In a handwritten declaration from jail, a fourth man has accused Seattle Mayor Ed Murray of paying him for sex. A Murray spokesman denied the latest allegations, calling them a “sensational media stunt.”
A fourth man has accused Seattle Mayor Ed Murray of paying him for sex after being introduced to Murray as a teenager.
A Murray spokesman denied the latest allegations, made in a court filing late Tuesday, calling them a “sensational media stunt.” The mayor’s lawyers Wednesday morning redoubled their effort to get a judge to sanction the attorney who submitted the new court filing and is representing another man who filed a lawsuit last month.
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.
Jones’ declaration, filed in King County Superior Court, was brief, saying he had been to Murray’s Capitol Hill apartment at an unspecified time and that Murray “gave me money for sex.”
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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.”
“It is clear that Mr. Beauregard wants to try the case in the press rather than with due process in the courts, as our Constitution and legal traditions require,” Robert Sulkin and Malaika Eaton, Murray’s attorneys, wrote in a motion asking a judge for sanctions.
Beauregard counters that Murray is attempting to quash his free-speech rights and those of his client. King County Superior Court Judge Veronica Alicea-Galván is expected to rule Thursday on the sanction motion.
Jones’ declaration brings to four the number of people saying Murray sexually abused them, sometimes paying them for sex, when they were teenagers decades ago. All four have histories of drug use and serious criminal records.
Jones has a criminal record dating to at least 1988 that includes arrests for such offenses as theft, drugs, assault and false reporting, court documents show. Jones pleaded guilty to prostitution in 1988 when he was 15, records show.
“Since 1991, 116 warrants have been issued for the defendant’s arrest,” King County Deputy Prosecutor Amy Montgomery wrote in January court papers charging Jones with cocaine possession.
Kays called Jones a “delightful guy,” and noted it’s not unusual for victims of sexual abuse to lead troubled lives.
“Predators pick low-hanging fruit,” she said. “Teenage prostitutes deserve our compassion, not our condemnation — which is what the mayor and his spokesperson are doing.”
Kays said she and Beauregard found the latest accuser in jail after Heckard gave them names of others who “could potentially shed light on the mayor’s conduct.”
Murray has previously denied accusations from Heckard as well as by those lodged by two other men who told The Seattle Times they were sexually abused by him as teenagers growing up in Portland during the early 1980s.
A Portland man, Jeff Simpson, who is Murray’s former foster son, alleges Murray began sexually abusing him as a 13-year-old and later paid him for sex. Lloyd Anderson, who now lives in Florida, claims Murray paid him for sex on several occasions as a teenager in Portland.
Only Heckard has filed a lawsuit.
Murray, Seattle’s first openly gay mayor, has repeatedly denied the allegations, saying they’re false. He suggested they have emerged because of his leadership on gay civil rights and other progressive causes.
A former state legislator, Murray was elected mayor in 2013 and was expected to face an easy path to a second term before the allegations went public last month.