According to a new lawsuit, a man is suing Seattle Mayor Ed Murray claiming he “raped and molested him” three decades ago, when the man was 15 years old.
On Friday, the mayor held a brief news conference where he denied the allegations. He told reporters: “To be on the receiving end of such untrue allegations is very painful for me. It is painful for my husband and for those who are close to us. I understand the person making these accusations is troubled, and that makes me sad as well.”
This claim in depth and stories of two other men who also say Murray abused them when they were young, have been investigated by the Seattle Times in depth. The newspaper says that criminal charges cannot be filed because too much time has passed, but the same is not true for a civil suit.
According to the mayor’s spokesman Jeff Reading, the suit was politically motivated. He said earlier this week in a statement reported by The Associated Press: “It is not a coincidence that this shakedown effort comes within weeks of the campaign filing deadline”
61 year old Murray is a progressive mayor who has been serving in that role since 2014. Before that, he led a long campaign to legalize same-sex marriage in Washington when he served in the state legislature for 18 years. He pushed through a measure to raise Seattle’s minimum wage to $15 an hour as mayor.
In his news conference, Murray said: “Things have never come easy to me in life but I have never backed down and I will not back down now. I will continue to be mayor of this city. I will continue to run for re-election.”
He added that the matter is now for the courts to resolve and refused to answer questions.