by WorldTribune Staff, September 17, 2017
In the last year, 10 current and former U.S. mayors have been accused of sex crimes ranging from possession of child pornography to physical abuse of victims as young as 4-years-old, according to reports.
Earlier this month, Rick Nelson, the mayor of Stillwater, New York, resigned after being arrested on child porn charges. The porn charges marked the fifth such accusation against Nelson, the Albany Times Union reported, including allegations of rape and sodomy. Nelson had not been convicted on any of the previous allegations, which allegedly included inappropriate behavior with a 5-year-old in 1982 on the school bus that Nelson was driving at the time.
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, a Democrat, resigned on Sept. 13 after a fifth man publicly accused Murray of molesting him as a child. Four of the allegations came to light this spring. Murray contended the allegations were an effort to target him for his “record as a gay-rights champion,” according to the Seattle Times.
Dale Kenyon, former mayor of Clayton, New York was indicted last week on charges of sexually abusing a teenager over the course of three years.
Dwayne Schutt, mayor of Randolph, Nebraska, was arrested in July on multiple child sexual assault charges, KTIV reported. Police say Schutt repeatedly sexually abused a minor over a period of four years, beginning when the victim was 13-years-old. Schutt, whose trial is ongoing, currently remains Randolph’s mayor.
Former Ohio mayor Richard Keenan, a Democrat, was sentenced to life in prison in April after pleading guilty to repeatedly raping a 4-year-old girl, WFMJ reported. Keenan, who will be eligible for parole after serving 10 years, claimed during the trial that the 4-year-old was a “willing participant.”
Anthony Silva, then-mayor of Stockton, California, was arrested last August on charges that he provided teens with alcohol at a camp for underprivileged youth that he ran before recording them playing strip poker, the Associated Press reported. Silva, a Republican, claimed he accidentally recorded the strip poker game after interrupting it. He pled no contest to the lesser charge of providing alcohol to a minor and was sentenced to 40 hours of community service.
Kenneth Lewis Barrett, then-mayor of Winston, Oregon, was one of four men arrested on March 19 as part of a sex sting, KPIC reported. Authorities say the four men believed they were meeting a 14-year-old girl for sex.
During the 2016 trial of a Georgia man convicted of molesting and raping an 11-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl, the girl said that Christopher Wright, then mayor of Dawson, Georgia, had also raped her and forced her to perform oral sex on him, KTOC reported. Wright, first elected mayor as a Democrat in 2012 at the age of 22, pled no contest to child sex abuse and rape in January 2017 but was let off without a prison sentence. He was sentenced to 20 years probation – during which time he can’t seek public office – and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine.
Former Rockdale, Texas mayor Darral Gene Walker was indicted in June 2016 on charges of sexual misconduct. “A copy of the indictment said Walker engaged in sexual contact with a child younger than 17 years of age by touching the boy’s genitals,” TDTNews reported. “Walker admitted that the events happened at his home in Rockdale, but said it was for purely educational reasons, not for sexual gratification.” Walker pled guilty to a lesser assault charge in August 2016 after striking a deal with prosecutors that will allow him to avoid registering as a sex offender.
Former Millbrook, New York mayor Donald H. Briggs was indicted on felony charges in December 2016 in relation to “alleged inappropriate sexual contact with a person younger than 17,” according to local news reports.