A Portland attorney who considered filing a lawsuit against Seattle Mayor Ed Murray 10 years ago said his client was “credible,” but he believed the statute of limitations had expired on the decades old case.
“I found Jeff Simpson to be credible,” Brian Williams said in his Portland law office on Thursday. “He didn’t seem to be in it for the money. He wanted people to know (about Murray).”
Williams said Simpson contacted his law office in 2008, claiming that he had been sexually abused by Murray in the 1980s.
Simpson claimed he met Murray as a boy at the Parry Center for Children in Portland. Murray worked there in the late 1970s assisting foster care children.
Simpson said Murray began paying him for sex when he was a teenager.
Murray was sued last week for alleged sexual abuse of a Seattle teen in the 1980s. Murray said the allegations were "simply not true."
Williams says Simpson admitted he had a long criminal record. But he also had some convincing evidence backing up his story.
“He was able to identify some anatomical features with Mr. Murray that you wouldn’t necessarily know about unless there was some intimate physical contact,” Williams said.
Simpson had also filed a report with police in 1984 accusing Murray of sexually assaulting him. Prosecutors rejected a charge of sodomy.
That 1984 police report proved to be the lawsuit’s undoing. Williams said it started the judicial clock ticking, and the statute of limitations began tolling at that point. By 2008 Williams decided the case would be “time-barred” and could not be pursued.
Williams says he was surprised by reaction from Murray’s lawyers who sent him lengthy reports on Simpson’s criminal record.
“It could be true,” Williams said. “It could also be trashing the victim.”