In the face of yet another child molestation accusation, Seattle’s Democratic Mayor Ed Murray has resigned, effective today.

By one accusation after another that he sexually abused children, Murray has been besieged for months. He had maintained his defiance and refusal to step down until this week, when a fifth accuser stepped forward to say that Murray molested him when he was a teen.

Murray, 62, did not appear in front of the media, instead issuing a statement that read, in part, “While the allegations against me are not true, it is important that my personal issues do not affect the ability of our city government to conduct the public’s business.”

It’s a shocking downfall for the progressive golden boy. Murray, a former state legislator, was elected Mayor in 2013. He was Washington’s first openly gay state legislator and mayor of the city. He was the architect of Seattle’s landmark $15/hour minimum wage law, as well as gay civil rights laws.

Accusations began swirling around Murray in early 2017, when his former foster son went public with allegations that he molested him in a Portland, Oregon group home that he ran in the 1980s.

The boy was 13 at the time. He originally tried to make his allegations public in 2008, when Murray was in the state legislature, but the allegations were never published. They included claims that Murray molested the boy from age 13 through 16, when he left Murray’s care.

Murray allegedly paid the boy for sex, sometimes with $10 cash, other times with drugs.

Murray was never prosecuted for this crime, despite the conclusion by Oregon Child Protective Services (CPS) that the crime actually occurred. CPS forbade Murray from ever being certified as a foster parent again.

Multnomah County prosecutors were unable to proceed to a criminal trial against Murray because, as the Deputy DA wrote, the boy’s “emotional instability, history of manipulative behavior and the fact that he has again run away and made himself unavailable that forced my decision”. They went on to assert that this did not mean they did not think the allegations were true – they simply couldn’t meet the burden of proof in court.

Four other accusers have come forward to say that Murray molested them as teens as well. Murray has maintained his innocence and refused to resign as mayor, though he announced in May that he would not seek reelection. Murray has repeatedly claimed that the court system exonerated him. The recently discovered records of the CPS investigation say otherwise.

Murray’s latest accuser is a cousin who lived with Murray and his mother in New York when they were both teenagers in the 1970s. He says Murray forced him into having sex in their shared bedroom.

Murray joins a long list of Northwest politicians who have been accused of sexual assault, including former Portland Mayor Sam Adams, former Oregon Congressman David Wu, former Idaho Senator Larry Craig, former Oregon Governor Neil Goldschmidt, and gay rights activist and fundraiser Terry Bean.

 

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