Ed Murray is facing allegations of child rape and sexual abuse after a 46-year-old man filed a lawsuit against the Seattle mayor Thursday, according to court records.
The Seattle Times broke the story at 3:13pm on Thursday, just three hours after Murray’s office canceled a press conference on police reform. The conference was scheduled at 2pm, and the press received a notice it had been canceled shortly after 12:30.
The complaint alleges that Murray paid the accuser, referred to by the initials “D.H.,” for intercourse and sexual acts when D.H. was 15 (in 1986). According to the complaint, D.H. recalled Murray’s old phone number, a description of Murray's apartment, and his genitals.
“The allegations are false,” said Bob Sulkin, Murray’s attorney. “He has not engaged in any inappropriate conduct with a minor, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that these allegations have occurred in the midst of a mayoral campaign.”
D.H. was addicted to drugs at the time, according to the complaint, and would “do whatever Mr. Murray asked for as little as $10 to $20.” The complaint alleges that the “sex turned aggressive, beyond a point to which D.H. was comfortable and/or felt that to which he had agreed.”
D.H.'s attorney, Lincoln Beauregard, wrote in the complaint that the death of D.H.'s father recently led him to seek counseling at Sound Mental Health.
"These moments of reflection, and awareness that Mr. Murray maintains a position of authority, prompted the filing of this lawsuit in an attempt at accountability, and to hopefully give courage for other potential victims to come forward and speak out," the complaint stated.
Sulkin held a last-minute press conference at 4:30pm on Thursday when Sulkin called the claims “meritless,” questioned the timing of the suit and suggested the accuser was untrustworthy due to his criminal background.
“At the end of the day, we’re going to defend this lawsuit vigorously, the mayor is going to do his job for the city of Seattle, and the accuser is going to have to explain himself.” Sulkin abruptly left without taking questions from the media.