opinion

18 U.S.C. S 2422(b)

Doug Jones Locked Up Men Who Did What Women Say Roy Moore Did

Donald Trump, who says the Democrat is weak on crime, is supporting a Republican who multiple women now say treated them criminally.

Here is what Doug Jones did as U.S. attorney about a man accused of enticing a 14-year-old girl for sexual purposes:

Jones indicted David Edward Suggs and prosecuted him and sent him to prison.

Here is what Donald Trump is doing about a man accused of enticing a 14-year-old girl for sexual purposes:

Trump is supporting Roy Stewart Moore as the Republican candidate in the upcoming special election for U.S. Senate in Alabama.

At the same time, Trump has accused the Democratic candidate, Doug Jones, of being soft on crime.

Never mind that Trump is himself so soft on crime as to shrug at convincing allegations that Moore enticed a 14-year-old girl with sexual intent—a felony—when he was a 32-year-old district attorney solemnly sworn to uphold the law.

Never mind that Jones was in fact so tough on crime that he prosecuted Suggs even though there never was an actual 14-year-old, just an FBI agent pretending to be one online.

Never mind that during the same week in 1999, Jones also prosecuted a man named John Emerson Starbuck for enticing online someone he thought was a 14-year-old boy but was also in fact an FBI agent.

Jones brought charges against Suggs and Starbuck for separate violations of 18 U.S.C. S 2422(b); “Using a Computer to Attempt to Persuade, Induce and Entice a Child to Engage in Sexual Activity.”

Suggs was found to possess child pornography and video equipment, so he was subsequently hit with added charges.

Both men pleaded guilty and happened to be sentenced on the same day by different judges. Starbuck got 16 months for enticement. Suggs got 10 years for enticement as well as possession and attempted production of child pornography.

After being indicted in the same week and then sentenced on the same day, both men served their time. They remain registered sex offenders as a result of Jones’ prosecutorial efforts.

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That, even as Trump calls Jones soft on crime and endorses the accused kiddie enticer Moore.

Trump suggests that the accuser, Leigh Corfman, is lying, along with the seven other women who have come forward to say Moore pursued them when they were young teens and he was in his thirties.

“He says it didn’t happen,” Trump said. “You have to listen to him, also.”

True.

Let’s hear Moore explain how Corfman was able to describe accurately his house in 1979 as being in the woods and a half-hour drive away from her home. How would somebody who was 14 at the time have known that unless she had been there? A photo from around that time shows a shirtless Moore chopping wood outside a house surrounded by trees.

Were it not for a legal technicality, the case could have been brought before a grand jury even now. Alabama presently has no statute of limitations for sex crime against children, but that only began in 1985. The statute of limitations before then was just three years, and the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled such changes cannot be made retroactive.

Meanwhile, there is also the woman who accuses Moore of sexually assaulting her around Christmas of 1977 outside the Olde Hickory House in Gadsden, when she was a 16-year-old waitress. She backed up her allegations with a high school yearbook embossed with her name and bearing an inscription in what looks very much like Moore’s handwriting.

“To a sweeter more beautiful girl I could not say ‘Merry Christmas.’ Christmas 1977. Love, Roy Moore D.A. 12-22-77 Olde Hickory House”

Moore has charged through a proxy that the inscription was a forgery, but he has presented nothing to substantiate that claim. His wife, Kayla, went on Facebook to repeat a bit of truly fake news that the Olde Hickory House did not exist at the time of the alleged assault. Town records and a newspaper ad indicate that it did, and on the very same road that the woman recalled.

Moore has also failed t0 explain away the many people who say he pursued high school girls at the local mall to the point he was informally barred. He was a district attorney at the time.

And now he is the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in the special election on Dec. 12, backed by a president who at an earlier time bragged about being able to commit a sexual assault with impunity and now accuses Moore’s opponent of being soft on crime.

Jones has reminded the voters that as a prosecutor in 2001 he went to extraordinary lengths to secure convictions of two participants in the 1963 bombing of a Birmingham church that killed four little girls. One of the victims was 11. The other three were 14.

With the murder of those very real children surely still figuring large in his mind, Jones may barely remember two sex cases where the 14-year-old victims did not actually exist.

But anybody who wants to see how Jones responded as a prosecutor when men were accused of enticing a 14-year-old need only go online to the Alabama sex offender registry.

Enter the name David Edward Suggs and John Emerson Starbuck. Their pictures will stare right back at you.

If the Alabama law had changed just three years sooner, they might have been joined by our president’s candidate, Roy Stewart Moore.