One day after the Seattle Times broke the story, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has responded to a civil lawsuit over solicitation of sex from an underage teen in the ‘80s, calling the allegations “simply not true.”
Murray did not respond to a question posed at Friday’s press conference asking if he would take leave or resign to focus on the lawsuit.
Thursday afternoon, the Times reported that a 46-year-old Kent man, referred to as “D.H.” in court documents, had filed suit against Murray to seek damages for rape and molestation that allegedly began in 1986, when the plaintiff was 15, and continued for four years.
In the lawsuit, D.H. said he met Murray, then 32, on the No. 7 bus in Capitol Hill. D.H. had recently dropped out of high school and become homeless and addicted to crack cocaine, he said. After striking up a friendship, Murray allegedly invited him to his Capitol Hill apartment, where he demanded D.H. perform sexual acts for payments of $10 to $20.
D.H. provided authorities a description of the mayor’s apartment, his phone number and distinctive details about his genitals.
Murray spokesman Jeff Reading told the Times the allegations were a “shakedown” that had conspicuously surfaced weeks from the campaign filing deadline for reelection.
At his press conference Friday, Murray’s response was brief.
“To be on the receiving end of such untrue allegations is very painful for me,” Murray said. “It is painful for my husband and for those who are close to us. I understand the individual making these accusations is troubled, and that makes me sad as well.
“But let me be clear: These allegations, dating back to a period of more than 30 years, are simply not true.”
Murray said he would not “back down” from the accusations, and that he planned to continue on as mayor and run for reelection.
The mayor declined to answer further questions, as the issue had become a legal matter.