Former teacher pleads guilty in sexual misconduct case

SPOKANE, Wash. - Murphy plea

Former Shadle Park High teacher Ryan Murphy entered guilty pleas in court Thursday on two charges relating to sexual misconduct involving his students.

Murphy was in two different courtrooms Friday as he took two steps to try and avoid becoming a registered sex offender. First off, he made an appearance in district court, where he pleaded guilty to fourth degree assault with sexual motivation. During the hearing, his now 18-year-old victim looked on as the judge told Murphy he was being convicted of a gross misdemeanor.

Then, later in the day, Murphy made an appearance in Superior Court, where it was announced he would be pleading guilty to third degree assault on another student.

The pleas do away with initial charges that involved communicating with a minor for immoral purposes. Detectives say Murphy asked for and received nude photos of the girls and prosecutors added that he even tackled one of his victims in the school gymnasium.

"That on school grounds that the defendant bit the victim on the butt on the wrestling mat and that she did not consent to that biting," Deputy Prosecutor Patrick Johnson said.

Murphy will plead guilty to a more serious felony third degree assault charge in December. Before he's sentenced must complete a sexual deviancy evaluation.

Johnson said the victim was consulted on the case and the plea agreement with Murphy, which spares the victims from having to testify in court.

"Your honor I do want to add for the court that the victim in this case has been consulted thoroughly, that she agrees to the terms of this proposed recommendation, that also as a condition of Mr. Murphy's plea obtaining deviancy evaluation prior to sentencing," Johnson said.

If Murphy pleads guilty to the felony charge next month, it will trigger an automatic and permanent revocation of his teaching certificate, ending his teaching career. That plea could also mean he spends up to three months in the Spokane County Jail.