Seat­tle mayor ac­cused of sex abuse in law­suit, me­dia re­port

The Washington Times Daily - - NATION - BY GENE JOHN­SON

SEAT­TLE | A law­suit filed Thurs­day ac­cuses Seat­tle Mayor Ed Mur­ray of sex­u­ally mo­lest­ing a teenage high­school dropout in the 1980s, and in in­ter­views with The Seat­tle Times, two other men claim he abused them.

In the law­suit filed in King County Su­pe­rior Court, a 46-year-old man, iden­ti­fied only by the ini­tials, D.H., said Mr. Mur­ray “raped and mo­lested him” over sev­eral years, be­gin­ning in 1986, when he was 15 and ad­dicted to crack co­caine. In 1986, Mr. Mur­ray turned 31.

The man said he met Mr. Mur­ray on a city bus, and Mr. Mur­ray in­vited him back to his apart­ment, propo­si­tion­ing him for sex and hag­gling over the price.

Mr. Mur­ray paid him $10 to $20 for each of at least 50 en­coun­ters over the next four to five years, the law­suit said.

“I have been deal­ing with this for over 30 years,” the man, now sober for a year, told the Times.

He said he was com­ing for­ward as part of a “heal­ing process” af­ter years of “the shame, the em­bar­rass­ment, the guilt, the hu­mil­i­a­tion that I put my­self through and that he put me through.”

The man also said his father’s re­cent death freed him of a de­sire to keep the abuse se­cret.

The mayor, who is openly gay, de­nied the ac­cu­sa­tions through his per­sonal spokesman Jeff Read­ing.

“These false ac­cu­sa­tions are in­tended to dam­age a prom­i­nent elected of­fi­cial who has been a de­fender of vul­ner­a­ble pop­u­la­tions for decades,” said a state­ment is­sued by Mr. Read­ing. “It is not a co­in­ci­dence that this shake­down ef­fort comes within weeks of the cam­paign fil­ing dead­line. These un­sub­stan­ti­ated as­ser­tions, dat­ing back three decades, are cat­e­gor­i­cally false.”

Mr. Mur­ray was elected mayor in 2013 af­ter a long ca­reer in the Leg­is­la­ture, where he led ef­forts on gay mar­riage in the state. As mayor he pushed to in­crease the city’s min­i­mum wage to $15 an hour and ad­dress the home­less­ness cri­sis in Seat­tle.

The Seat­tle Times also re­ported that two other men said they knew Mr. Mur­ray when they lived in a Port­land, Ore­gon, cen­ter for trou­bled chil­dren.

Jeff Simp­son and Lloyd An­der­son ac­cused Mr. Mur­ray of abus­ing them in the 1980s and pay­ing them for sex and said they’d be will­ing to tes­tify about it, the Times said.

The Times said one of them talked with a so­cial worker and de­tec­tive at the time. No charges were filed and an en­try in an old Mult­nomah County dis­trict at­tor­ney’s data­base in­di­cates the office con­sid­ered but re­jected a felony third-de­gree sodomy case in May 1984. Any other po­lice and child wel­fare records would have been de­stroyed by now, of­fi­cials said.

Mr. Simp­son and Mr. An­der­son raised the ac­cu­sa­tions a decade ago in calls to re­porters and Washington state law­mak­ers, and they re­peated them in re­cent in­ter­views with the Times.

Mr. Read­ing’s state­ment ac­knowl­edged those ac­cu­sa­tions.

“The two older ac­cu­sa­tions were pro­moted by ex­treme right-wing anti-gay ac­tivists in the midst of the mar­riage equal­ity cam­paign, and were thor­oughly in­ves­ti­gated and dis­missed by both law en­force­ment authorities and the me­dia,” the state­ment said.

Mr. Simp­son, 49, said Mr. Mur­ray raped him over sev­eral years, start­ing at age 13, and in later years, paid him.

“I would re­ally like for him to ad­mit it and to take re­spon­si­bil­ity,” Mr. Simp­son told two Times re­porters who vis­ited him unan­nounced in Port­land. “I don’t nec­es­sar­ily think that he de­stroyed my life but I be­lieve a lot of the prob­lems I have stemmed from this.”

Mr. Simp­son tried to bring a law­suit against Mr. Mur­ray in 2007, with Mr. An­der­son’s sup­port, but his lawyer with­drew from the case. In 2008, Mr. Simp­son started call­ing me­dia or­ga­ni­za­tions and law­mak­ers in Olympia, say­ing Mr. Mur­ray, then a state sen­a­tor, was a pe­dophile who had sex­u­ally abused him.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Seat­tle Mayor Ed Mur­ray de­nied Thurs­day through a per­sonal spokesman that he sex­u­ally mo­lested a teenage high school dropout in the 1980s .

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