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Seattle Mayor Ed Murray's cousin: He sexually abused me, too

Lewis Kamb and Jim Brunner, The Seattle Times on

Published in News & Features

SEATTLE -- A younger cousin of Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has become the fifth man to accuse the mayor of sexual abuse, saying Murray repeatedly molested him as a teenager in the 1970s.

Joseph Dyer, 54, a dialysis technician and Air Force veteran, says he was 13 when Murray forced him into sex for about a year while the two shared a bedroom in Dyer's mother's home in the Long Island town of Medford, N.Y.

"There would be times when I would fake sleeping because I didn't want him touching me," Dyer, a married father who now lives in another state, recalled during an interview with The Seattle Times.

"And that's when he would molest me. And my mother would be right there in the house, she'd be in the living room ... watching TV, at that time it was probably "MASH." And my sisters would be in their rooms, sleeping. And I would be in my room, and he would be in there, molesting me."

Murray on Tuesday morning denied the allegations, saying he did live with his cousin, Maryellen Sottile, and her children in New York but did not abuse Dyer. He said there has been a rift in the family for years, and this accusation is untrue.

"I did not sexually abuse any of her children," Murray said. "There's a larger backstory between the Murrays and the Sottiles ...

"There's been numerous fights between our two families for many years, and much ugliness. I guess they see me down and out, and they want to finish me off."

Murray added he has no plans to resign.

The molestation stopped, Dyer said, only after a boy in a Catholic group home where Murray worked accused Murray of abuse. According to Dyer, his uncle negotiated to get group home officials not to pursue charges as long as Murray left, Dyer said. After that, Murray left town, Dyer said, and he never saw or spoke to his cousin again.

"I have had no connection with that man -- I don't want any connection with that man whatsoever. I look at him and I get violently ill," Dyer said.

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