Major Alabama newspaper calls Roy Moore “grossly unfit for office”

WASHINGTON (CNN) — A leading news website in Alabama is calling on the GOP to pull its support of Roy Moore, the Alabama Republican Senate candidate accused of sexual misconduct.

AL.com’s editorial board, which includes the largest paper in the state, the Birmingham News, published a piece Monday evening that calls Moore “grossly unfit for office.”

“The seriousness of these incidents cannot be overstated. They should not be parsed with talk of statutes of limitations or whether proof exists. Proof beyond a reasonable doubt is a consideration for the courtroom, not the ballot box,” the editorial reads. “When choosing our representative before the rest of the world, character matters.”

Four women told The Washington Post that Moore pursued romantic and sexual relationships with them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s, and one of the accusers alleged that Moore had sexual contact with her when she was 14 years old. In the aftermath of those allegations, another woman, represented by attorney Gloria Allred, accused Moore on Monday of sexually assaulting her when she was 16 years old.

Moore denies all the allegations. He called the woman’s accusation of assault on Monday “absolutely false,” adding, “I don’t even know the woman.”

After its own independent investigation, AL.com and the Birmingham News’s editorial board said it had “no reason to doubt the accounts.”

“We believe these women,” the editorial board said.

“It’s time that he and his party read the writing on the wall: His candidacy is over. His true character has been revealed. It’s time for the GOP to remove its official support,” the editorial concludes. “And since he and his party can’t assure it, the voters of Alabama must.”