Sexual abuse lawsuit against Seattle Mayor Murray dropped

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray (Photo: KING)
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The man accusing Seattle Mayor Ed Murray of sexual abuse in the 1980s dropped his lawsuit Wednesday.

Delvonn Heckard filed the civil lawsuit against the mayor on April 6. He alleged Murray paid him for sex on multiple occasions in the 1980s when he was a teenager. 

Heckard was the third person to come forward in recent years and accuse the mayor of sexual misconduct, but the only person to seek legal action.

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His attorney, Lincoln Beauregard, said that Deckard wanted to finish his counseling and recovery program. Beauregard also wrote that the mayor and his legal team "have successfully tainted the jury pool with false information about the accusers," according to court documents.

That is why Heckard will wait to pursue the case when Murray is out of office.

"He's used his position of power to sit back and create a false narrative," said Beauregard. "To sit back and call gay men, and a super liberal lawyer, that we're out to get him. He's used his position of power as a megaphone and abused in that way, and a normal citizen or at least a mayor who steps out of office isn't going to have those resources." 

Amid the allegations, Murray announced in May that he would not seek re-election

 

Mayor Murray said he feels vindicated after his accuser dropped the lawsuit.

"It was a painful experience for me. It was a painful experience for Michael, my husband,  and it was a painful experience for my family. And it was a painful experience for the people of this city," Murray said during a news conference Wednesday afternoon. "As I said when this story first broke, it is not true and it is not true."

"This political effort to end my public career may look like it succeeded, but today I can say to those who were behind this, you were not successful. I will continue to be mayor of this city. I will continue to lead the progressive agenda of equity and prosperity and social justice that we’ve made at the heart of it. We will continue to pursue our lawsuit against the Trump Administration, to uphold the constitutional rights of immigrants. We will do everything in our power to fight for the rights of the transgender community who is under attack in this state."


Earlier Wednesday, speaking to KING 5 Morning News before the announcement  regarding the lawsuit, Murray had maintained his innocence.

"I feel great being mayor I feel great being out there. I feel great when I'm working on public policy. Obviously, it's pretty difficult after all these years, 30 years in the public limelight, to have what I believe are lies motivated by something I don't yet understand come just a few weeks before candidates file," said.

He had said he doesn't know what the future holds.

"I have to clear my name and I'm not sure how employable I'll be," Murray said, adding. "I'll, you know, be alive."

Three other men, who were not part of the lawsuit, came forward accusing the mayor of child sex abuse. 

One of them, Lloyd Anderson, had this statement for Murray: "Do no think about relief. Because we are not going to stop. Until the day I die or the day you apologize for what you have done."

Another, Jeff Simpson, said he was disappointed that Heckard was dropping the case.

"It's a shame that a rapist and child molester was able to use his power to grandstand," said Simpson. 

Simpson also said he was not giving up.