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Lawsuit alleges Murray sexually abused teen he met on Capitol Hill in 1980s

IMG_9225Seattle Mayor Ed Murray faces a sex abuse scandal as he heads into a reelection battle to retain his office at City Hall.

The Seattle Times reported Thursday that the 61-year-old faces a lawsuit over allegations that he sexually abused a drug-addicted teen he met on Capitol Hill in the 1980s before Murray launched his political career:

A 46-year-old Kent man sued Seattle Mayor Ed Murray on Thursday, claiming Murray “raped and molested him” over several years, beginning in 1986 when the man was a 15-year-old high-school dropout. The lawsuit in King County Superior Court, filed under the man’s initials, “D.H.,” alleges Murray sexually abused the crack-cocaine addicted teen on numerous occasions for payments of $10 to $20. “I have been dealing with this for over 30 years,” the man, now sober for a year, said in an interview with The Seattle Times. He said he was 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 put me through.”

Documents in the lawsuit were not yet available via the King County Superior Court’s online record system as of Thursday afternoon. UPDATE 4/7/2017: The complaint and associated filings from Connelly Law attorneys Lincoln C. Beauregard and Julie A. Kays and L.A. Law attorney Lawand Anderson are now available. We have posted the eight-page complaint below. The court has set a trial date for April 2018 though it seems clear things are playing out much more quickly around the suit. The plaintiff’s legal team is calling on the mayor to be available for questions within 90 days. “An early step in this lawsuit will be deposing Mr. Murray, which should occur within the first ninety (90) days of filing,” they write. “D.H. believes that it will be hard, if not nearly impossible for Mr. Murray to deny the abuse.” The full complaint is below:

According to the lawsuit, the victim told Murray he was 15 when the abuse began, underage by consent law in Washington now and at the time of the alleged abuse. The alleged victim said he is coming forward now because of the recent death of his father and because he is now undergoing counseling and participating in addiction-recovery programs, the Seattle Times reports. The statute of limitations to bring charges and investigate the allegations in a criminal case have expired.

The Times also documents two others who came forward previously with allegations of sexual abuse by Murray. A spokesperson for Murray said the mayor denies the accusations and “will vigorously fight the allegations in court” —

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. The two older accusations were promoted by extreme right-wing antigay 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 addition to his quest to serve a second term as mayor, 2017 has been marked by Murray’s efforts to to push back on policies championed by the new Trump administration. In its most recent swipe, Murray has led the way for the City of Seattle to sue the administration over its threats to cut funding to so-called sanctuary cities.

After 18 years serving in the legislature in Olympia, Murray cruised to easy victory in November 2013 over incumbent Mike McGinn thanks in part to strong support on his home turf in the Capitol Hill neighborhood where the champion of LGBTQ civil rights has made his home since the ’80s. The Capitol Hill resident and Seattle’s first openly gay mayor launched his campaign with a big head start last summer in a party at big time political PR executive Roger Nyhus’s home near Volunteer Park. Murray has told CHS about his time as a tenant on Capitol Hill where he said he rented for 15 years before buying his North Capitol Hill home where he lives with spouse Michael Shiosaki.

The short statement was broadcast live via Facebook by several media organizations including Q13 Fox

The short statement was broadcast live via Facebook by several media organizations including Q13 Fox

UPDATE 4/7/17 3:02 PM: In an afternoon media conference, Murray said he will not step down and plans to continue his run for reelection calling the accusations “untrue allegations” that have been “very painful.” “I understand the individual is troubled,” Murray said of his accuser. “This makes me sad, too.”

Murray said the allegations are “are simply not true” but declined to take questions, saying the situation is a legal matter to handle in the courts.

“I will not back down now,” Murray said.

UPDATE 4/11/2017: The mayor’s legal team went on the offensive Tuesday releasing a medical report they say shows the case against Murray is bogus:

Speaking to reporters today, Murray’s lawyer, Bob Sulkin, said Murray’s longtime doctor examined him this morning and wrote the report. When asked whether the mayor would subject to another medical examination by a doctor who doesn’t know him, Sulkin said yes, if that was ordered by a judge. “We have to understand what the heart of the accuser’s allegation is,” Sulkin said. “It’s the detailing of Mayor Murray’s private anatomy. Sure, addresses and phone numbers are publicly available—not important. But this is the heart of the allegation.” Sulkin dismissed the other two accusers’ stories as “debunked.”

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24 thoughts on “Lawsuit alleges Murray sexually abused teen he met on Capitol Hill in 1980s

  1. I really hope this proves out to be just a shakedown. The plaintiff at least initially appears to have some credibility problems. However, even if it’s proven false, once someone makes these charges it’s hard to change perception.

    • Do you consider having a drug addiction and an unfortunately challenged life a credibility problem? Is a history of homelessness a credibility issue? Or perhaps being a high school drop out makes DH less than credible. Ed is a powerful man and he gets the upper hand regarding credibility – I feel sick……..

  2. This is going to be a wreck and leave Seattle with A massive leadership vacuum. Now is when we need a strong, solid, sane leader. Tim Burgess needs to step in

  3. Oh man, I just hope this gets cleared up fast or, if not, some more candidates get into the race. I’m not sure the city could survive the leftist Trump that’s currently running. I’m sure she’s thrilled about this. Can’t we just have a nice, sane, left of center bureaucrat with experience?

    • How could you say someone is thrilled about sexual abuse allegations? Only a cynical jerk would react that way, thinking about strategy in a time like this. And Leftist Trump? What on earth? Bureaucracy hasn’t done much for this city, I’m excited to see someone with fresh ideas. I feel like people who are immediately anti-Nikkita have no imagination, no creativity, no hope. How sad.

    • Yeah, me too– as long as those fresh ideas don’t involve 9 more “fresh new ideas” for property tax levies. From what I’ve heard so far, I’m not exactly holding my breath.

    • Glasses, if you switched your comment to the opposite side of the political spectrum and heard yourself (with a southern drawl), you would think “what a sad and naive Trump voter.” Seriously, their whole mantra was about bringing in a “fresh idea” guy. The genius of Obama is what I want, and while that may seem too boring and bureaucratic for you, it works much better than vomiting out 100 “feel good” ideas everyday.

  4. Three separate victims unrelated yet similar and consistent details and patterns of abuse – abuse that was also reported and investigated back in the 1980s by some of the victims. The mayor is going to have to face his past it appears. Acknowledgment is due for these men’s bravery to come forward. The mayor is not the victim but watch as he tried to paint it as such. These do not appear to be “unsubstantiated” – but that will be figured out in court. With most offenders, if we have 3 who have come forward, thank likely there are many more who have not. Sexual abuse is one if not the most under reported crime out there — and for men that is likely even more so. Keep in mind that offenders look for victims who are least likely to tell or be believed. Street youth, kids with emotional, social and behavioral issues, drugs, etc — offenders pick them because they believe even if they try to report, no one will believe them.

  5. Plain and simple, the timing of the allegations makes them highly questionable. If this took place in the 80s but they’re only coming out now that there’s an election…….

    • Read the whole Seattle Times article — the victims have been speaking out for some time and one explains how he decided to speak out again. There really is no tine that wouldn’t be challenged when someone is in his position. Most public figures are never accused of this let alone by 3 separate victims. As a public figure he has full access to creating public smear campaign on the victims stories and character. This is what he did back in 2008 when it came out before. I am always in awe of the strength of victims who come forward and subject themselves to the public scrutiny, shaming and character assassination. We as a culture don’t want to believe our leaders could be offenders. Offenders are not just the seedy guy with tattoes — they are politicians, teachers, coaches — listen to not only what people are saying but also their behavior — do they ignore your boundaries, do they miimize, justify or shift the focus when called out about behavior? Do they try to ingratiate themselves too quickly — isolate or give special attention — I could go on but if you take one thing from my comments — for your friends, family and kids sake trust your instincts and god forbid someone discloses abuse to you believe them and get help. Your response may determine whether or not they risk telling anyone again.

    • This sounds like “shame the victim”. When is it a good time to face your abuser? And why not attempt to maximize your impact when a pedophile has wrecked your life. Ed has done many good things in his political career but that should not protect him from past abuses. Are you also suspicious of the folks accusing Roger Ailes and Donald Trump? Sexual abuse is an equalizer and Ed sits now in the same seat as Don, Roger and many others……

    • Gee, did you feel that way about Catholic priests? Their victims spanned decades. You must not know much about child abuse. Kids cover it up, move on and struggle later. And by the way, why wouldn’t the accusers have brought this up when he first ran for Mayor? This is not political. This Murray story is following the same narrative as Jeff Smith, the Frugal Gourmet, and Gary Little, the judge/teacher who abused students at Lakeside in the 70’s and 80’s.

  6. Bye Bye Ed. Ok progressive mayoral candidates, time to come out of the woodwork. Guilty or not (and we will probably never know), Ed has now lost all of his leadership gravitas. We deserve better than a scanal plagued mayor circling the drain. Rueven? Bruce? Anyone else?

  7. A sincere person doesn’t run off to a Dr to “prove innocence “, which can either be fabricated or removed. The psychological profile of a political person is not exactly the moral fiber which to base trust on, or the moral compass to point to the truth. And publicly maligning the victims is a cheap and potentially doubly damaging assault that will prevent others ( if there are others as DH attests to) from coming forward. This man should not have the advantage of power in the court case by being Mayor. He had already had the power and authority to victimize. If he is given power to do it again, then everyone who supports and allows that is complicit in re victimizing those who are trying to get a little justice.

  8. Seattle has had it’s past history w/politicians & peds…Judge Little is one: ARTICLE: From Science Writers:

    The SEATTLE Judge Who RAPED Children

    THIS STORY came out of a conversation on the deck of Murray and Rosa Morgan’s Puget Sound cabin during the summer of 1988.
    As the sun set on Mt. Rainier that August evening, I told the story of Gary Little, the Seattle Judge with impeccable & powerful establishment connections who had committed suicide the week before, just as his long history of Homosexual child rape was revealed by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

    The investigative reporter who broke the story that provoked Little’s suicide was a longtime friend and colleague of mine, Duff Wilson, but I had known Gary Little even longer. Our paths first crossed in the late 1960s when we were both at the Lakeside School — he as a teacher and I as a student. I also knew some of his victims.

    When I finished the tale, one of the Morgans’ guests, East Coast magazine editor Howard Lewis, said to me, “you’ve got to write that story — what you just told us.” I just shrugged, but Lewis, who was then in semi-retirement as editor of Science Writers, persisted, the next day and when he got back to Washington, DC.

    A few months later when this piece appeared, some of my homosexual friends were very unhappy with it. They saw it as an attack on homosexuality that didn’t take into account the positive aspects of Gary Little’s mentoring, the way he helped some kids straighten out there lives and get into a good college, etc.

    My reply — to them and to you — is that this is not about homosexuality. It is about an adult in a position of responsibility taking advantage of the children in his charge, which is simply unacceptable, no matter what form it takes.
    — B.B.
    Judge Gary Little presiding

    The Gary Little Story:
    A Man, A City And The News Media

    by Bruce Brown

    FEW SEATTLE NEWS stories have had more direct — or quicker — impact than the revelations about Superior Court Judge Gary Little that ran on the front page of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer Friday, August 19, 1988.

    Inspired by rumors that had recently led Little to announce his retirement, the stories detailed Judge Little’s sexual relations with five teenage boys during the early 1970s when he was a prominent Seattle attorney and part-time teacher at Lakeside, the city’s most prestigious private prep school.

    If there is a bright side to the multifaceted tragedy of this marvelously talented man who twisted lives and destroyed his own, it is that in finally telling the truth, Seattle has grown as a city.

    © Copyright 1988 Bruce Brown

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