Seattle Mayor Ed Murray is facing a series of accusations from several men claiming that Murray paid them for sex in their youth. A fourth man has no come forward. Murray insists that this is all a national media stunt.
Murray led a fight for Seattle’s sanctuary city status, and continues to will fight against president Trump’s new legal rules.
Murray’s lawyers are saying that all these incidents are nothing but a “sensational media stunt.”
“The new accuser, 44-year-old Maurice Jones, said in a sworn court declaration he was introduced to Murray by Delvonn Heckard, the Kent man who filed last month’s lawsuit claiming Murray sexually abused him as a teenager in the 1980s,” reports the Seattle Times.
The Seattle Times continues:
Julie Kays, one of Heckard’s attorneys, said Wednesday that Jones was in his midteens at the time. “He recalls at least two instances when, as a teenager, Murray paid (him) for sex. Once at Murray’s apartment and once in a car,” she said.
Jones’ declaration added he was “not part of any right-wing conspiracy” and that he is gay — a reference to Murray’s argument that accusations against him by Heckard and two other men are politically motivated.
The handwritten declaration was taken at the King County Regional Justice Center in Kent on Tuesday by Kays and Lincoln Beauregard, Heckard’s lead attorney.
Jones, who has a lengthy criminal record, has been held on drug charges since late March in lieu of $15,000 bail.
The document was prepared and passed through a glassed-off visitation partition to Jones for his signature, Kays said. The declaration was filed in court along with a photograph of Beauregard holding the document, with Jones on the other side of the glass partition. Both men are smiling.
As he has with previous allegations, a Murray spokesman vehemently denied the latest claim.
“As we’ve seen repeatedly from opposing counsel, this filing fits firmly into the category of sensational media stunt. Mayor Murray does not know this person. This is an ambush copycat false accusation that is being made without any details, evidence, timeline or anything at all to substantiate its veracity. Mayor Murray has never had inappropriate relations with any minor, and Mayor Murray has never paid for sex,” said the statement from Jeff Reading, the spokesman.
Reading’s statement added that the photo of Beauregard and Jones at the jail was “extremely odd and unsettling.”
Beauregard explained in a separate court filing Wednesday the photograph was meant for authentification purposes.
“It clarifies that the document is hand written because it was done in jail through a pass throw (sic) window,” Beauregard wrote. “My partner, Julie, told us to smile and we both did. We did not have a professional photographer available.”
The Jones declaration came in response to a request by Murray’s attorneys for a judge to impose sanctions against Beauregard for what they say is unethical conduct, including court filings they say are meant to sway public opinion rather than further any legal cause.
Murray’s attorneys renewed that request Wednesday, criticizing Beauregard’s filing of the Jones declaration as a “mockery of the judicial system.”