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Arson Is Suspected After Home Of Roy Moore's Accuser Burns

Authorities in Alabama are investigating a fire that destroyed the home of Tina Johnson, who accused Senate candidate Roy Moore of groping her in his office in 1991.

The fire at Johnson's home in Gadsden, Ala., occurred on Jan. 2 and was first reported by AL.com.

"I am devastated, just devastated. We have just the clothes on our backs," said Johnson on Friday morning as quoted by Al.com.

In a brief issued by the Etowah County Sheriff's Office, authorities say "investigators are speaking to a person of interest."

"The on-going investigation does not lead us to believe that the fire is in any way related to Roy Moore or allegations made against him," adds the statement.

No one was hurt in the blaze which occurred while Johnson and her husband were at work.

According to Al.com, neighbors say they "witnessed a young man who had a history of public intoxication walking around the house before and during the blaze."

Johnson was 28 years old in 1991 when she visited Moore's office with her mother to discuss a custody dispute. Johnson alleges that as she was leaving the meeting Moore "grabbed my behind."

Moore has denied the allegations made by Johnson and other young women who accused him of improper sexual contact. The charges became the focal point of Moore's unsuccessful election campaign to fill the seat vacated by Jeff Sessions when he became Attorney General. Moore, a Republican running in a deeply red state, was defeated by Democrat Doug Jones.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Richard Gonzales is NPR's National Desk Correspondent based in San Francisco. Along with covering the daily news of region, Gonzales' reporting has included medical marijuana, gay marriage, drive-by shootings, Jerry Brown, Willie Brown, the U.S. Ninth Circuit, the California State Supreme Court and any other legal, political, or social development occurring in Northern California relevant to the rest of the country.