Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said Friday that sex abuse allegations made against him are “simply not true,” and that he won’t resign and will continue seeking re-election.
“To be on the receiving end of such untrue allegations is very painful for me,” Murray said at a brief appearance where he delivered a short statement. “These allegations dating back to a period of more than 30 years are simply not true … I will continue to be mayor.”
He did not take questions from reporters.
A lawsuit filed Thursday accuses Murray, who is finishing his first term, of sexually molesting a teenage high-school dropout in the 1980s. In interviews with The Seattle Times, two other men claim he abused them.
Murray was elected mayor in 2013 after a long career in the Legislature, where he led efforts to legalize in the state. As mayor he pushed to increase the city’s to $15 an hour and address the homelessness crisis in Seattle.
In the lawsuit filed in King County Superior Court, a 46-year-old man, identified only by the initials, D.H., said Murray “raped and molested him” over several years, beginning in 1986 — when he was 15 and addicted to crack cocaine and when Murray was in his early 30s.
The man said he met Murray on a city bus, and Murray invited him back to his apartment, propositioning him for sex and haggling over the price.
Murray paid him $10 to $20 for each of at least 50 encounters over the next four to five years, the lawsuit said.
On Friday, Lincoln Beauregard, the lawyer representing D.H., sent a letter to the mayor’s attorney, offering to make D.H. available for a video deposition as soon as next week.
“D.H. is anxious to respond to your public allegations of wrongful motive,” Beauregard wrote.
Beauregard said they want to depose Murray in May.
The Times also reported (http://bit.ly/2oOAwXY ) that two other men said they knew Murray when they lived in a Portland, Oregon, center for troubled children. Jeff Simpson and Lloyd Anderson accused 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. Multnomah County Chief Deputy District Attorney Don Rees told The Associated Press an entry in an old case-tracking system shows rejected a third-degree sodomy case against Murray in 1984. Sgt. Pete Simpson of the Portland Police Bureau said the department has found no records linking either man to Murray.
Before his political career, Murray — one of seven children in an Irish Catholic family — considered the priesthood. He spent a year at a seminary in 1976 before studying sociology at the University of Portland, a private Catholic institution, according to news profiles.
Having 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. The statute of limitations on any crime would have expired long ago.
Associated Press writers Rachel La Corte in Olympia, Washington, Steven DuBois and Kristena Hansen in Portland, Oregon, and Phuong Le in Seattle contributed to this report.