A previously unnamed complainant in a sex-abuse lawsuit against Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has identified himself, saying he has “nothing to hide.”
Delvonn Heckard, 46, sued Murray this month under the name “D.H.,” claiming that the mayor “raped and molested him” by paying him for sex when he was a homeless and drug-addicted teenager in the 1980s. Heckard’s lawyer, Lincoln Beauregard, said Murray’s accuser decided to come forward so that the mayor could no longer claim he doesn’t know who “D.H.” is.
Heckard told The Seattle Times Wednesday morning that he was comfortable with revealing his name because he had “nothing to hide.”
“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,” he said. “I mean, you know when someone is bullshittin’ you, right? Well I ain’t bullshittin’ nobody.”
Heckard claims he met Murray on a city bus and was lured back to the man’s apartment. Murray paid him $10-$20 for more than 50 encounters there over the next five years, Heckard alleges.
The mayor denies the allegations, and his lawyers maintain that the lawsuit is politically motivated, Reuters reported this month.
But in a revised lawsuit filed in King County Superior Court late Tuesday, Heckard’s lawyers wrote that he’s an “openly gay man with no real political inclinations” and that “he does not think a man who abuses children, and then lies about it in office, should be in high office without the public being afforded full information.”
Murray’s office didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Heckard’s decision to come forward puts yet another public face on a growing list of Murray’s accusers. Two other men not named in Heckard’s initial lawsuit, Jeff Simpson and Lloyd Anderson, told the Times that Murray abused them in the ‘80s, when they were growing up in a Portland center for troubled children. Murray had reportedly tried to find Simpson a foster home, but eventually took him under his own roof when Simpson was 15. Simpson accused Murray of abuse in 1984 when he was a teen, but no charges were filed.
Anderson and Simpson reportedly tried to bring a case against Murray in 2007, but it fell apart when their lawyer withdrew the complaint.
Murray’s lawyers acknowledged the pair’s accusations shortly after Heckard’s lawsuit was filed. “The two older accusations were promoted by extreme right-wing anti-gay activists in the midst of the marriage equality campaign, and were thoroughly investigated and dismissed by both law enforcement authorities and the media,” they told the Times.
The mayor, a progressive Democrat who was elected in 2013, has reportedly been a champion of gay rights in the Legislature.