Former Ukiah police sergeant sentenced to 2 years probation after plea deal in rape, assault case

Judge Ann Moorman issued her ruling during the sentencing hearing of Kevin Murray, 38, who pleaded no contest last month as part of a plea agreement with the prosecution.|

A Mendocino County Superior Court judge sentenced a former Ukiah police sergeant, who pleaded no contest to lesser charges in what began as a rape and assault case, to two years probation Tuesday with the caveat that should he violate that probation he will instead serve two years in prison.

Judge Ann Moorman issued her ruling during the sentencing hearing of Kevin Murray, 38, who pleaded no contest last month as part of a plea agreement with the prosecution.

The sentencing will, among other things, require Murray to attend therapy and he’ll be subject to searches at any time. He is not allowed to have guns, alcohol or drugs, including marijuana. And he is barred from entering businesses that sell alcohol, including liquor stores and casinos.

“This is not to be interpreted as a slap on the wrist,” Moorman said.

Murray’s attorney and the prosecutor with the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office both declined to comment Tuesday.

Murray’s sentencing was the result of a deal that required he plead no contest to charges of witness intimidation and false imprisonment. He faced two years of probation and the potential sentencing was criticized by members of the public who contended the former sergeant was getting off easy.

Specifics on the agreement weren’t disclosed Tuesday, but Moorman said it did not appear the prosecution would have been able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Murray was responsible for the crimes he was accused of committing.

Murray had been with the Ukiah Police Department for about 10 years. He started as a patrol officer and was promoted to sergeant in April 2020.

He was arrested in January 2021 and charged with burglary, sexual battery, drug possession, rape and oral copulation stemming from a series of incidents the prosecution alleged dated back to 2014.

Given his employment, the allegations against Murray were “more serious than other events like this,” Mendocino County Deputy District Attorney Heidi Larson told the judge Tuesday.

On Nov. 25, 2020, Murray was on duty when he unlawfully gained access to an occupied room at the Super 8 motel on South Orchard Avenue in Ukiah, according to a criminal complaint.

The victim was a passenger in a vehicle stopped by Murray and he later drove her to the motel. He asked for her room number, was given a different one and returned upset that she lied to him, according to court records.

The document added that he took a room key, returned later and forced his way into the woman’s barricaded motel room.

Murray was accused of forcing the victim to touch his penis against her will and using his authority as a police sergeant to violate her civil rights, according to the complaint.

An investigation into that incident led to officials finding 3.3 grams of methamphetamine in Murray’s work locker, according to court records.

The oral copulation allegedly occurred in April 2014, and the false imprisonment and rape allegations were from an incident that occurred between June and July 2014.

Court records indicated Murray visited a family friend who was mourning the loss of her dog that April and he tried to touch her breast. They stated that the woman was afraid of Murray but agreed to perform oral sex on him if he left after.

Months later, Murray returned to the home while under the influence of alcohol, according to court records. He was accused of forcing her into a bedroom and raping her. He was accused of fleeing after the victim’s son came home, but returned for a knife and gun he left behind.

Based on a letter Murray wrote the judge earlier this month, Moorman said she has no doubt he is remorseful. But the judge still chastised him for his actions and said she could only hope Tuesday’s sentencing would bring some small amount of closure to the victims.

“Nothing I do today can restore what’s been taken,” she said.

You can reach Staff Writer Colin Atagi at On Twitter @colin_atagi

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