By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
A Washington Post story published November 9 offers a detailed account of Leigh Corfman’s first encounter with then 32-year-old Assistant District Attorney Roy Moore at the Etowah County Court House. The year was 1979, according to The Post, when Corfman accompanied her mother to a child custody hearing. Washington Post reporters Stephanie McCrummen, Beth Reinhard and Alice Crites say they confirmed the 1979 hearing using divorce records. Meeting Moore at the Etowah County Court House was also confirmed by Corfman’s mother, Nancy Wells, now 71, the wife of Dr. Richard Wells. There were at least two custody hearings according to the divorce records one in 1979 another in 1980.
Moore, a Republican, is locked in a heated contest for the U.S. Senate with former U.S. Attorney Democrat Doug Jones.
Etowah County court records show that in a 1974 divorce settlement between Nancy C. Corfman and Robert R. Corfman, the mother was awarded custody of the minor child, 10-year-old Marjorie Leigh Corfman.
Civil Action No. 28,298 M shows that on Feb. 21, 1979, a joint petition to modify the custody arrangement was presented before Judge James Waid. The Post reported that this was the time Moore met Corfman, however, the reporters did not include the actual files, saying only, “The Post confirmed that her mother attended a hearing at the courthouse in February 1979 through divorce records.” Court filings in the divorce records show there were subsequent hearings in the 1980s dealing with custody and child support.
The 1979 hearing involved a Consent Decree to modify the custody arrangement out of concern that Corfman’s mother could no longer handle her daughter’s “disciplinary and behavioral problems.” It reads, “Each of the parties have become increasingly concerned and worried about certain disciplinary and behavioral problems being manifested by their minor child….the parties have agreed that the welfare of the said minor child would be best served by placing her into the custody of the Defendant, her father….whose personality is somewhat stronger than that of the Plaintiff and whose home would now offer the supervision, companionship, and counsel of two adults since the Defendant is now remarried while the Plaintiff remains single.”
Judge Waid granted Corfman’s father primary custody, stating, “commencing on March 4, 1979, the Defendant shall have care, custody, and control of the minor child of the parties.”
In the Washington Post article, Corfman says that Moore asked for her number at the courthouse and later called her. The Post report reads, “Days later, she says, he [Moore] picked her up around the corner from her house in Gadsden, drove her about 30 minutes to his home in the woods, told her how pretty she was and kissed her.” At the time, Moore owned a mobile home in the Gallant community in Etowah County.
According to Judge Waid’s order, Leigh Corfman would be living with her father on Virgil Drive in Ohatchee, Ala., in Calhoun County no later than March 4, 1979, eleven days after the Washington Post reports Corfman met Moore at the Etowah County Court House. Corfman’s mother retained visitation rights for every other weekend and certain holidays.
The Post also states that Moore picked up Corfman, “around the corner from her house in Gadsden,” which means Moore may have picked up Corfman twice within the eleven days after the consent decree.
Corfman said the second time Moore picked her up, “[H]e took off her shirt and pants and removed his clothes. He touched her over her bra and underpants, she says, and guided her hand to touch him over his underwear.” Her statements to the press suggest she was still living with her mother, but the report is not specific on Corfman’s living arrangement at the time of the second date.
Court records show Corfman’s parents living at 104 Boyd Place in Rainbow City at the time of their divorce petition in 1974. In the divorce decree, the Corfmans agreed to sell the Boyd Place property. Real estate filings show Corfman’s mother, Nancy, living at 151 Whittier Street in Gadsden around 1979. Corfman’s father lived in Ohatchee, approximately 20 miles or 30 minutes from Gadsden at the time of the custody petition. Moore’s trailer, located in Gallant, is nearly 31 miles from Ohatchee or a 42-minute drive according to Google maps.
APR reached out to Corfman’s attorney a week ago but did not receive a response to a request to clarify the timeline or living arrangements in 1979.
Another petition to modify the custody agreement was filed on June 27, 1980, stating, “[S]aid petition being submitted in order to correct certain disciplinary and behavioral problems concerning the minor child…since said consent degree was rendered…the minor child’s disciplinary problem has improved greatly….” The hearing to return custody to Corfman’s mother occurred on August 4, 1980, when Corfman would have been 16 years-old – Corfman was born May 1964. The order returning Corfman to her mother’s home in Gadsden from her father’s home in Ohatchee was signed in October 1980.
During an exclusive interview with NBC News, Corfman accused Moore of “seducing” her. “I was expecting candlelight and roses, what I got was very different,” she said. “I felt guilty. I felt like I was the one to blame. It was decades before I was able to let that go.”
She also told NBC’s Savannah Guthrie that she informed The Post reporters that she would only tell her story, “If they [Post reporters] found additional people.” Corfman said, “They [Post reporters] found those people.” Corfman told NBC that the opportunity to tell her story, “…fell in her lap.”
In the November report, there are no others who claim Moore assaulted them. Two women say they dated Moore with their mothers’ permission when they were 17 and 18. Another says Moore asked her mother if he could date her at 16. The mother remembered telling Moore, “I’d say, ‘You’re too old for her . . . let’s not rob the cradle.’”
Moore supporters have suggested that Corfman, who has had a series of financial problems, is being paid by unnamed sources. Corfman, on NBC, said, “Absolutely not. If anything, this has cost me. I’ve had to take leave from my job. I have no tickets to Tahiti, and my bank account has not flourished. If anything, it has gone down because currently, I’m not working.”
The Washington Post used divorce records to establish the timeline when Corfman first encountered Moore, but failed to include vital dates and actions, including when Corfman moved to her father’s home in Ohatchee in 1979 at age 14, and the later custody hearing in August 1980, when she was 16 years-old, which resulted in her moving back to her mother’s house in Gadsden.
Two other women have come forward to accuse Moore of sexual misconduct. Moore has denied all allegations.