After 5th Sexual Abuse Allegation, Mayor Resigns
This time it's Seattle Mayor Ed Murray's cousin accusing him
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 12, 2017 6:35 PM CDT
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Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced his resignation, Tuesday after a fifth man came forward and accused him of sexual abuse decades ago.   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

(Newser) – The mayor of Seattle is resigning after a fifth person—his cousin—publicly accused him of sexual abuse, the Seattle Times reports. Joseph Dyer, 54, says Ed Murray, 62, forced him to have sex in a bedroom they shared at the home of Dyer's mother four decades ago. Murray, a Democrat elected in 2013, denies Dyer's claims and says they're based in grievances between various estranged sides of his family. Regardless, Murray announced Tuesday—hours after Dyer went public with his allegations—that he would be stepping down as Seattle's mayor effective Wednesday evening. “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,” Murray says in a statement.

The first allegation against Murray came in the form of a lawsuit filed in April, the Washington Post reports. A man claimed he was repeatedly raped by Murray when he was a homeless teen in Seattle in the 1980s. The lawsuit, which was later withdrawn, was followed by three other men accusing Murray of sexually abusing them as teens, according to CNN. Murray ended his re-election campaign in the face of the allegations. He denies any claims of sexual abuse, saying he's being targeted for his progressive politics and support for gay rights. Seattle City Council President Bruce Harrell will take over mayoral duties for at least the next few days. He calls the accusations against Murray "unspeakable."

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