Wednesday, October 4, 2023

New Charges Previously Unknown of Rape and Forcible Oral Copulation From 2014 Land Former Ukiah Police Sergeant in Jail Again

Kevin Murray [Picture from the MCSO Booking Logs]

Former Ukiah Police Department Sergeant Kevin Murray is behind bars again this afternoon after a newly filed criminal complaint accused him of two incidents in 2014 involving forcible rape and oral copulation carried out while in possession of a firearm. Murray made headlines in late January after he was accused of a November 2020 incident involving sexual battery, burglary, and drug possession.

The criminal complaint filed by the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office on February 22, 2021 details these two new counts against Murray. The first count refers to an incident that occurred on July 31, 2014, in which Murray forcibly raped a victim referred to as “Jane Doe” doing so “by means of force, violence, duress, menace, and/or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the said person and/or another.”

A special allegation is connected to the charge of forcible rape because “the defendant was armed with a firearm” during the commission of the offense.

The second count levied against Murray describes a circumstance of forcible oral copulation, a felony, that is said to have occurred on April 10, 2014. Again, the victim is referred to as “Jane Doe” and the charge is described as “accomplish[ing] said act against said victim’s will by force, violence, duress, menace, and/or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury to said victim and/or to another.” 

The Mendocino county booking logs indicate he was put behind bars at the Mendocino County Jail at 10:40 this morning and was given a $500,000 bail.

Ukiah Police Chief Justin Wyatt addressing the dismissal of Kevin Murray [Screenshot from his video posted on the department’s Facebook page]

This is the second charging document involving Murray filed by the District Attorney in the last month. The charging documents filed in late January accused him of several crimes, including burglary, sexual battery, possession of methamphetamine, and a violation of civil rights stemming from excessive use of force. Those charges were 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.”

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A civil case 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.

Ukiah Police Department Chief Justin Wyatt publicly announced on January 29, 2021 that UPD had fully cooperated with the District Attorney’s investigation into charges and decided to terminate Murray. He made clear that the “conduct in this case in no way reflects the standards of the city of Ukiah or the Ukiah Police Department.”

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  1. I want to start this by saying that I support and respect law enforcement officers, the large majority of which are good, honest people who sacrifice every day to protect people in their communities. Having said that, the recent charges filed against former sergeant Kevin Murray have brought some bad feelings up for a lot of people, and rightfully so. Anyone who has grown up in this community knows that certain people are protected and seem somewhat untouchable because of their last name or their profession or simply for who they know. It doesn’t sit well for some that Mr. Murray was absolutely known to be somewhat of a loose cannon. How does an officer have incident over incident of questionable use of force over the years—one such incident that’s been in litigation for nearly 3 years and required a man to be airlifted to Santa Rosa for his injuries—and still get promoted to sergeant just last April? What a dangerous move, to feed someone like that more power and let him know that as his superior, not only do you not see anything wrong with his repeated abuse of power, but you find him to be, “a damn good cop.” It’s disappointing and unfairly makes those cops that go to work every day and choose to do the right thing look bad by association.

    Somewhere around 1998-1999, Jason Caudillo—who is CURRENTLY a lieutenant for MCSO—was working for Lake County Sheriff Office. He responded to a domestic violence call and ultimately made an arrest. Later the same evening, while still in uniform and on duty, he returned to the home and had sex with the victim. Soon after, the victim made a sexual assault complaint against Caudillo, and he strategically retired his position to avoid termination. Because of that move, the FBI took over the case and the investigation. After a very long process, ultimately a deal was reached which left the victim with a large sum of money and Caudillo was able to walk away Scott free. He laid low for several years and eventually was given the green light to apply at MCSO under a “Craver Favor” to his dad. So now this man is walking around with bars on his uniform, responsible for the safety of our community, and is in line to one day be Captain. All of this is fact and can be easily accessed by viewing his police personnel file in Lake County under the Freedom of Information Act.
    I’m sharing this not as a smear campaign but as someone who is tired of watching people like Murray and Caudillo step up in the ranks while the rest of us selflessly serve and sacrifice and inadvertently pay for their sins.

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I like to think of myself as a reporter for the Average Joe. Journalism has become a craft defined largely by city dwellers on America's coasts. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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