Seattle’s homosexual mayor Ed Murray, 61, one of Washington state’s most powerful politicians, is accused of having sexually molested a 15-year-old boy in the 1980s. At the time, Murray would have been in his early 30s.
Lewis Kamb and Jim Brunner report for Seattle Times that on April 6, 2017, a 46-year-old man with the initials D.H., a resident of Kent, Washington, filed a lawsuit in King County Superior Court, claiming that Ed Murray had “raped and molested him” over several years, beginning in 1986 when the man was a 15-year-old crack-cocaine addicted high-school dropout. Murray gave the teen payments of $10 to $20.
In an interview with The Seattle Times, D. H. said, “I have been dealing with this for over 30 years,” and that he’s now 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 [Murray] put me through.”
In his lawsuit, D.H. said he first met Murray on a Metro bus on Capitol Hill, and that Murray invited him back to his apartment, propositioning him for sex. The two haggled over the price — $10 or $15. Before first paying D.H. for sex in 1986, “Mr. Murray asked D.H. his age, and he responded truthfully, age 15.” Murray continued to pay D.H. at least 50 times during the next four to five years. The lawsuit says: “And there’s times he [Murray] would be doing certain things and I would tell him to stop and he wouldn’t stop, and I let it happen because I wanted that money so I can go get those drugs.”
Sex with a child under 16 — the age of legal consent in Washington in 1986 and today — constitutes rape of a child under state law. But the statute of limitations to bring any criminal charges based on D.H.’s claims expired long ago.
For civil cases, however, victims of child sex abuse are able to bring claims in Washington for years and well into adulthood, depending on when a victim recognizes the impacts such abuse has had on their life. D.H.’s civil lawsuit seeks unspecified damages, and notes that D.H. has not previously made “any financial demands” of Murray. D.H. initially took his allegations to Lawand Anderson, a Des Moines lawyer. She has teamed up on the lawsuit with Lincoln Beauregard and Julie Kays with Connelly Law Offices, a high-powered firm that has won major judgments in abuse cases.
D.H. said he is taking action now, in part, because his father’s recent death has freed him of a desire to keep the abuse secret. He’s also now getting counseling and participating in addiction-recovery programs.
Murray, who is running for re-election this year, vehemently denied the allegations and abruptly canceled a scheduled news conference about police reform.
A statement from Murray’s personal spokesman Jeff Reading read:
“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. These unsubstantiated assertions, dating back three decades, are categorically false. Mayor Murray has never engaged in an inappropriate relationship with any minor. … Mayor Murray will vigorously fight these allegations in court.”
D.H. is not the first or only man to accuse Murray of sexual abuse that occurred decades ago. But the D.H. lawsuit confronts Murray with a formal public accusation of sexual molestation for the first time.
Two other men, Jeff Simpson and Lloyd Anderson, had accused Murray of abusing them in the 1980s when Simpson was 13 and Anderson was 16 years old. Both men had known Murray when they were growing up in a Portland center for troubled children.
Simpson, who is 49 and a public roads crew worker, says Murray — whom he thought of as a father — raped him over several years, starting at age 13, and in later years paid him. Simpson said, “I would really like for him [Murray] to admit it and to take responsibility. I don’t necessarily think that he destroyed my life, but I believe a lot of the problems I have stemmed from this.”
Simpson first made the accusation in 1984 when he was a teenager, and talked with a social worker and detective at the time. No charges were filed. In 2007, with support from Lloyd Anderson, Simpson tried to sue Murray, then a state senator, but the case fell apart when Simpson’s lawyer withdrew.
Anderson also said Murray had paid him for sex when he was teenager. Both Simpson and Anderson repeated their accusations in recent interviews with The Seattle Times, saying they would testify in court if needed.
The details of D.H.’s allegations bear similarities with Simpson’s and Anderson’s cases, which lend weight and relevance to D.H.’s lawsuit. The similarities include:
- Details about Murray’s 1980s Capitol Hill apartment.
- Murray’s phone number at the time.
- A description of the mayor’s genitals: Both D.H. and Anderson describe Murray as having an unusual bump or mole on his penis and bright red pubic hair.
Speaking for the mayor, spokesman Reading dismisses Simpson and Anderson as “two older accusations [that] 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.”
All three of Murray’s accusers have substantial criminal records.
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