SEATTLE (CN) – A man who accused Seattle Mayor Ed Murray of sexually abusing him has withdrawn his lawsuit until he can complete drug rehabilitation, with plans to file the suit again next year.
Delvonn Heckard filed a civil suit against Murray on April 6 in King County Superior Court, claiming Murray paid him for anal and oral sex and other sexual encounters when he was a homeless teenage drug addict in the 1980s.
Murray dropped his bid for reelection in May. Although he adamantly denied the allegations, he said it was best for the city if he withdrew his candidacy while fighting the charges.
Heckard said he wants to “complete his extensive counseling and recovery” before continuing the case, according to a motion to dismiss filed Tuesday.
“Additionally, Mr. Heckard determined that it would be better for the success of his lawsuit, and the citizens of the City of Seattle, for this matter to proceed at a later point in time after Mayor Murray is no longer sitting in power. At present, Mr. Heckard feels as though Mayor Murray garners litigation benefits by defending this lawsuit while simultaneously sitting as the Mayor,” the motion says.
Heckard also said he doesn’t think he can get a fair trial now because Murray spread false information about him and tainted the jury pool, according to court documents.
“Delvonn’s goal was to spread the truth — the Mayor’s decision not to run for reelection proved he was heard! Justice!” Heckard’s attorney, Lincoln Beauregard, said in a tweet after filing the dismissal.
At a Wednesday afternoon press conference at city hall, Murray called the lawsuit a “painful experience” not just for himself, but for his husband, family, the city and all victims of sexual abuse.
“As I said when the story first broke, it is not true,” Murray said.
Murray said he will explore his own legal options in the upcoming months, adding that the attempts to end his political career would not be successful.