SEATTLE — A man is suing Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, accusing him of child sexual assault over several years in the 1980s, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday.
The 46-year-old Kent man filed the lawsuit in King County Superior Court claiming Murray “raped and molested him.”
"D.H." alleged he met Murray when he was 15 years old while riding a Metro bus, and Murray, who was about 32 years old at the time, propositioned him to visit his Capitol Hill apartment for sex. The encounters continued for “an extended period of time,” according to court documents.
“Addicted to drugs at the time, D.H. was willing do whatever Mr. Murray asked for as little as $10-20 dollars,” the lawsuit claimed.
The victim recalled details such as Murray’s phone number at the time and the layout of the apartment. He also described Murray’s genitalia to lawyers, according to court documents
The Seattle Times, which first reported news of the lawsuit, also reported that two other men have said they too were abused by Murray as teenagers in the 1980s.
"These false accusations are intended to damage a prominent elected official who has been a defender of vulnerable populations for decades. It is not a coincidence that this shakedown effort comes within weeks of the campaign filing deadline," said Jeff Reading, a spokesperson for Murray. "These unsubstantiated assertions, dating back three decades, are categorically false. Mayor Murray has never engaged in an inappropriate relationship with any minor. The two older accusations were promoted by extreme right-wing antigay activists in the midst of the marriage equality campaign, and were thoroughly investigated and dismissed by both law enforcement authorities and the media. Mayor Murray will vigorously fight these allegations in court."
Murray, who took office Jan. 1, 2014, is running for re-election. He previously served 18 years in the Washington State Legislature, representing the 43rd District. According to the Seattle government website, Murray was known for "reaching across party lines to bring meaningful protections and resourced to vulnerable populations." He was the prime sponsor of Washington's marriage equality law and sponsored the 2002 Safe Schools bill that protects sexual-minority youths in schools, according to the website. He is married to his longtime partner, Michael Shiosaki, who also works for the city.
"I don’t think it’s a coincidence that these allegations have occurred in the midst of a mayoral campaign," Murray's private lawyer Robert Sulkin said in a news conference. "Think about it: For 30 years nothing was said and all of the sudden an accuser comes, who apparently, it has been reported, has a long criminal record, and makes these allegations."
Although the suit comes months before Murray will face voters for re-election, the lawsuit denied the allegations are politically charged.
“D.H. is disturbed that Mr. Murray maintains a position of trust and authority, and believes that the public has a right to full information when a trusted official exploits a child,” the lawsuit said.
In the suit, D.H. says his father recently died, and processing his death prompted D.H. to file the lawsuit 30 years after the alleged incident.
“These moments of reflection, and awareness that Mr. Murray maintains a position of authority, prompted the filing of this lawsuit in an attempt at accountability, and to hopefully give courage for other potential victims to come forward and speak out,” the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit acknowledged that D.H. has been convicted of several charges, including prostitution during an unrelated sting in 1990.
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