According to charging documents filed by the Mendocino County District Attorney, Ukiah Police Sergeant Kevin Murray stands accused of several crimes, including burglary, sexual battery, possession of methamphetamine, and a violation of civil rights stemming from excessive use of force.
The charges are a result of one or more incidents that took place at Ukiah’s Super 8 Motel at 693 South Orchard Avenue on November 25, 2020, and the crimes are “connected together in their commission.”
The criminal complaint indicates that Murray faces two burglary charges in the first degree, claiming he entered a hotel room occupied by a female referred to as “S.Y.” with the “intent to commit larceny or a felony therein.”
If the two counts of burglary prove true, Murray faces special allegations that assert these counts would be considered violent felonies, because the burglaries were conducted while the motel room was occupied.
The criminal complaint alleges that on November 25 Murray also committed the crime of sexual battery, a felony, in which Murray forced S.Y. to touch his “penis against her will, for the purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification, or sexual abuse.”
The criminal complaint also accuses Murray of the violation of civil rights, a felony, which claims Murray willfully and unlawfully implied or expressed force to intimidate “another person in the free exercise of civil rights because of actual or perceived characteristics of the victim, to wit, gender, race or ethnicity, and/or nationality.”
The criminal complaint also alleges Murray was found to be in unlawful possession of methamphetamine.
Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Captain Greg Van Patten confirmed that Murray had been taken into custody on these charges.
This criminal complaint is not the first time Kevin Murray’s professional conduct has been called into question. A civil rights lawsuit filed by Ukiah resident Christopher Rasku alleges on October 18, 2018, Murray entered Rasku’s home unlawfully, knocking him unconscious, and proceeded to punch and kick him, causing broken ribs, a punctured lung, and nerve damage. Murray allegedly wrote a falsified police report claiming Rasku started the encounter. The civil rights lawsuit alleges Murray gained unlawful entry to Rasku’s residence and used excessive force.
Ukiah Police Department Chief Justin Wyatt said, “The Ukiah Police Department is aware of a pending criminal case against Kevin Murray, who has served as a sergeant with the Ukiah Police Department. Mr. Murray has been on administrative leave since December 1st.
Regarding the city’s and UPD’s knowledge of the charges, Chief Wyatt said, “The City of Ukiah and the Ukiah Police Department have supported and cooperated with the criminal investigation since the onset, and the City is conducting its own administrative review.”
Chief Wyatt said his comments were limited because “this is a pending personnel matter, no further information may be disclosed at this time.”
Chief Wyatt assured the community that “The Ukiah Police Department and City of Ukiah take seriously and follow proper protocols regarding complaints against officers, internal investigations into possible misconduct, and the law governing personnel matters.”