“It was a known fact: Roy Moore liked young girls,” said Faye Gary, a retired Gadsden police officer. “It was treated like a joke. That’s just the way it was.”…

But numerous people remembered otherwise. They recalled Mr. Moore working out at the Y.M.C.A. gym, often shirtless. Delores Abney, 63, said she recalled Mr. Moore talking to women that “appeared to be high school on up” in an exercise class she was enrolled in. “It just did not look appropriate.”

Janet Reeves, 57, a former employee of a photo kiosk and an Orange Julius at the mall, talked of Mr. Moore asking a friend of hers, who she recalled was 17 or 18, for her phone number. “I just thought he was the creepy old guy,” she said.

Glenn Day, 64, who managed two stores at the mall in those years, recalled that Mr. Moore had such reputation for approaching young women that the mall guard asked him to let security know whenever he saw Mr. Moore there. “I can’t believe there’s such an outcry now,” Mr. Day said, “about something everybody knew.”