Seattle mayor’s accuser in sex abuse lawsuit IDs himself
SEATTLE — A man who has sued Seattle Mayor Ed Murray over alleged sex abuse in the 1980s has identified himself publicly, saying he has nothing to hide and thinks doing so will prompt people to believe his claims.
Our news partner The Seattle Times Wednesday that the man’s lawyer identified his client as Delvonn Heckard, 46, from the Seattle suburb of Kent.
Heckard was identified only by his initials in the original lawsuit filed earlier this month against Murray, but the lawyer filed an amended lawsuit on Tuesday naming Heckard.
The Associated Press typically does not identify alleged victims of sex abuse, but Heckard said he wants his name made public.
Murray has vigorously denied Heckard’s claims and told reporters earlier this month that he did not know who “D.H.” was after the lawsuit was filed.
Heckard said in the lawsuit that the mayor “raped and molested him” over several years beginning in 1986 when Heckard was a 15-year-old crack cocaine addict and Murray was in his 30s. Two other men told the newspaper they met Murray while living in a center for troubled teens and that he paid them for sex in the 1980s.
“Once people hear me talk, they’ll be able to feel my spirit, and they’ll have no doubts that what I’m saying is true,” Heckard told the newspaper in an interview.
Murray, who faces a re-election campaign this year, has said the allegations are politically motivated by gay rights foes.
During his 18 years as a state lawmaker, Murray was the prime sponsor of Washington state’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.
Heckard’s lawyer, Lincoln Beauregard, denied in the amended lawsuit that Heckard’s claims were politically motivated.
It said Heckard “is an openly gay man with no real political inclinations.”
Murray released the following statement on Wednesday:
“I can state categorically that I have never had a sexual relationship with this individual, Delvonn Heckard, of any kind or at any time.
“I have never paid for sex, and I have never had sex with a minor. Heckard’s claims about my anatomy were proved medically false last week. His accusations are not true.
“I just learned Heckard’s name this morning, and can say that his name is not familiar to me.”
“Is it possible I met this person before? Sure, it is possible. I have encountered thousands of people during my decades of public service. I cannot say for certain that I never encountered this person at some point thirty years ago, a time when I was very publicly and civically active. But Delvonn Heckard is not someone I knew.
“Again, to be clear, I never had sex with Delvonn Heckard or any other minor at any time.”