GETTY / Stephen Brashear

EXPLOSIVE ACCUSATIONS surfaced last week against Mayor Ed Murray of Seattle—and Portland plays a big role.

On April 6, the Seattle Times published a lengthy story detailing allegations of sexual abuse of at-risk teenage boys by Murray, many of which are said to have occurred while he lived and worked in Portland in the ’80s. Murray, who is running for re-election, strenuously denies any wrongdoing.

The Times’ story described in part the claims of two men, Jeff Simpson and Lloyd Anderson, who said they’d met Murray while living in the Parry Center for Children. The center has stood for more than a century near Southeast 34th and Powell. In the ’80s, it worked with children who’d been profoundly traumatized by physical and sexual abuse, and also helped troubled kids find foster homes.

Simpson and Anderson both say they met Murray because he worked at the center while enrolled at the University of Portland, but told the Times their abuse began after they’d been placed in other living situations.

These days, the Parry Center is run by Trillium Family Services, and provides mental health care to children. Since the allegations against Murray arose, Trillium has taken pains to stress that it wasn’t managing the center at the time he worked there.

“Trillium Family Services was not affiliated with Parry Center in the 1980s because Trillium was not yet an organization,” the organization’s president, Kim Scott, wrote in a statement sent to the Mercury.

But Scott also notes his organization is “the keeper of the former organization’s history,” and was able to substantiate that Murray spent time at the center. Trillium dug up a “small card” that suggests he worked there from 1977 to 1980, “but no indication about job title, specific roles, or responsibilities are listed, nor are any other employment-related specifics,” Scott wrote. “Trillium is currently working to validate this record.”

Another record shows Murray was investigated for sexual abuse in 1984. According to the Times article, that was around the time Simpson says he reported the conduct to the administrator of the group home he was living in, after a falling out with Murray.

Though nearly all the records from the ensuing investigation appear to have been destroyed, the Mercury obtained one that still exists on an outdated Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office database [PDF]. It shows Murray was investigated for sodomy in the third degree, a felony, in May of 1984, and that prosecutors declined to file charges at the time.

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Neither the Portland Police Bureau nor the district attorney’s office keeps records from 1984 for crimes less severe than murder. The Portland Police Bureau says any police reports on the matter would have been destroyed. The same goes for any “decline memo,” a standard report prosecutors fill out when explaining why they’ve declined to file charges, according to Deputy District Attorney Adam Gibbs, who notes: “At the time this happened in 1984, this Murray guy was a nobody.”

Murray has pledged to fight the accusations—including a newly filed civil suit alleging sexual abuse by a man identified in court filings only as D.H.