Eddie Moore gave police a more than one-hour long interview the day after a teenage female relative accused him of molesting her in 2014.
During the interview with police, which prosecutors have labeled as a “confession,” Moore admitted to touching the breasts of the girl, who was 13 years old the first time it happened, and of making her strip naked in front of him among other allegations.
Moore, 41, is charged with first-degree sexual abuse and use of a minor in a sexual performance, and his trial on the charges started Monday morning.
Given that Moore is asking a jury to find him not guilty of the offenses, he had a lot of explaining to do as he testified for over 90 minutes Wednesday afternoon.
The girl was 13 years old when the alleged abuse started, and was living with Moore and his now ex-wife, Heather Moore, when the abuse allegations surfaced in 2014.
By all accounts, the girl has a well-documented history of lying and cutting her self that predated the alleged abuse. Since she has come forward with the allegations, she has been hospitalized several times for emotional or psychological issues.
On Oct. 1, 2014, the day the allegations first surfaced, Moore said that his family was going through turmoil because his father-in-law had recently died. His headstone was going to be set that day.
“She (Heather) was an emotional wreck,” Eddie Moore testified.
He said Heather called him at work a few times that day. Once she broke down crying over their son getting a ‘D’ on his progress report.
Eddie Moore said that later Heather called him saying the female relative claimed he touched her breast while they were on a trip to Wisconsin that the two of them took right after she turned 13 years old.
When he said yes, Heather started yelling at him calling him a child molester and hung up the phone, Eddie Moore testified.
He then called back and Heather told him that girl claimed he touched her another time. Heather freaked out again over his response and hung up, he testified.
“I couldn’t get a word in edgewise,” Eddie Moore told jurors.
He later called Heather a third time, and she refused to put the girl on the phone, but eventually put the phone on speaker mode.
Eddie Moore said the girl was scared and he told her it wasn’t her fault. Eddie Moore told jurors what he meant by that was the girl couldn’t help her various psychological and behavioral issues.
“At that point I thought Heather was over reacting,” Eddie Moore testified.
Eddie Moore said that he didn’t go home that evening, and spent the night at his office getting very little sleep.
“At that point I was completely shattered. I didn’t know where else to go,” he testified.
He did research online typing in things related to touching a young female relative’s breast and the consequences for committing a crime because he touched the girl “in those places.”
“I know I didn’t do anything sexual,” Eddie Moore testified.
When asked why he was in such an emotional state if he didn’t molest anyone, Moore replied, “Heather told me I destroyed my family.”
The next day, Eddie Moore said that he initially tried to contact the victim’s advocate office in Williamsburg to seek advice, but couldn’t get a hold of anyone.
When asked why he went to the London Police Department, Eddie Moore said that he thought he was going to the victim’s advocate office there to seek advice.
Heather Moore testified Tuesday that she gave Eddie an ultimatum that morning that either he turn himself in, or she would do it for him.
Eddie Moore said that he tried to call an attorney before he got to London, but the attorney was out of the office and he couldn’t speak with him.
Moore said that given his state of mind, he should have never gone to the police station, and he is surprised that he made it there.
“I shouldn’t have been there at all,” Moore testified.
Moore said he was crying when he talked to London Police Detective Staci Anderkin because “honestly, I was looking for advice. I was trying to find a way of saving my family.”
Moore said that he didn’t go there to confess or get arrested.
“Honestly I didn’t know who I was talking too,” Eddie Moore testified Wednesday.
Anderkin testified Monday that Moore initially called her on the phone he told her he had touched the breasts of a young teenage relative.
“He said it happened on several occasions,” Anderkin testified.
At the start of Moore’s approximately one-hour statement to police, Moore agreed to sign a waiver of his Miranda rights before speaking to police.
According to testimony and Eddie Moore’s statement to police, the first incident where he touched the victim’s breast was during a trip to Wisconsin shortly after she turned 13 years old.
They were in a hotel room at the time.
“I was just laying there with her watching TV. I was trying to comfort her rubbing her stomach,” Eddie Moore testified.
Eddie Moore said he could tell by feeling the girl’s stomach that she had an abnormal heartbeat at the time.
“It wasn’t normal by any means,” Eddie Moore testified.
This is when he put his hand on her chest trying to better check her heart rate and touched her breast.
“I asked is that your boob?” Eddie testified.
He said the girl seemed to be immediately offended and he told her he was “sorry” for asking if that was “her boob.”
At the time both of them were clothed, and Eddie Moore said he didn’t touch her for his or her sexual desire.
Eddie Moore also said that he never told the girl he sexually abused her.
Other touching incident
Eddie Moore disagreed with the girl’s description of another incident.
Eddie Moore said they were sitting on a bed talking about her cutting and lying when he began to get frustrated with the girl, and she could tell he was angry.
Moore said he lay down on the bed with his hands behind his head, and the girl laid her head on his chest.
While he was checking for cuts, his hand accidently touched the side of her breast for one second. The girl then got up, Moore testified.
Moore said he didn’t touch her breast for his sexual gratification or for hers.
Moore said that his hands were never near the intimate areas of her body at any other times besides those two.
Showing her breasts
Eddie Moore said that over the next year after the Wisconsin trip her cutting began to get worst in terms of both frequency and deeper cuts.
She began to pull out her eyelashes, tried to pierce her tongue with a thumbtack and burned herself.
She was in counseling, but hated going and frequently argued about it.
Moore was asked Wednesday afternoon about an incident where he reportedly told the girl to show him her breasts if she didn’t want to go to counseling.
Moore said he told her he would need to check her chest area for cutting if she didn’t want to go to counseling.
When she asked if that meant she had to show him her “boobs” if she didn’t want to go to counseling, Moore said he told her yes.
At that point the girl just walked away, Eddie Moore testified.
Eddie Moore testified that he told the girl that if she continued to cut herself, she would have to strip down in front of him to be checked because he thought it might stop her from cutting herself.
“At that point Heather said she was done checking,” Eddie Moore testified adding that she told him to do it.
Eddie Moore testified that one another occasion he told the girl to strip down to get checked for cuts, and when she asked all the way, he said, “Yes.”
Eddie Moore denied that he touched the girl at all during this search, and said she was wrong when she said he touched her stomach.
After the defense rested its case late Wednesday afternoon, prosecutors recalled Heather Moore to the stand as a rebuttal witness.
Heather Moore testified that she never told Eddie she would no longer check the girl for cuts and that he would have to do the searches himself.
Heather Moore also testified that she never had the girl strip completely naked to be checked for cutting either when she examined her body.
Statement to police
During his interview with police, Moore told them that he had been molested when he was five by a slightly older female relative.
When police asked during the interview why he touched the victim and not other children, Moore replied, “The only thing I can put together is the trigger of my past.”
Moore told police during the interview that it was in the best interest of his kids “for me to get away from them … this is the right scenario for my kids … I am guilty.”
When asked why he told Anderkin that he was “guilty” during his interview with police, Moore said Wednesday that he meant he was guilty of checking the girl for cuts and so forth.
“By no means was I guilty of anything sexual,” Moore told jurors.
Moore said he was telling the truth when he told police he didn’t touch the girl’s breasts for sexual gratification.
During the police interview, Moore told police that the girl “lies about a lot of things but she won’t lie about this” and encouraged them to speak with her.
When asked why he told police that, even though she had a well-documented history of lying, Moore responded, “by no means did I think she would ever say anything against me.”
Moore said he now thinks he was “ignorant.”
After more than an hour of questioning by his attorney, B.J. Foley, Moore then faced another 23 minutes of cross-examination by Commonwealth’s Attorney Allen Trimble, who is the prosecutor in the case.
When asked if he thought it was appropriate to tell the girl to show him her “boobs” Moore replied, “If that was the only thing said, no, but you have to look at the context.”
When asked if he felt he was being sensitive to the girl’s feelings when he told her to strip naked, Moore replied that he was concerned for her safety.
“I did not consider breaking the law at all,” Moore told Trimble. “Heather convinced me that by merely touching her (the girl’s) chest, I committed a crime.”
Moore said that he shouldn’t have gone to the police department on Oct. 2, 2014.
“I shouldn’t have been there. I was ignorant of the law … if was talking to a lawyer; I wouldn’t have been there. They would have educated me,” he testified.
Moore said he was honest with police when he was interviewed by them, and he was honest testifying in court Wednesday.
Trimble reminded him that he also told police he was guilty.
Moore admits that he did say that, but that he meant he was guilty of checking his daughter for cuts, and guilty of touching her breasts but that he wasn’t guilty of anything sexual.
Testimony in the case concluded shortly after 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Closing arguments are scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. Thursday.
The News Journal will post updates on the trial’s outcome Thursday on the News Journal’s website at www.thenewsjournal.net.