Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, a prominent champion of gay rights and progressive causes, was accused Thursday of raping and molesting a young drug-addicted teen during the 1980s.
The lawsuit, filed by a man wishing to be identified as “D.H.,” alleges Murray sexually abused him while offering $10-$20 for each encounter.
D.H. was a crack-cocaine addict at the time, but says he is now one-year sober.“I have been dealing with this for over 30 years,” he told the Seattle Times, adding that part of the “healing process” has been coming to terms with abuse that happened in his past.
“I tried to commit suicide a couple of times, just because I was disgusted with myself, but I’m past that now,” D.H. said.
The 46-year-old does have a history of criminal convictions, including a prostitution arrest in 1990. However, he’s now in recovery, attends a community college and says he eventually hopes to be a substance abuse counselor.
One of Murray’s staff members issued a statement saying the claims are politically motivated.
“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,” the statement reads.
“These unsubstantiated assertions, dating back three decades, are categorically false. Mayor Murray has never engaged in an inappropriate relationship with any minor,” it states.
On Friday, Murray himself addressed the allegations, saying, ““I have never backed down and I will not back down now.”
Some of Murray’s political opponents see the recent lawsuit as a potential opening in the upcoming mayoral race. However, others are holding their breath and waiting until substantial details emerge.
“People need to give this a little time,” said John Wyble, a longtime Seattle political consultant. “These are allegations. Let’s see if we can find out more information.”
Two other men, Jeff Simpson and Lloyd Anderson, have made similar accusations against Murray in the past. Both said they met Murray while living in a Portland center for troubled teens.