State Senator under investigation after allegations of molestation

Posted: Updated:
By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- Arizona Senator Rick Murphy, District 21, who’s also a foster and adoptive parent, is under investigation for allegations of sexual molestation, according to Peoria Police.

“At this point, it’s still an active and ongoing investigation,” said spokeswoman Amanda Jacinto.  “Anything to do with victims or the investigation itself, I can’t disclose.”

However, case reports obtained by 3TV state “between January of 2007 and May of 2013, Richard Murphy allegedly touched (unidentified victim's) penis over and under his clothes while at their residence.”

Police say the allegation was raised over this past weekend, which prompted them to reopen a 2011 case which had previously been closed.

In that case, an unidentified victim “alleges that Murphy has repeatedly molested him by touching his genitals on numerous occasions.  These allegations were brought forward by CPS (in February of 2011),” according to the documents.

“The original investigation was closed, so it was a closed matter,” said Peoria City Attorney Steve Kemp.  “As a result of this most recent investigation, that investigation has been re-opened.”

At this point, charges have not been filed in either case, and Peoria police cannot say when the investigations will be completed.

State Senator Murphy has declined multiple requests for comment.  A note posted on his door Friday reads, “We have no comment at this time. It is our daughter’s birthday.  Please respect our privacy.”

“I just can’t imagine it to be true at all,” a neighbor who declined to be identified told 3TV.  “I can’t see it for the life of me. I really can’t.  These are polite people.”

Murphy’s official bio says he’s been politically active since 1997, recently appointed Arizona Senate Judiciary Chairman for 2013-2014.  It also lists him as active in the community and non-partisan issues advocacy, particularly in the areas of taxpayer protection, chronic illness and foster care/adoption/CPS issues.

He and his wife have several adopted and foster children, according to the bio, which says he’s also a volunteer Youth Coach for junior and high school students and leads a weekly Bible study through Christ’s Church of the Valley.

Christ’s Church of the Valley released the following statement to 3TV:

“CCV is saddened to hear of the allegations against Rick Murphy. Our prayers are with the Murphy family. During any allegations of this nature, we have protocols in place to address the situation for the safety of our youth and families. Accordingly, he has been suspended from volunteer activities.”