- Associated Press - Thursday, December 14, 2017

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Wyoming’s secretary of state and a potential 2018 candidate for governor on Thursday denied a woman’s claim he sexually attacked her over 35 years ago as “unequivocally false.”

Tatiana Maxwell of Boulder, Colorado, wrote in a Facebook post Monday that Murray wrestled her to the ground, lifted up her shirt and ejaculated on her stomach after they had met up after hours at the law office where they worked.

“I cleaned up and got out as quickly as I could, Eddie apologizing for getting so excited but couching it in terms suggesting I ‘was just too attractive to resist,’” Maxwell wrote.

Murray said Thursday in a statement that her accusation was false and “is deeply hurtful to me and to my family, as well as to everyone I serve.” He did not respond to a request made through his spokesman, Will Dinneen, to discuss Maxwell’s claims first reported by Cheyenne radio station KGAB.

“I struggle to understand what would motivate someone to make this kind of accusation,” Murray added. “But considering that this statement was made in the context of the #metoo movement, I want to take this moment to acknowledge the overall importance of this conversation, as well as to reaffirm my commitment to being an ally for women.”

Maxwell is a significant donor to the Democratic Party but she insisted her accusation against Murray was “really, strictly personal” and in no way political.

Murray, 59, a Republican, has been secretary of state since 2015 and has been considering running next year to succeed Republican Gov. Matt Mead, who is term-limited. Murray previously was a property developer, with holdings that included a downtown Cheyenne building painted with a huge cherub and “The Murray Building” at top.

Murray was a recent law school graduate in the early 1980s. Maxwell wrote she thought it strange that Murray, who she didn’t know well and was five years older than her, wanted to meet her after hours at the Dray, Madison and Thomson law firm where she worked as an assistant the summer after graduating from high school.

However, Maxwell’s husband of 29 years, Paul Maxwell, said Thursday his wife mentioned to him more than once that Murray sexually attacked her.

“She told me about this, oh, let’s say the mid-‘80s,” Paul Maxwell said. “I believe it to be true. She told me a couple, three times about it, over time. I have no reason to doubt it.”

Paul and Tatiana Maxwell both said they are separated and divorcing.

Tatiana Maxwell gave more than $37,000 to Democratic candidates and causes since the late 1990s, according to Federal Election Commission records.

Maxwell’s Facebook photos include one of her posing with Hillary Clinton. She said she did not know that Murray was thinking about running for governor until reporters contacted her on Thursday, she told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

“I’ve been carrying it around for 35 years and there’s no question that the national conversation has been helpful and, you know, empowering,” Maxwell said, referring to the several other women recently accusing prominent men of sexual misconduct.

“I didn’t know then and I hadn’t known for years exactly what to do with it. But what I do know is I don’t want my children, I don’t want my daughters, to ever have to go through the same thing. If it’s my job to stand up and take the heat, then so be it.”

Maxwell owns a company that has developed a handful of residential properties in Wyoming.

She is one of 23 board members of Refugees International, a nonprofit that advocates for refugees. Other board members include former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, actor Matt Dillon and Queen Noor of Jordan.


Follow Mead Gruver at https://twitter.com/meadgruver

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