had a phone call. “I said ‘Hello?’” Richardson recalls. “And the male on the other line said, ‘Gena, this is Roy Moore.’ I was like, ‘What?!’ He said, ‘What are you doing?’ I said, ‘I’m in trig class.’ ”
Richardson says Moore asked her out again on the call. A few days later, after he asked her out at Sears, she relented and agreed, feeling both nervous and flattered. They met that night at a movie theater in the mall after she got off work, a date that ended with Moore driving her to her car in a dark parking lot behind Sears and giving her what she called an unwanted, “forceful” kiss that left her scared.
Moore’s pursuit of Richardson at the Gadsden mall wasn’t unique, according to the Post’s reporting. Eventually, Richardson would hide when Moore came into the store, and the manager at the store would tell new hires to “watch out for” Moore. Kayla McLaughlin, a classmate and co-worker of Richardson’s, corroborated her story to the Post.