Fairfield Ledger

Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | May 25, 2018

Murphy will not face second trial

By Nicole Major, Ledger staff writer | Jun 28, 2017
Matthew Murphy

Jefferson County Attorney Tim Dille said that, 52-year-old Matt Murphy of Packwood, who was recently convicted of second-degree sexual abuse involving a minor in 2016, would not face a jury on a second, separate sexual misconduct charge that occurred in 2003.

Murphy’s latest sexual assault case involving a girl under the age of 12, who was sexually assaulted last year after spending the night at his home for a sleep over, went to trial April 4.

Several days after the start of the trial, Murphy was convicted by a jury of his peers, and subsequently sentenced to serve a 25-years prison term without the possibility of parole for 17.5 years.

“He was sentenced to 25 years in prison, and a lifetime parole. If and when he is released, he will be under the supervision of the department of corrections for the rest of his life,” Dille said. “When most people get out, they walk away, but this is lifetime supervision. He will be on the sexual offender registry, and that’s assuming that at some point he is released.

“He’s not even eligible for the possibility of parole for 17.5 years, but that doesn’t mean that he would be, only that he would be eligible for it.”

Dille said the first charge involved Murphy’s then stepdaughter, and happened in 2003.

“She came forward at school, and we began investigating,” Dille said. “But by that time, he was deployed to Iraq with the [Iowa] National Guard, so he was never charged.”

Dille said the case was picked up again after the new case started in 2016.

“We decided to file that charge along with the new one,” Dille said, explaining that after he talked at length with Murphy’s stepdaughter, whose name is not being released, that the decision was made not to move forward.

“She is now an adult and has moved on with her life….” he said. “I don’t want to re-traumatize victims.”

Dille said that, if the second case had gone to trial, due to Murphy’s age, the judge would have likely sentenced him to another 25-year prison sentence to serve concurrently with the other one.

“Given the whole set of circumstances, in conjunction with [the stepdaughter’s] input, we have decided it was best not to move forward at this point,” Dille said, adding that although she would have up to 10 years from the time of the accusation to re-file, a judge wouldn’t likely allow it because the case was dismissed.

Murphy is currently serving his sentence on the April conviction.

Dille said Murphy had filed a notice that he intended to appeal the verdict.

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