Seattle mayor accused of raping teen boy in mid-1980s
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has been accused of raping a teen boy in the mid-1980s, according to a lawsuit filed on Thursday.
Two other men say he abused them as well, according to the Seattle Times. Those men considered filing lawsuits about a decade ago when Murray was a state lawmaker but their attorney later withdrew.
Using the initials D.H., the man said he met Murray, then 32, riding the number 7 bus on Capitol Hill.
He had attended Nathan Hale High School in Seattle’s north end but dropped out after ninth grade. At 15, he was homeless and his parents were on drugs, according to the suit. He, too, used drugs.
D.H., now 46, says that he and Murray struck up a “friendly interaction,” and that Murray invited him to his apartment. The man said he remembers Murray’s old phone number and the layout of the mayor’s apartment. (That phone number, which was disconnected when KUOW called on Thursday afternoon, is found easily and for free online.)
D.H. also describes Murray's genitalia in the suit.
“The interaction turned sexual,” the suit says. D.H. says that Murray asked him his age when he first had him over to his apartment, and that he answered truthfully: age 15. The age of consent was — and still is — age 16 in Washington state.
According to the suit: “Mr. Murray propositioned D.H. in the form of sex acts for money – a form of child prostitution. Addicted to drugs at the time, D.H. was willing to do whatever Mr. Murray asked for as little as $10-$20.”
The sex acts included intercourse, the suit says.
“At times, the sex turned aggressive, beyond a point to which D.H. was comfortable and/or felt that to which he had agreed,” the suit says.
Murray denies the accusations, according to Jeff Reading, a spokesman for the mayor.
“These false accusations are intended to damage a prominent elected official who has been a defender of vulnerable populations for decades,” he said in a statement. The statement continued:
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. Mayor Murray has never engaged in an inappropriate relationship with any minor. 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. Mayor Murray will vigorously fight these allegations in court.
In 2008, two men who grew up at the Parry Center in Portland made similar allegations against Murray in calls to reporters and Washington state lawmakers, according to the Seattle Times.
One of the men, Jeff Simpson, said he was abused by Murray in 1984. Murray was in his late 20s at the time. Simpson told the Seattle Times that he told a social worker and detective at the time, but no charges were filed.
Simpson attempted to bring a case in 2007 with the help of Lloyd Anderson, who grew up in the same center. They both alleged Murray paid them for sex when they were teenagers.
Simpson’s lawyer eventually withdrew from the case.
Both men told reporters and lawmakers their claims in 2008. The Seattle Times chose not to print their story at the time but said D.H.'s lawsuit added "weight and relevance" to their story.
The two men repeated their claims recently to the newspaper and said they would testify in court if needed. The Seattle Times also reports that neither Simpson nor Anderson were aware of the lawsuit by D.H.
D.H.'s attorney said he didn't know about Simpson and Anderson, either.
Murray hired an attorney at the time to combat Simpson and Anderson’s claims, who attacked their credibility, according to the Seattle Times.
No criminal charges have been filed in D.H.'s case; that's because the statute of limitations has passed for a criminal rape charge to be filed.
D.H. says he came forth with this lawsuit because he recently started therapy after the death of his father.
"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 suit says. "To the extent that D.H. has any political motivations for outing Mr. Murray, they stop there.
"At no point in time, not even prior to this lawsuit, did D.H. make any financial demands of Mr. Murray — other than trading sex acts for money as described herein."
D.H.’s attorneys include Lincoln Beauregard and Julie Kays of Connelly Law Offices, which are also representing women in sex discrimination claims against the King County Sheriff's Office, according to seattlepi.com. D.H. is also represented by Lawand Anderson of L.A. Law & Associates.
On Thursday afternoon, Murray's attorney, Bob Sulkin dismissed Simpson and Anderson's stories.
"The previous accusers were investigated by law enforcement and the press and found to be not credible and their claims meritless," he said. "These are no different."
Kara McDermott and Jason Pagano contributed reporting.
Correction 4/6/2017: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said the two men who had previously accused Murray had filed lawsuits.