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Police find no evidence to support allegations against Sen. Rick Murphy

Sen. Rick Murphy (file photo)

Peoria police found no evidence to support allegations that Arizona Sen. Rick Murphy sexually abused two children living in his home and did not recommend any charges against the senator, according to a police report released Wednesday morning.

Enrique Thomas Murphy, adopted by the Murphy’s when he was 10 years old, told police on June 22 that he had been molested by the Peoria Republican for the last six years, beginning when he was a 12 years old, the report stated.

Enrique, now 18, also told police that he began sexually abusing one of his sisters during that time.  The report stated Enrique began inappropriately touching and being touched by one of Murphy’s daughters when she was 12 years old.

Related: 
• More details released in case involving Sen. Rick Murphy
• Sen. Murphy under investigation for alleged sexual abuse of foster children 

Enrique’s accusations prompted police to reopen a 2011 case in which one of Murphy’s foster children accused the senator of sexual abuse.

But police found no witnesses or evidence to support either boy’s accusations.

Enrique left a voicemail for investigators on July 12 retracting his statements and refused to speak any further about either incident with the police, the report said.

Child Protective Services is still looking into issues surrounding the accusations, and all the Murphy’s adopted and foster children have been removed from their home, according to the report.

The report indicated police had difficulty speaking with potential witnesses in the case.  After Murphy’s daughters were interviewed by CPS workers when removed from the senator’s home on June 22, the girls declined to speak further through their mother, Penny, with CPS workers or the police.

Murphy also declined to speak with police through his attorney, Craig Mehrens.

“On my advice he will respectfully decline an interview at this time. In event all he could tell you is that he has never abused anyone, let alone a child in his care,” Mehrens told police.

The case is now listed as inactive.

“Until further information can be developed to prove or disprove the allegations, this investigation will be listed be inactive,” the report stated.

Murphy could not be reached for comment.

Mehrens declined to comment until he could obtain a copy of the police report.

Similar accusations

The report noted that the accusations made by Enrique and the foster child in 2011 were similar: Both boys told police that Murphy inappropriately touched them, and in some instances rewarded the boys for allowing the abuse to occur, according to the report.

Both boys also told police they weren’t aware of any other children in the home being abused, the report stated.

Enrique and the foster child from 2011, who was permanently removed from Murphy’s home at the time, were once roommates in the home with another foster child who ran away from Murphy’s home in May, according the report.

CPS officials were unable to locate the child to be interviewed by police, and the report offered no explanation of why the boy, now an adult, ran away.

Police interviewed the foster child who accused Murphy of sexual abuse in 2011 on July 10. The boy reiterated his claims that Murphy inappropriately touched him while he stayed in the senator’s home in 2011, but said he never heard about or witnessed any other instances of abuse.

When asked if he thought the Murphys would influence what the children told police, the boy explained “the Murphys told all the other children in the home that [redacted] was making false allegations against them,” the report stated.

Safety plan

Though the police are listing the case as inactive, CPS investigators are still looking into the matter.  Officials are working to locate and speak with all of Murphy’s former male foster children, the report said.

CPS case workers advised police they went to Murphy’s home on June 27 to implement a safety plan for the senator’s daughters.  A safety monitor was to remain with the daughters at all times, and the daughters weren’t to have any unsupervised contact with male family members, the report stated.

Murphy’s two foster children were removed from the home and not returned, according the report.

After they were initially returned to the Murphys’ home, the senator’s four daughters were removed again on July 17, according to the report.

A dependency hearing is scheduled to be held this week, the report stated.

 

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