Seattle Mayor Ed Murray is being sued by a man who says Murray raped and molested him 30 years ago, when the man was 15 years old.
The Seattle Times reports that the alleged victim, identified in the suit only as “D.H.,” is accusing the mayor of a long campaign of abuse beginning in 1986, when he was a high school dropout addicted to crack. He claims Murray paid him between $10 and $20 for each encounter.
“I have been dealing with this for over 30 years,” D.H. said in an interview with the paper, adding that he finally decided to come 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.”
Murray, who is up for reelection, has vigorously denied the allegations. As he said during press conference on Friday:
“To be on the receiving end of such untrue allegations is very painful for me. It is painful for my husband and for those who are close to us,” he told reporters. “I understand the person making these accusations is troubled, and that makes me sad as well.”
D.H.’s allegations are not the first of their kind to be made against Murray. Two other men, Jeff Simpson and Lloyd Anderson, have also accused Murray of sexual abuse in the ‘80s, when they were teenagers and Murray was in his 20s. Simpson spoke with a detective about the incident at the time, but no charges were filed. Both men said they would testify in court against Murray if need be.
Because of the amount of time that has passed since the alleged abuse occurred, D.H. no longer has legal grounds to file criminal charges. He can, however, file a civil suit.
Murray’s spokesperson said earlier in the week that D.H.’s complaint was politically motivated. “It is not a coincidence that this shakedown effort comes within weeks of the campaign filing deadline,” he told the AP.
Murray is known as among the country’s most progressive mayors, successfully legalizing same-sex marriage in Washington state and raising the city’s minimum wage to $15 per hour. He indicated during the news conference that the lawsuit will not impact his campaign.
“Things have never come easy to me in life but I have never backed down and I will not back down now,” he said. “I will continue to be mayor of this city. I will continue to run for re-election.”