By Tom James
SEATTLE (Reuters) – A 46-year-old man sued Seattle Mayor Ed Murray for sexual abuse and child prostitution on Thursday, claiming that Murray paid him for sex when he was a homeless, drug-addicted teenager in the 1980s.
The man, identified only as “D.H.,” claimed in his King County Superior Court lawsuit that he met Murray, then approximately 32, while riding a bus in the Capitol Hill district of Seattle and that Murray invited him home, where he offered the teen money in exchange for sex acts.
Bob Shulkin, an attorney representing Murray, called the accusations false and said of the mayor, “He has not engaged in any inappropriate conduct with a minor.”
Shulkin said it was no coincidence that the 30-year-old allegations had surfaced during a mayoral campaign. Murray, a Democrat who took office in 2013, has announced that he will seek reelection in November.
Shulkin told reporters that this was not the first time allegations had been made against the 61-year-old mayor in an effort to undermine him. “The previous accusers were investigated by law enforcement and the press and found to be not credible and their claims meritless,” he said.
“These are no different. At the end of the day, we are going to defend this lawsuit vigorously, the mayor is going to do his job for the city of Seattle, and this accuser is going to have to explain himself.”
The Seattle Times newspaper reported that two other men previously accused Murray of abusing them when they were teenagers in the 1980s. Murray has denied those claims and no charges were ever filed.
In the lawsuit, D.H., described as an adult male born in February 1971, says that Murray typically paid him $10-$20 for sex acts. D.H. also asserted that he once saw another underage boy at Murray’s home whom he believes Murray was paying for sex.
The court papers describe the abuse that D.H. says took place in graphic detail as well as physical characteristics of Murray and ask that the mayor be subjected to a deposition by the plaintiff’s lawyers within 90 days.
(Reporting by Tom James in Seattle and Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles; Writing by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Leslie Adler)