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Seattle Mayor Ed Murray responds to rape allegations

A 46-year-old Kent man is suing Seattle Mayor Ed Murray over allegations of rape. (KIRO 7)

Through his attorney, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray denied allegations of child rape hours after The Seattle Times reported that a Kent man is suing Murray over claims that he “raped and molested” him as a teen.

Read the complaint for damages

“The allegations are false,” said Bob Sulkin, a private attorney representing Mayor Murray. “He has not engaged in any inappropriate conduct with a minor. And I don’t think it is a coincidence that these allegations have occurred in the midst of a mayoral campaign. Think about it, for 30 years nothing is said. And all of a sudden an accuser comes — who apparently, as reported, has a long criminal record — and makes these allegations.”

Sulkin further said that the lawsuit, submitted April 4, is not the first time such allegations have been made against Murray “in an effort to undermine him.” He argued that those previous allegations were investigated and found to be not credible.

“Unfortunately, defending these types of lawsuits is now the cost of being a public figure, especially a public figure like Mayor Murray who has taken such important stands on cutting edge issues of the day,” Sulkin said.

Sulkin did not take any questions from the press after making the statement Thursday afternoon. Murray told The Times that he will “vigorously fight” the allegations.

Allegations against the Seattle mayor

The Kent man — referred to as D.H. in court documents — alleges that the interactions with Murray began when he was 15 years old and regularly rode Metro bus no. 7 in the Capitol Hill area in the mid ’80s. At the time, the teen had dropped out of Nathan Hale High School as a freshman. He was a troubled youth who was homeless, using drugs, and whose parents were also addicted to drugs. According to the Times’ report, the man — then a teen — was addicted to crack-cocaine. Court documents state that the teen met Murray on the bus and the two “developed a friendly interaction.” Murray was 32 years old at the time.

Murray was aware of the teen’s age as the relationship between the two allegedly turned sexual over time, court documents state. That relationship was allegedly based on Murray paying the teen $10-20 for sexual acts, often at Murray’s Capitol Hill apartment. Court documents go further into detail about the interactions and describe physical aspects of the allegations as evidence. D.H. was below the age of consent during the time of the alleged acts, and therefore the mayor is being accused of child rape.

Since the incidents in the ’80s, Murray has accepted collect calls at his home from D.H., the lawsuit alleges.

The court document also addresses something that Sulkin spoke about Thursday — political motivations of the lawsuit, which states:

Natural speculation would lead some people to believe that D.H.’s actions are politically motived — which is not exactly true. In this regard, D.H. is disturbed that Mr. Murray maintains a position of trust and authority, and believes that the public has a right to full information when a trusted official exploits a child. To the extent that D.H. has any political motivations for outing Mr. Murray, they stop there.

The recent allegations against Mayor Murray aren’t the first. The Times further reports that within the past decade, two other men have accused Murray of sexual abuse. The men have said the abuse occurred in the ’80s when they, too, were teens in the Portland area and before Murray moved to Seattle. Their stories, as reported in The Seattle Times, are similar to the tale told in the recent lawsuit — troubled youth who entered into sexual relationships with Murray.

Both men tell The Times they would be willing to testify publicly.

The lawsuit states that the plaintiff’s attorney intends to depose Murray within 90 days, and that “D.H. believes that it will be hard, if not nearly impossible for Mr. Murray to deny the abuse” and that “D.H. would be shocked if Mr. Murray does not recall exactly who he was.”

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