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Kevin Murray accuser files civil suit

Kevin Murray pled a charge of forcible rape down to misdemeanor false imprisonment. Neither the misdemeanor nor any part of the District Attorney office's investigation was included in his sentencing recommendation. Murray got two years probation and no jail time. Civil suits do not result in incarceration.

A previously anonymous victim of disgraced former Ukiah police sergeant Kevin Murray has filed a claim in civil court for sexual assaults that she says escalated in violence in the spring and summer of 2014. She’s seeking unspecified compensatory damages, including the costs of medical and related expenses, against Murray, the City of Ukiah, and the Ukiah Police Department. Civil suits, unlike criminal prosecutions such as the one Murray faced last summer, do not result in jail time.

In July of last year, Murray was facing seven felonies, including the rape of a woman identified as Jane Doe. He pled no contest to a charge of misdemeanor false imprisonment of Jane Doe. Multiple counts of sexual battery and burglaries perpetrated against another woman, known as S.Y., were reduced to one felony count of dissuading a victim from reporting a crime. Another count of drug possession, stemming from methamphetamine in his work locker, was also dropped.

But a two-year-old District Attorney’s office investigation into the crimes against Jane Doe never found its way to the agency that prepared Murray’s sentencing recommendation. Only her written victim impact statement was attached to the document that appeared in court on the day of his sentencing for much-reduced charges. That same statement is one of the exhibits in her complaint, which was filed last month with the Mendocino County Superior Court.

Her real name also appears, but we’ve decided to continue referring to her as Jane Doe at this time.

In August, Judge Ann Moorman sentenced Murray to two years’ probation and no time in jail aside from the 104 days he had already spent in custody. On that day, Deputy District Attorney Heidi Larson told the court that, “It is a bit dismaying to the People that Sonoma County (which prepared Murray’s sentencing recommendation), did not get Jane Doe’s report.”

Kris Hoyer, who is in charge of investigations at the Sonoma County Probation Department, told us in September that he was unaware of the People’s dismay. The front page of the sentencing recommendation prepared by his department has a note on it saying, “We cannot take into account any of the conduct involving victim Jane Doe from the 2014 incident(s), with the sole exception being the impact statement that she has provided.”

Sonoma County Probation Deputy Chief Wardell Anderson said that his department did not receive a response to that communication from the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office, which was prosecuting the case. The DA and Judge Ann Moorman both had the authority to extend the deadline and provide more information.

In her statement, Jane Doe implored the court to send Murray to jail for assaulting her twice, once while armed with what she believes was his service weapon. Murray will no longer be allowed to possess any weapons, but he was not even required to register as a sex offender.

Jane Doe’s recent complaint includes a detailed report written by retired District Attorney investigator Kevin Bailey in February of 2021. He related her description of friendship turned enmity with Murray’s now ex-wife, unspecified trouble that the victim had with her own ex-husband, and her fear of Murray in his professional capacity as a Ukiah police officer.

We are going to share some of those graphic details now.

Bailey wrote that in 2014, Jane Doe, recently single, was friends with Murray and his fiancee, who was a professional colleague. The two women had a falling-out during the wedding preparations. Then, late at night on April 10, Murray allegedly appeared at Jane Doe’s house, drunk and wearing civilian clothes. Bailey wrote that she thought he had come to offer sympathy for the death of her dog, who had died the previous day after being attacked. But she said he began fondling her and insisted that she orally copulate him, even grabbing her by the hair.

Bailey wrote that she told him the second assault took place two or three months later, when Murray allegedly arrived at her house late at night, again drunk and in civilian clothes. She claimed he used a condom during a vaginal rape, after which he removed the condom, “tied it off at the top, and placed it into his pocket.” Prior to the assault, she said he removed a gun and a knife from his person and that he set them both on the bed, telling her that he always carried a gun when he came to her house.

Bailey wrote that in their recorded conversation, Jane Doe told him that her teenaged son came home on his bicycle, and Murray left through a side door. She said Murray returned a few hours later to retrieve his weapons, and that was the last face-to-face contact she had with him. When Bailey asked her why she did not report the incident to law enforcement, she said, “It’s because I was a frequent flier. People always look at me and think, there is that girl. She is always calling the cops on her ex-husband…How am I going to tell the police that another cop did something. I did not trust them.” She told Bailey she has now moved out of state and remarried; that “she feels better about herself and feels like she can protect herself now.”

While she did not report the incident to law enforcement at the time, she said she did tell a friend, who contacted her after Murray had been arrested on other charges. And she said a friend of Murray’s wife at that time contacted her a year later, telling her that Murray’s wife had caught him “cheating” with multiple other women, and that he had told his wife that he had “slept with” Jane Doe.

It’s unknown how many other women characterize their sexual encounters with Murray as rape. He is scheduled to go on trial in September of next year, in another civil suit brought by a woman who claims Murray abused her when they both worked at the Ukiah Police Department and she was his subordinate. The City of Ukiah and the Ukiah Police Department are also defendants in her complaint.

In 2021, the City of Ukiah paid a settlement of over a million dollars to a man who was beaten in his own kitchen by Kevin Murray in 2018.

Also in 2021, the City of Ukiah came to a $250,000 settlement with accuser S.Y., but admitted no wrongdoing.

According to Jane Doe’s complaint from last month, the Ukiah Police Department “had reason to know” that Kevin Murray “had a history of or propensity to fail to use due care;” and was “likely to harm citizens.”

Local News
Sarah Reith is the lead reporter for KZYX News. She joined the KZYX News team in 2017, and covers local politics, water, law enforcement and the arts in Mendocino County.