SEATTLE (Reuters) - A 46-year-old man sued Seattle Mayor Ed Murray for sexual abuse and child prostitution on Thursday, claiming that Murray paid him for sex when he was a homeless, drug-addicted teenager.
The man, identified as "D.H.," claimed in an eight-page lawsuit filed in King County Superior Court that he met Murray, then approximately 32, while riding a bus and that Murray invited him home, where he offered the teen money in exchange for sex acts.
A spokesman for Murray, in a statement to the Seattle Times newspaper, denied the charges as "categorically false" and said the mayor "will vigorously fight these allegations in court."
Murray, a 61-year-old Democrat elected mayor in 2013, did not immediately respond to requests by Reuters for comment.
"These false accusations are intended to damage a prominent elected official who has been a defender of vulnerable populations for decades," Murray's spokesman, Jeff Reading, said in the statement to the Seattle Times. "It is not a coincidence that this shakedown effort comes within weeks of the campaign filing deadline."
Reading added, "Mayor Murray has never engaged in an inappropriate relationship with any minor."
In the lawsuit, D.H., described as an adult male born in February 1971, also said he once saw another underage boy at Murray's home whom he believes Murray was paying for sex.
The court papers describe the abuse that D.H. says took place in graphic detail as well as physical characteristics of Murray.
(Reporting by Tom James in Seattle and Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles; Writing by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Leslie Adler)