Openly gay Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has been accused by three men of having sex with them as children.
An unnamed man filed a child sex abuse lawsuit against the mayor last Thursday, alleging that Murray had “repeatedly criminally raped and molested” him when he was a homeless 15-year-old in the 1980s.
The plaintiff and two other men gave interviews to the Seattle Times and all shared similar stories about a politician in his 20s and 30s who befriended street kids, paid them off and had his way with them.
Once news of the allegations broke, Murray, an LGBT rights activist and vocal opponent of President Trump’s immigration policies, cancelled a planned event and held a brief press conference Friday.
The 61-year-old mayor took no questions and vehemently denied the accusations as being from a “troubled man.”
“These allegations, dating back to a period of more than 30 years, are simply not true,” he said, adding that the suit would not deter him from seeking reelection.
According to the Associated Press, the Seattle native was a campaign manager for Washington’s first openly gay state senator in the 1980s at the time of the alleged abuse.
Toward the end of the decade, the suit claims Murray met the plaintiff as a homeless, drug-addicted teenager on a bus.
“Young and curious, D.H. encountered Ed Murray upon the bus and developed a friendly interaction,” states the lawsuit.
This first interaction quickly developed into a relationship in which the teen would “do whatever Mr. Murray asked for as little as $10 or $20.”
Of this time period, the now 46-year-old plaintiff told the Times: “He’d be doing certain things, and I’d tell him to stop, and he wouldn’t stop.”
The suit goes into explicit detail about the alleged sexual encounters between the two and describes the floor plan of Murray’s apartment at the time. Intimate physical descriptions of the mayor match the account of Lloyd Anderson, an accuser who chose not to sue.
Anderson told the Times that he met the future mayor as a teen in the early 1980s. He said that Murray invited him to his home and gave him $30 and some marijuana in exchange for oral sex.
The third man, Jeff Simpson, said he lived off-and-on with Murray for years and originally reported the abuse to his group home manager in 1984, though nothing came of it.
“I don’t necessarily think that he destroyed my life,” Simpson explained, describing the years of abuse he endured. “But I believe a lot of the problems I have stemmed from this.”
Anderson and Simpson took their accusations to the media and Washington lawmakers in 2008 when Murray was a state senator known for championing same-sex marriage and other important issues to the LGBT community.
The Times, however, didn’t print the accusations until last week, when claims in the lawsuit echoed their accounts.
“Murray denied the accusations to reporters and hired an attorney, who worked to discredit the men largely based on their criminal pasts,” the paper reported of the original accusations. “Neither the Seattle Times nor other media publicly reported the allegations, and Murray’s political career continued to rise.”
Four years later in 2012, Murray would win the Seattle mayor’s office, wooing liberal voters with his progressive platform.
This year, he’s been a leading voice in the West Coast resistance of Trump’s agenda, namely the president’s promise to target undocumented immigrants.
In the days following the filing of the lawsuit, Murray has continued to dismiss the charges, with a spokesperson telling the Associated Press that the suit is “a shakedown effort within weeks of the campaign filing deadline.”
The plaintiff, however, said he never once asked the mayor for money and decided to to sue in order to heal after battling a long drug addiction.
“You don’t do no dirt to nobody and think you’re going to get away with it, you know,” he told the Times.