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Convicted child molester charged with violating sex-offender laws

December 9, 2011 |  2:23 pm

A convicted child molester who spent recent years working in Hollywood casting under an alias was arrested Friday on charges of violating sex-offender registration laws.

Los Angeles County prosecutors charged Jason James Murphy, a 35-year-old who had helped place actors in movies such as "Super 8" and the upcoming "The Three Stooges," with failure to file a name change and failure to file a change of address.

The two felonies carry a maximum sentence of three years in state prison. Murphy, who surrendered to authorities, was being held on $500,000 bail.

Murphy's attorney blasted the arrest, which followed a three-week investigation sparked by a Times report detailing Murphy's 1996 conviction in Washington state on charges of kidnapping and molesting an 8-year-old and his recent work as a casting associate in films featuring children. He used the name Jason James professionally, but gave no aliases in the sex-offender registry.

Murphy served five years in prison for molesting a boy he met at a summer camp when he was a teenage counselor.

Defense lawyer Shawn Holley said the lead investigator from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department had ignored more than a dozen calls and messages and a letter, all attempting to provide evidence that Murphy was in compliance with the law.

The detective "refused to consider any of the documentation we had and was hell-bent in this charged environment of seeing Mr. Murphy arrested," Holley said.

She said Murphy always provided his legal name and passport to employers. She said the change-of-address charge appeared to stem from a trip he made this week to visit his parents in Seattle.

Both she and Murphy left messages with West Hollywood Sheriff's Station officials in advance of that trip and he registered with authorities there as soon as he arrived, Holley said.

"He served his time and came out of prison determined to do everything possible to rehabilitate himself and be a law-abiding and productive member of society," Holley said.

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-- Harriet Ryan

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