A lawsuit filed Thursday accuses Seattle Mayor Ed Murray of sexually molesting a teenage high-school dropout in the 1980s, and in interviews with The Seattle Times, two other men claim he abused them.
The mayor denied the allegations through his personal spokesman Jeff Reading.
"These false accusations are intended to damage a prominent elected official who has been a defender of vulnerable populations for decades," said a statement issued by Reading. "It is not a coincidence that this shakedown effort comes within weeks of the campaign filing deadline. These unsubstantiated assertions, dating back three decades, are categorically false."
Murray was elected mayor in 2013 after a long career in the Legislature, where he led efforts to legalize gay marriage in the state. As mayor he pushed to increase the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour and address the homelessness crisis in Seattle.