Likely next steps in sexual abuse lawsuit against Mayor Murray
What's next in the lawsuit against Seattle Mayor Ed Murray?
A 46-year-old man claimed Murray sexually abused him when he was 15 and filed a lawsuit Thursday.
Attorney Anne Bremner says now that a lawsuit has been filed, Murray, through his council, will answer the complaint.
Then formal discovery takes place, and both sides will go on a fact finding mission.
The attorney for the plaintiff, referred to as D.H. in the case, will look for other people who claim Murray abused them, as well as people who can support D.H's story. Also key is what D.H. himself remembers: Everything from details about where he claims the abuse took place to descriptions of the defendant's private parts.
"It's all about corroboration, corroboration, corroboration in sexual abuse cases, especially abuse cases involving children, because they're so old," said Bremner, who's represented people on both sides in sexual abuse cases.
In fact, Bremner says this case is so old, criminal charges can't be filed.
Murray's attorney might argue that even the statute of limitations is up for filing civil charges and ask the judge to dismiss the case, according to Bremner.
Plaintiffs can file a civil lawsuit within three years of the sexual abuse taking place or within three years of realizing that damage was done by the abuse.
It can be tough for a plaintiff to prove he only recently understood how his life has been affected.
"Time lapse can sure hurt a case, but it doesn't make it nonexistent," Bremner said. "There's always ways to show a jury what's happened, especially something involving a child."