Still, the newly disclosed records reveal that a Multnomah County prosecutor withdrew a criminal case against Murray because of Simpson’s troubled personality, not because she thought he was lying.
“It was Jeff’s emotional instability, history of manipulative behavior and the fact that he has again run away and made himself unavailable that forced my decision,” Deputy District Attorney Mary Tomlinson wrote.
“We could not be sure of meeting the high burden of proof in a criminal case — of proof beyond a reasonable doubt and to a moral certainty. However, this in no way means that the District Attorney’s Office has decided Jeff’s allegations are not true.”
The newly obtained records, previously thought destroyed, provide the clearest picture yet of the investigation of Murray, then a paralegal who had worked as a counselor to Simpson and other troubled children.
The documents, released to The Seattle Times this month by Oregon’s Department of Human Services, also contradict public statements in recent months by Murray and his lawyer contending investigators had debunked Simpson’s allegations at the time as false.
A letter to The Times sent Saturday night by Murray’s Portland lawyer, Katherine Heekin, stressed: “Oregon’s Child Protective Services is supposed to err on the side of believing a child’s accusations. The agency is not responsible for judging sex abuse cases. It merely investigates allegations of sex abuse. In contrast, law enforcement is responsible for determining whether or not a crime may have happened. Here, there was no indictment, no charges filed, no conviction, and no crime.”
Murray said last week he had never been told of the CPS finding and would have appealed had he known. The Seattle Times provided him copies of the newly released investigative records Tuesday.
In an interview Thursday, Murray and Heekin questioned why Oregon officials kept the records without informing Murray. They also disputed the importance of the documents.
“Other than the salacious nature of it, I don’t see what the story is,” said Murray. “The system vindicated me. They withdrew the case.”
Murray said his previous comments that Simpson’s allegations had been discredited were based on his lawyer’s impressions about the decision to drop the case. He said he learned from the documents that the case was withdrawn before a grand jury could vote whether to indict him.
“I feel even more strongly that my statement was correct because (the criminal case) was withdrawn,” Murray added. “ … That is unusual because we all know people get indicted and they get indicted pretty easily. As I said, one of the attorneys told me you can get a ham sandwich indicted in the grand jury.”
The withdrawn case included another foster parent Simpson had accused of abuse.
Murray pointed to statements his attorneys collected and submitted to investigators from people who had known him or Simpson. They included other foster parents who described the youth as sometimes violent and impossibly difficult to care for.
Oregon officials previously said records of the investigation had been purged, but located them in April under a newer computer-tracking system. In releasing the typically private information to The Times, that state cited, in part, a provision of public-records law that allows disclosure “to protect children from abuse and neglect.”
The finding by CPS supporting Simpson — who had been abandoned as an infant and later lived under Murray’s care for nearly a year and a half as a teenager — prompted Oregon child-welfare officials to decide that Murray should never again be a foster parent, a June 1984 report shows.
The abuse finding — the result of a required administrative investigation — remains in effect and could still prevent him from being a foster parent in Oregon, officials said.
Click here to read more.
Source: Seattle Times