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Senator’s wife seeks divorce two months after he was cleared in sex abuse case

Sen. Rick Murphy (file photo)

Sen. Rick Murphy (file photo)

Penny Raye Murphy, wife to Sen. Rick Murphy, has sued for divorce in Maricopa County Superior Court.

Saying the marriage is “irretrievably broken,” the senator’s wife concluded in her September 9 divorce petition that there is “no possibility of reconciliation.”

In July, Peoria police found no evidence to support allegations that Murphy, R-Peoria, sexually abused two children living in his home. The department did not recommend any charges against the senator and the criminal case was closed.

Arizona Child Protective Services continued to look into issues surrounding the children’s accusations, and all the Murphys’ adopted and foster children were removed from their home, according to a police report.

Murphy subsequently criticized CPS, which he said failed to follow state laws dictating how children can be removed from their families and may be retaliating for his work in the Legislature, where the senator considers himself a champion of foster and adoptive care and a frequent critic of CPS.

He issued a lengthy written statement through his attorney on July 24 denouncing CPS’ actions. Murphy wrote that CPS failed to give sufficient explanation for why they decided to remove the girls beyond citing an “ongoing investigation.’’

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