SEATTLE – For the first time, we’re hearing from the fifth man who accuses former Mayor Ed Murray of child sex abuse. We’re also learning more about the impact of this scandal on his other accusers and other alleged adult survivors in our area.
“He’s a child rapist and pedophile,” said Jeff Simpson, who accuses Ed Murray of abusing him when he was a child.
Simpson is silent no more. He’s speaking out from his Portland area home against Murray. He says Murray sexually abused him for six years when he was a teenager and Murray was in his 20s or 30s. Simpson is now one of five men making similar accusations.
“You guys only know of five. I know of three other victims that haven’t ever been named because of the evidence and two of them have passed away and they’ve elected to not come forward,” said Simpson.
Just Tuesday, Murray’s cousin Joseph Dyer told The Seattle Times about years of child sex abuse at the hands of Murray. Dyer released a statement Wednesday saying in part, “Edward claims, as with the other allegations, that he didn’t molest me. He really can't say anything else.”
“He continues to victimize the survivors of his rapes and molestings by saying he hasn’t done anything and that we’re all telling lies,” said Simpson.
Simpson argues the mayor used his position at City Hall as a weapon to further humiliate and devalue the alleged victims who came forward.
“Denial, denial -- 'It didn’t happen. It wasn’t that bad. You’re making things up,'” said Shepherd’s Counseling Services Executive Director Janice Palm.
The abuse of power is why Palm says most victims never come forward even when they’re adults.
“It’s a hard thing to admit to yourself what happened and tell yourself the truth about how that is and it’s an even harder thing to go public with it,” said Palm.
Palm says she’s not surprised to hear that Dyer doesn’t want to address the topic anymore, writing in a statement, “What benefit is it for me to come out and expose myself at this point in my life?”
“It could be, 'I’ve done what I’ve needed to do. I’ve said what I needed to say,'” said Palm about Dyer.
She says the men who came forward shouldn’t be shamed but be deemed courageous heroes. Palm argues Murray’s resignation is a win, but she says what’s more important is how society treats alleged victims.
“The three most important words you can say to someone who says they’ve been harmed, they’ve been abused, is to say, I believe you,” said Palm.
Simpson, the accuser from Portland, says he hopes Murray will just admit his wrongdoing and seek professional help for what he says is Murray’s “sickness.”