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One charge dropped against sex offender who worked in casting

February 27, 2012 |  1:32 pm

One felony charge against a convicted child molester who had helped cast young actors in Hollywood movies has been dropped.  Jason James Murphy

A Los Angeles prosecutor told Judge Elden S. Fox on Monday that the district attorney's office would not pursue charges that Jason James Murphy had failed to file a change of address, as is required of registered sex offenders under state law.

Prosecutor Elizabeth Ratinoff asked that the charge be dismissed "in the interest of justice."

Murphy is scheduled to return to Superior Court in Beverly Hills April 4 for a preliminary hearing on one count of failing to file a name change with the state's sex offender registry. He had been working in casting under the name Jason James.

Charges against Murphy resulted from an investigation that followed a Times report detailing his 1996 conviction in Washington state for kidnapping and molesting an 8-year-old boy and his recent work as a casting associate on films featuring children, including the summer sci-fi hit "Super 8" and the forthcoming comedy "The Three Stooges."

Murphy's attorney, Shawn Holley, said her client had fulfilled all the registration requirements when he left West Hollywood and returned to Seattle. She said she had attempted to notify the sheriff's department, but the investigator assigned failed to return her calls. 

Holley said she was subsequently able to demonstrate that Murphy had complied with registration requirements, and "the district attorney was willing to do the right thing, which was dismiss the charge," she said.

Murphy, 35, sat in the back row of the courtroom, awaiting his hearing, and hugged his attorney before leaving the building. He did not offer comment.


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Photo: Jason James Murphy, who spent five years in prison for kidnapping and molesting an 8-year-old boy in Washington 15 years ago. Credit: Washington State Department of Corrections

— Dawn C. Chmielewski