The Mayor of Seattle Ed Murray has said that he won’t seek re-election amid allegations that he sexually assaulted teenage boys.
Murray, a married gay man, has strongly denied the allegations against him.
The Democrat announced that he would not be seeking reelection at a news conference with his husband by his side.
The mayor, who has been a champion of LGBT rights and who said he has stood up for “vulnerable populations”, said he would finish his term which ends at the end of the year.
He said: “The allegations against me paint me in the worst possible historic portraits of a gay man.
“The allegations against me are not true, and I say this with all honesty and with the deepest sincerity. But the scandal surrounding them, and me, is hurting this city,” the mayor added.
Allegations were made against the 61-year-old in April for allegedly having sex with minors in the late 1980’s.
The plaintiff’s case stated that Murray had sex with the minor in 1986 and would pay him between $10 and $20 for sex. Sex with a person under the age of 16 is considered rape in the state.
The plaintiff said in the lawsuit that he decided to make the case now after his father died.
Following the filing of the lawsuit by the man, now 46, prompted other men to come forward and make similar allegations.
Allegations were first made in 2007 when Murray was a legislator in the state, but never became public.
Last week a fourth man came forward with allegations against Murray.
In a tweet, Murray said: “Serving you as mayor of the city I love has been the honor of a lifetime.”
Bob Sulkin, Murray’s attorney, has stated that the allegations are “false” and insisted that “these types of lawsuits is now the cost of being a public figure.”
“I don’t think it’s a coincidence that these allegations have occurred in the midst of a mayoral campaign,” Sulkin added.
The lawyer said back in April that Murray would be “defending the lawsuit vigorously” and, before announcing that he would step down, said Murray would still “do his job for the city of Seattle”.