(RNS) — Conservative Christian supporters of Roy Moore are defending the U.S. Senate candidate against charges of sexually assaulting a teenager decades ago — and one of them used the biblical story of Mary and Joseph to rationalize sex between an adult and a minor.

These supporters don’t expect voters will abandon Moore, a darling of a segment of the American religious right, in the Alabama race for a seat in the U.S. Senate, for the same reason they didn’t turn away from Donald Trump when several women came forward during last year’s presidential campaign with allegations he had sexually assaulted

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