Seattle Democratic Mayor Ed Murray announced today that he will resign from office Wednesday. Murray has been accused of sexual abuse by five different people. The most recent allegation, by Murray’s cousin, was published today by the Seattle Times:
Joseph Dyer, 54, a dialysis technician and Air Force veteran, says he was 13 when Murray forced him into sex for about a year while the two shared a bedroom in Dyer’s mother’s home in the Long Island town of Medford, New York.
“There would be times when I would fake sleeping because I didn’t want him touching me,” Dyer, a married father who now lives in another state, recalled during an interview with The Seattle Times.
“And that’s when he would molest me. And my mother would be right there in the house, she’d be in the living room … watching TV, at that time it was probably “M*A*S*H.” And my sisters would be in their rooms, sleeping. And I would be in my room, and he would be in there, molesting me.”
Dyer claims his own abuse stopped after another boy at a Catholic group home complained Murray had abused him. Dyer’s mother, Maryellen Sottile, learned of the abuse from Dyer shortly after Murray moved out of her house. She says at the time, 40 years ago, she didn’t realize she could press charges. Now she tells the Times she is ready to travel to the west coast to testify to what she knows, “I don’t want him walking around thinking, `Ha ha, I got away with this all these years.’ No, you didn’t. Your chickens have come home to roost.” The Seattle Times also offers a run down of some of the other men who have accused Murray of abuse. A sample:
Delvonn Heckard, 46, a college student and recovering addict who lives in Kent.
Says he met Murray when Heckard was a 15-year-old drug addict on Capitol Hill in 1986. Claims Murray paid him for sex more than 50 times over about a four-year period in his teens. Filed and withdrew a civil lawsuit against Murray in 2017. Says he plans to refile. Filed a tort claim against the city of Seattle in July 2017.
Jeff Simpson, 49, a public roads-crew worker who lives in Gladstone, Oregon. He is also a recovering addict. Knew Murray while Simpson was growing up in a Portland group home for troubled children in late 1970s, and later as his live-in foster son. Claims Murray began sexually abusing him when he was 13, and later paid him for sex over several years in the early 1980s.
Murray, who is the city’s first openly gay mayor, continues to deny all of the accusations. In May, after several accusers came forward, he announced he would not run for re-election and said the accusations fed into stereotypes about gay men:
Faced with a lawsuit and the allegations of four accusers who claimed Murray, 62, either paid for sex or raped them in the 1980s, the mayor, with husband Michael Shiosaki at his side, said that standing for reelection — despite his commanding lead and $200,000 war chest — would turn the campaign into more of a spectacle than it already is…
A former state legislator instrumental in pushing for passage of gay rights laws, Murray said his accusers’ claims “paint me in the worst possible historical portraits of a gay man…. The allegations against me are not true and I say this with all honesty and the deepest sincerity.”
Still, “I must admit that my heart aches. Since I was 12 years old, politics was my dream … and I have the best job in politics, the mayor of the city of Seattle.
The fact that all of the previous accusers (until today) had a history of drug use may be one reason the allegations haven’t already led to Murray’s resignation. Here’s Murray’s prior announcement that he would not run for re-election because of the scandal.