Therapist’s attorney says not enough evidence for trial
Appeal Staff Writer
A Carson City massage therapist accused of sexual assault has filed a motion claiming there was not enough evidence to bind him over to district court.
Joel Murphy, 58, is charged with one count of sexual assault.
According to an investigator, a client of Murphy’s alleged he was treating her for back pain when he allegedly assaulted her last June.
The 26-year-old victim, who has since moved from the area, said she had been a client of Murphy’s for 10 years, and had known him since she was a child.
In the motion filed by defense attorney Tod Young, Young stated the evidence against Murphy did not show elements of the crime such as nonconsent on the part of the victim and intent on the part of the defendant.
Young also noted there was no evidence at the preliminary hearing that Murphy forced the victim to participate.
Young cited that the victim didn’t protest verbally or physically to the touching, nor did she call for help from her husband in the next room. He said the victim even hugged Murphy following the alleged assault and bought him lunch.
In the state’s response, Deputy District Attorney Kate Johnson stated the victim claimed she “froze and panicked” as a result of the contact from a longtime family friend and she was afraid to come forward, thus explaining why she waited a month to report the alleged crime.
Johnson noted the purpose of the victim’s visit to Murphy’s office was to receive professional treatment for physical pain.
That, “does not equate to manifestation of consent to sexual penetration,” Johnson wrote.
“The fact that (the victim) froze and panicked as a result of the violation of trust does not in any way evidence consent.”
She went on to say during Murphy’s questioning by investigators he allegedly acknowledge he was attracted to the victim and “what he did was wrong.”
The judge said he would come to a decision on the motion by the end of this week.
A trial is set for July 18.
The following people also appeared before Judge Michael Griffin in Carson City District Court on Monday:
• James Beattie, 41, was sentenced to five years probation with a suspended sentence of 12 to 32 months in prison on a charge of embezzlement. He pawned equipment belonging to his employer.
• Bradley Owen Emmans, 20, was sentenced to two years probation with a suspended sentence of one year in jail on a charge of statutory sexual seduction.
• Mindy Jean Frontino, 22, was sentenced to four years probation with a suspended sentence of 12 to 32 months in prison on a charge of theft.
• Cody Harp, 18, pleaded not guilty to a charge of principal to burglary. His next court date is July 10.
• Eugene Brandon Nelson, 24, pleaded guilty to third-offense driving under the influence. He will be sentenced July 10.
• Jonathan Howard Roe, was sentenced to probation for three years with a suspended sentence of one year in jail for taking a vehicle without owner’s consent.
• Samuel Ray Weese, 24, was sentenced to 12 to 36 months in prison on a charge of trafficking.
• Phillip Gallardo, 26, was sentenced to 12 to 36 months in prison on a charge of felon in possession of a firearm. He was also sentenced to 12 to 36 months in prison on a charge of possession of a controlled substance to run concurrent with the weapon charge.
• Contact reporter F.T. Norton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1213.