In 2015, during Roy Moore's second stretch on the Alabama Supreme Court, the court heard the case of Eric Lemont Higdon, a man convicted of two sodomy charges due to sexual assault against a four-year-old at Mama’s Place Christian Academy in Clay, Alabama.
Eight of the nine justices on the panel found that the appeals court had erred. Their legal logic was such that a 17-year-old’s sexual assault of a four-year-old was enough to produce in the mind of the four-year-old, an “implied threat of serious physical injury.” The decision was reversed and remanded and Higdon’s conviction was reinstated.
Moore, however, was the lone dissenter, writing in his opinion:
Because there was no evidence in this case of an implied threat of serious physical injury…or of an implied threat of death, Higdon cannot be convicted of sodomy in the first degree “by forcible compulsion.”
A review by the Guardian of all decisions issued by the Alabama supreme court during Moore’s second stint found decisions on 16 criminal cases that involved alleged sexual crimes. Moore sided with the offender over state prosecutors in 13 of those cases.
- In the case of David Pittman, who had pleaded guilty to the rape of a 12-year-old girl, Moore in September 2015 said that Pittman ought to have been allowed to present evidence to court indicating that the girl had been sexually active and had a sexually transmitted disease.
- The case of Sherman Tate, a school mentor who was convicted of coercing two 15-year-old female students to touch him sexually, where Moore argued in June 2014 that attorneys for Tate should have been allowed to tell jurors that he believed the girls were bisexual and in a relationship together.
- James Ware, who was convicted of raping a graduate student while she slept, leaving her bound and blindfolded. Moore in January 2014 argued that Ware should have been allowed to question in court every laboratory technician involved in tests that linked his DNA to the victim, rather than just their supervisor, who had testified.
- Lanice Bonds, a school police officer convicted of having sex with a 17-year-old student. Moore in April 2016 said that “although I do not condone the behavior” of Bonds, the courts should consider the notion that Bonds was not technically an employee of the school, and therefore may have been wrongly prosecuted.