Seattle mayor responds after accuser in sex abuse lawsuit reveals his identity
SEATTLE - Two weeks have passed since Mayor Ed Murray received a late-night message from his staff that a man was coming forward to accuse him of sexual abuse.
Sitting in the living room of his Capitol Hill home Wednesday, with his husband, Michael Shiosaki by his side, Murray talked about his first reaction - should he resign?
“Of course you have those instant reactions, but I know I have a job to do. I’m good at my job and I didn’t do anything wrong," Murray told KOMO in a one-on-one interview.
On April 6, a complaint for damages, alleging child sex abuse and illegal child prostitution, was filed in King County Superior Court against Murray. The alleged victim, Delvonn Heckard, alleged that he met Murray in the 1980s at the age of 15 and the two began a sexual relationship, when Murray was more than twice his age, according to the filing.
Heckard, in the filing, accused Murray of paying him for sex.
On Wednesday, Heckard identified himself publicly. He declined to go on camera, but told KOMO he just wants Murray to come clean.
“He needs to admit his wrongdoing… the worse he fights the worse it’s going to get for him. I’m a firm believer in karma," Heckard said over the phone.
Murray told KOMO that he did not have sex with Heckard or any other minor.
“I did not have sex with him. I never had sex with a minor and I have never paid for sex," Murray said.
When asked directly if he knew Heckard, Murray said no but then said it's possible they might have met in the 1980s.
"Back in the day I mean we were out we went to discos, because that's what gays did in those days because we didn't have the dating apps, I was deeply involved in political movements... I was very involved in the community and I was very out as a young guy in my late 20s," Murray said. "Maybe I met this guy but I don't have enough information yet to say whether I have or I haven't."
Shiosaki showed KOMO photos of he and his husband dating back nearly 20 years on Wednesday. He said the couple, who met while hiking Mount Rainier, said the allegations have "just made us stronger."
"All you can do is get out there and fight back, you've just got to push back," Shiosaki said. "The thing I know, I know deep down is they are just false allegations. I mean I know Ed; I’ve known Ed for almost 26 years.”
While Heckard is seeking financial damages in the civil litigation, Murray said he doesn't know what the man could actually receive. He said their family home belongs to his husband.
Murray said he is certain there is some type of political motivation to the accusations.
“I am who I am, I’m the mayor I plan to run this city I think I’ve been a strong mayor, I continue to be a strong mayor and every opportunity I get to do that helps me emotionally," Murray said.
Attorney Lincoln Beauregard, who is representing Heckard, admits there is a type of political motivation for their legal team.
“There’s a political motive here on the part of Delvonn, and endorsed by his lawyers, it’s this: a child molester that sits in office and lies about it the public has a right to know.”
Heckard, on the other hand, grew angry when asked if he was aiming to destroy Murray's political career.
“I don’t know the first thing about damned politics," he said.
Beauregard in a letter sent to Murray’s lawyer Robert Sulkin on Tuesday said they are “mystified” by Murray’s legal strategy.
“We have been sitting back mystified that Mayor Murray opted to hold press conferences, sit for television interviews and have his genitals examined while denying any knowledge as to our client without bothering to inquire of his identity,” the letter read.
During a recent news conference, Sulkin said that a mole the alleged victim claimed was on Murray’s genitals really does not exist – he even referred to a recent examination by Murray’s doctor.