SPOKANE, Wash. - A former Shadle Park High School teacher is set to be arraigned Wednesday on a charge he engaged in a sexual relationship with one of his underage students.
Prosecutors filed a felony charge of first degree sexual misconduct in Spokane Superior Court last week against Murphy, who was an English teacher and track coach at Shadle Park up until his resignation from the Spokane school district before the end of the last school year.
Investigators report the alleged sexual misconduct was not just some momentary lapse of the teacher's judgment. Instead, they said Murphy groomed the victim for his sexual advances for more than a year and used his own home for the sexual encounters on days when his wife wasn't home.
Murphy had taught at Shadle Park for 11 years when, last May, a student complained about Murphy sending her inappropriate text messages.Ryan Murphy arraignment
In a 500-page report given to KXLY last spring, the school district laid out numerous interviews with students, teachers and Murphy himself which showed a pattern of questionable behavior toward female students over a period of several years while he was a teacher at Shadle Park.
On one occasion, he asked a cheerleader to ride alone with him to a state wrestling meet, saying that she was his favorite. He told another cheerleader that she was his favorite. On several occasions he made comments to female students about their clothes, telling one she looked "super hot" and another that, "[if] i were in high school, you'd have a crush on me."
The investigation further revealed Murphy told inappropriate stories in class about fraternity parties and girls he had been with, pictures of him posted to Facebook with his arms wrapped around girls in their prom dresses, valentine's cards from students to Murphy often filled with suggestive or vulgar messages, and a pattern of inappropriate touching of female athletes on the shoulders and legs that made them feel uncomfortable. Over numerous interviews with female student athletes an investigator determined their complaints were credible.
Murphy was once suspended without pay for 10 days for shoving a student in class and shouting profanities. In another incident in 2005, he allowed two students drive his truck. When they rear ended another car, police found liquor in the glove box and the students didn't have driver's licenses. All Murphy received from that incident was a written warning.
When confronted by the district with the investigator's findings, Murphy resigned before the end of the school year.
However last summer, when Murphy started driving by the original complainant's home, she decided to tell police the full extent of her relationship with Murphy. She detailed that Murphy had taken her to the MAC, where he told her about his unhappy marriage and his feelings for the teen. When she was 16, the girl said Murphy lured her to Cliff Park and touched her private parts.
The student said that led to multiple sexual encounters over nearly three years at Murphy's home on Thursdays when his wife was away. He also sent the teen text messages, gifts and letters, many of which she kept and subsequently turned over to investigators.
According to court documents, the victim initially declined to tell investigators about having sex with Murphy because she didn't want his life ruined, she just wanted him to stop.
Murphy is charged with a Class C Felony which, if convicted, would prevent him from ever teaching again.
He is scheduled to be arraigned in Spokane Superior Court Wednesday.
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