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The Kent man who accused Seattle Mayor Ed Murray of sexually abusing him decades ago has come forward to identify himself as Delvonn Heckard, a 46-year-old living in the Seattle area.
In new legal documents filed in King County Superior Court Tuesday, Heckard’s attorneys said their client wanted his name known because two other men, Jeff Simpson and Lloyd Anderson, who lodged similar allegations against the mayor, have used their real names.
“As Mr. Simpson and Mr. Anderson have been courageous in stepping forward publicly, D.H. feels as though he should not proceed in anonymity,” the attorneys wrote in the revised complaint.
Heckard was previously known by the initials D.H. It's the name he used in the original civil lawsuit he filed against the mayor on April 6, where he alleges Murray paid him for sex on multiple occasions in the 1980s when he was a teenager. He's the third person to come forward in recent years and accuse the mayor of sexual misconduct, but the only person seeking legal action.
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Murray has repeatedly denied the allegations of sexual abuse.
"I can state categorically that I have never had a sexual relationship with the individual whose name was revealed today, Delvonn Heckard, or of any kind of relationship at any time with him," Murray said Wednesday.
In the statement, Murray said he just learned Heckard's name Wednesday morning and said his name is not familiar.
"Is it possible that I have met this person before? Sure, it is possible. I have encountered thousands of people over my three decades as an activist and as a public service. I cannot say for certain that I never encountered this him at some point in those many thirty years, at a time when I was very publicly active and civically engaged," Murray said, adding that he did not recognize Heckard from a photo that he saw.
Not Politically Motivated
The political scandal has some calling for Murray's resignation as he faces a re-election bid this year. The mayor has repeatedly stated he would not be stepping down as mayor and would continue to seek re-election. He also said he would not settle the lawsuit.
Heckard said Wednesday the lawsuit is not politically motivated, and his attorneys echo that in the revised complaint.
“D.H. is not a pawn in any conspiracy, as alleged by Mr. Murray and his hit team. However, D.H.’s claims are politically motivated in that he does not think a man who abuses children, and then lies about it in office, should be in high office without the public being afforded full information,” wrote Heckard’s attorneys.
Murray and his attorney, Bob Sulkin have asserted that it is.
“All I can tell you is it’s very peculiar that the allegations come forward when I’m trying to move a significant lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender bill on civil rights; when I’m trying to move domestic partnership for gay and lesbian couples; when I’m trying to pursue marriage; when I’m suing the president of the United States over immigration; and I’m running for re-election. The accusations don’t come forward in those other years. Is it a conspiracy? I have no idea. Other people are going to have to investigate and figure it out,” Murray previously said.
Murray added Wednesday that the timing of the allegations is suspect.
"Every time I have had to bring a significant bill forward -- the domestic partnership bill in 2008 that The Seattle Times was researching at the time; the marriage equality bill; and just having sued the President of the United States and running for re-election, this is when these things come up. They didn't come up the other 30 years. They come up at a time, it seems, that certain things happen that are highly partisan and highly political," Murray said.
Heckard said he is only coming forward now because he is sober, and after recently losing his father, he believes now is the time to come clean.
He said he had at least 50 inappropriate encounters with Mayor Murray decades ago, spanning over four years. He said he was homeless and addicted to drugs when Murray took Heckard under his wing.
Heckard said there are other victims that have not come forward but were present during some of his encounters with Murray. He said "more will come out if they are courageous."
Plaintiff Doesn't Believe Murray's Medical Report
In the April 6 lawsuit, Heckard includes a description of Murray's penis, stating that he "had a distinctive genital region, including reddish pubic hair and a unique mole on his scrotum -- it is a small bump."
Last week, Murray's attorney Bob Sulkin said that a physical examination of Murray's genitals doesn't match the description. The examination, Sulkin stated, showed no mole or bump or evidence of a removed mole on the mayor's genitals.
Heckard said he was confident the mayor had the mole removed because "he probably knew all of this was going to come out some day."
"It's traumatic for me, the fact that he is lying about it hurts even more," Heckard said. "He's a fake and a phony... and is probably still doing it now."
Murray has denied having a mole on his genitals or having it removed.
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“I have never paid for sex. I have never had sex with a minor. Heckard’s claims about my anatomy were proved medically false last week. The accusations are not true," Murray said.
Attorneys Accuse Murray Of 'Public Charade'
Attorneys for Heckard used a terse tone in the revised complaint.
They accused Murray of putting on a “public charade” instead of asking the plaintiff attorneys the identity of their client.
“Oddly, Mr. Murray’s lawyers assisted Mr. Murray in hosting press conferences, making public statements, and having his genitals examined, but have not bothered, as of this day, to ask about D.H.’s real identity. Mr. Murray is entitled to this information, and his lawyers could have asked for it the first day the lawsuit was filed. Instead, Mr. Murray has put on a public charade. Any normal person would have asked his accuser's name before having his genitals examined. D.H.’s real name is Delvonn Heckard."
Simpson and Anderson, the other men mentioned in the amended complaint, made similar allegations against the mayor – that he sexually abused them and paid them money in exchange for sex when they were troubled teenagers.
Neither of those men has filed lawsuits against Murray.