Local man accuses Seattle mayor of sexual abuse

Jeffrey Simpson of Gladstone speaks with KATU on Tuesday. (KATU Photo)

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced his resignation Tuesday after new allegations of sexual abuse surfaced. One of his accusers is a Portland local.

“Thank you, Jesus. You know, it's about time. These are prayers answered,” said Jeffrey Simpson of Gladstone.

Simpson claims Murray sexually abused him when he was a teenager. He was a child when he entered into the Oregon foster care system, which is when he first met Murray. Simpson says he raped him when he was 13 years old.

“It's been hard. It has almost ruined my life,” said Simpson. “I remember crying saying, 'No I don't want to do this.'”

He says the sexual abuse went on until he was about 18 years old.

“The first time he tried to rape me, I was confused. That was when my behavior started getting, you know, out of control.”

Simpson’s rowdy behavior was even used by Murray to discredit him.

Murray denied any allegations of sexual abuse all the way to his resignation.

Murray's cousin became the fifth man to accuse the mayor of sexual abuse, and Tuesday afternoon, Murray announced he will resigned Wednesday at 5 p.m. He released this statement:

“I am announcing my resignation as mayor, effective at 5 p.m. tomorrow.

“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.

“I’m proud of all that I have accomplished over my 19 years in the Legislature, where I was able to pass what were at the time the largest transportation packages in state history, a landmark gay civil rights bill and a historic marriage equality bill.

“And I am proud of what we have accomplished together at the City during my time as mayor, passing a nation-leading $15 minimum wage, and major progressive housing affordability and police accountability legislation, as well as negotiating an agreement to build a world-class arena that I believe in time will bring the NHL and NBA to Seattle.

“But it has also become clear to me that in light of the latest news reports it is best for the city if I step aside.

“To the people of this special city and to my dedicated staff, I am sorry for this painful situation.

“In the interest of an orderly transition of power, Council President Bruce Harrell will become Mayor upon my resignation, and will decide within the following five days whether he will fill out the remainder of my term. During this time Director of Operations Fred Podesta has been tasked with leading the transition.”

To Simpson, a resignation is not quite justice.

“He needs to pay not with money for what he's done, but with time in prison,” said Simpson.

The closure he seeks from Murray now is the truth.

“Do the right thing,” he said. “You know what you have done. I think everyone knows what you have done.”

Simpson says he’s in the works to file lawsuits against Murray in both Washington and Oregon, but he wants to focus on making a change in legislation, specifically on the statute of limitations. In Oregon, the statute for limitations for first-degree sex crimes and rape is 12 years.

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