SEATTLE (AP) – A man jailed on drug charges has accused Seattle Mayor Ed Murray of paying him for sex when the man was a teenager decades ago, claims that were vehemently denied Wednesday by a spokesman for the mayor. He is the fourth man over the last month to accuse the mayor of sex abuse.
The man, Maurice Jones, said in a sworn declaration late Tuesday that he was introduced to Murray by Delvonn Heckard, who filed a lawsuit last month claiming he was sexually abused by Murray in the 1980s when Heckard was a teenager.
Jones made the declaration from jail where Heckard’s attorney said he was being held on drug charges. Court records show he was initially charged with cocaine possession and released from jail but re-booked in March and jailed again.
Jeff Reading, the Murray spokesman, labeled the fresh claim an “ambush copycat false accusation.”
Murray has also denied the claims by Heckard and two other men who separately told The Seattle Times they met Murray while living in a center for troubled teens and that he paid them for sex.
Jones is not suing Murray, but his statement about the mayor was filed by Heckard’s lawyer, Lincoln Beauregard as additional material accompanying Heckard’s lawsuit.
The Seattle Times also reported Wednesday that Jones has been arrested in the past for offenses including theft and false reporting.
The new court documents with Jones’ allegations were filed after Murray’s lawyer asked a judge to sanction Beauregard for unethical legal behavior, accusing him of trying to generate negative publicity against Murray.
Beauregard has denied the accusation, countering that Murray is trying to stifle his right to free speech and his client’s free speech rights.
Reading said Beauregard’s latest court filing was designed as a media stunt and reiterated that “Mayor Murray has never had inappropriate relations with any minor.”
Murray, a Democrat, is in his first term and seeking re-election after a lengthy career as a state lawmaker.
He was the prime sponsor of Washington’s gay marriage law, spearheaded an effort to protect LGBTQ youth in public schools and led the state’s push to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Murray has claimed that the abuse claims are motivated by an anti-gay conspiracy aimed at derailing his political career.
Jones said in his declaration: “I am not part of any right-wing conspiracy. I am also gay.”
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.