A cousin of Mayor Ed Murray says Murray repeatedly molested him when he was a teenager in the 70s, making him the fifth man to publicly accuse the mayor of sexual abuse.
Joseph Dyer, 56, claimed in an interview with the Times that Murray abused him when they all lived in Dyer's mother's home in Medford, New York. Maryellen Sottile, Dyer's mother, is Murray's first cousin. Dyer said Murray molested him while they were in the same house as family members, including moments when Dyer's mother watched TV and when his sisters slept.
Sottile says her son told her about the alleged abuse months after Murray moved out.
Murray denied the allegations, attributing them to a years-long family rift. He has also denied the allegations from the other four men accusing him of sexual abuse. They are: Delvonn Heckard, Jeff Simpson, Lloyd Anderson and Maurice Jones.
Dyer claimed Murray stopped molesting him after another boy in a Catholic group home reported that Murray abused him too. The accuser said his uncle negotiated a deal with the group home to not file charges so long as Murray stopped working there. Dyer says he hasn't spoken to or seen Murray since then. "I look at him and I get violently ill,” Dyer told the Times.
The four other men who publicly accused Murray of abusing them when they were teenagers said that abuse happened in the 80s in Portland. Dyer's claims mean that the sex abuse allegations against Murray now span two decades and two coasts.
Murray, who stopped his re-election campaign over the allegations, has come under fire for saying his other accusers are not credible because they have criminal histories. Dyer does not "appear to have any criminal record," the Times reports, and said he decided to come forward after seeing Murray attack the credibility of his alleged victims.
"Watching Murray slander his victims while in a position of power serves as a form of re-victimization to myself, and I can only presume other victims," Dyer said in a signed declaration provided to Lincoln Beauregard, the attorney who represented Delvonn Heckard, another one of Murray's alleged victims, in a since-dropped civil lawsuit.
In the same declaration, Dyer also criticizes other public officials, mayoral candidate Jenny Durkan and city council member Sally Bagshaw, for not calling on Murray to resign. Durkan, who accepted Murray's endorsement, Bagshaw, and other members of the city council did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Shortly after Dyer's allegations were published, Murray cancelled a previously scheduled appearance at a press conference about the memorandum of understanding between Seattle and a developer to renovate KeyArena.
This post has been updated.