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Seattle mayor's cousin joins accusers in sex abuse case

Joseph Dyer, 54, submitted a signed declaration to attorney Lincoln Beauregard, who is representing Delvonn Heckard -- another Murray accuser.  
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, April 22, 2017. (Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

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A new accuser came forward Tuesday in the child sex scandal involving Seattle Mayor Ed Murray. The alleged victim claims he is the mayor’s cousin.

Joseph Dyer, 54, submitted a signed declaration to attorney Lincoln Beauregard, who is representing Delvonn Heckard.

Heckard filed suit against the mayor earlier this year accusing him of molesting him when Heckard was a teenager in the 1980s. Heckard’s attorneys decided to withdraw the suit, saying they will re-file the case after the mayor is out the office to prevent him from using his position of power to further his side.

Murray was expected to announce a new deal for an arena at the KeyArena site in Seattle Center during a press conference Tuesday. That event was canceled moments after the story broke at 11 a.m.

Shortly after 1 p.m. Tuesday, Murray released a statement announcing his resignation effective Wednesday at 5 p.m.

"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 said in a statement.

In the declaration, Dyer said his grandmother is the sister of Murray’s mother. He said Murray lived with them in Medford, NY, for about a year in the mid-1970s.

“During that time, Murray regularly molested me in ways that can be best described as repeated and prolonged Child Molestation of the First Degree, or worse,” Dyer said in the declaration.

Dyer accuses the Murray of using his “position of power” to attack the men accusing him of abuse.

“News reports show Murray standing at the publicly owned mayoral podium, with his husband (a Seattle employee) by his side on the taxpayer (sic) time, declaring ‘vindication’ in relation to Mr. Heckard’s private lawsuit claims and continuing to slander the lawyers and other victims…,” said Dyer.

Related: Seattle councilmember urges Murray to resign

Dyer said the fact that other city leaders have come out in support of the mayor is damaging to his victims.

“Speaking out confidently in favor of removing Murray from office is not ‘grandstanding,’” said Dyer, possibly referring to council member Sally Bagshaw's comment during a weekly briefing in July.

“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, such as Mr. Heckard," Dyer added.

Beauregard, who also represents Dyer, said Murray's cousin is not filing suit but has offered to be a witness in the case when it is re-filed. Beauregard said Dyer’s mother will attest to son's memories of what happened, and put him in counseling.

Related: Who was Ed Murray in the 1980's?

Dyer says he's also willing to testify in impeachment proceedings against Murray, if they happen.

Murray is not running for a second term as mayor.

Seattle Mayoral Candidate Cary Moon called for Murray to step down Tuesday.

She said in a statement: "Thank you to Mayor Murray for his years of public service. I believe it's in the best interests of everyone - especially the many survivors of sexual assault re-experiencing their own traumas- for the Mayor to step down now so that City Hall can get back to work. An aggressive legal fight, where Mayor Murray feels compelled to use all the power of his position as a public official to demean and even silence his accusers, is deeply divisive to our community and triggering for survivors of sexual assault. Whatever the outcome of the judicial process, it’s not appropriate for a public official to do this while serving as the leader of our city.

Now is the time to focus on the tough problems resulting from Seattle's rapid growth - including skyrocketing housing costs, traffic congestion and transit shortages, economic disparity and surging homelessness. I look forward to engaging in meaningful discussions with voters and my fellow candidates about the best ways to solve Seattle's crises so that we do not become a city of haves and have nots."

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