PEORIA, Ariz. -- Often seen as a family man working for foster children and their families, State Senator Rick Murphy's record was rocked last month after allegations of child molestation.
Police reports show that on June 22, a youth pastor reported that a teenage boy told him Murphy had touched him inappropriately, from January 2007 to May of 2013, starting when the boy was just 12.
Peoria police began interviewing the victim, even digging through another allegation of molestation against Murphy in 2011. In that case police found no evidence, and so it was closed. Now this new investigation has reached the same ending.
3TV has learned that on July 12, the accuser retracted his statements that Murphy had touched him. Officers say there were no other witnesses to any abuse, and no physical evidence.
Attorney Clark Derrick said this type of allegation can haunt a person long after the case is closed.
"I think the damage has been done at that point," said Derrick, who is not working on this specific case. "That's a very difficult perception public perception to dissuade or do anything about," he said.
He says the fact that the teen took back his story, makes this difficult to investigate - and can stop a case in its tracks. Murphy himself declined to be interviewed by police.
Thursday, Murphy and his attorney released a statement about the case. Click here to read it.