Stephen Colbert took time during his show’s opening monologue Thursday night to address the sexual misconduct claims made against Roy Moore, the Republican nominee for the open Senate seat in Alabama.
In a Washington Post story published Thursday, an Alabama woman claims Moore made inappropriate sexual advances and contact with her when she was only 14 and he was 32.
“For those keeping track, there’s an age difference of-,” The Late Show host began before interjecting, “It doesn’t matter. She was 14. That is an act so heinous that it defies my ability to describe it, but I’ll try. Illegal.”
Continuing to read The Washington Post’s report, three more victims came forward to speak out against Moore and claim he pursued them when they were between the ages of 16 and 18, while he was in his early 30s.
“My God, these accusations are so damning, voters are either going to force him off the ballot or make him president,” Colbert said, making a jab at the sexual assault and harassment allegations previously made against President Donald Trump during his election.
Moore’s campaign responded to the claims, dubbing them “garbage” and calling them what “defines fake news.” The team also assured that “if the allegations were true they would have surfaced during his previous campaigns.” Colbert mocked Moore and his team’s defense by portraying a faux trial in which Moore would argue, “Your honor, how could I be guilty of this murder when I wasn’t caught ‘til now?”
Alabama state auditor Jim Zeigler publicly defended Moore, comparing his alleged sexual misconduct to that of the biblical story of Joseph and Mary. “Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus,” Zeigler told The Washington Examiner.
“Yeah, because Joseph didn’t touch her. Their whole deal is that there was no funny business. She was the Virgin Mary!” Colbert yelled in response to Zeigler's controversial defense. Colbert then added Jesus’s response would be, “Blah blah blah. I don’t want to think about my parents having sex.”
Moore’s allegations arrive one month prior to Alabama’s special election. Senior Republicans have urged Moore to step aside from the Senate race if the allegations are true. According to John Bennett, a spokesman for the Alabama secretary of state, Moore’s name cannot be removed from the ballot even if he were to withdraw.