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Youngwood man convicted of child molestation gets maximum sentence

Rich Cholodofsky
| Friday, April 27, 2012, 7:26 a.m.

A Youngwood man, who was convicted of sexually abusing two young girls during a series of foot-licking incidents six years ago, could spend more than three decades behind bars.

Timothy John Murphy, 25, was sentenced Wednesday to a term that Westmoreland County Judge Rita Hathaway said would protect society from a man she found to be a sexually violent predator.

"I intend to keep you in prison as long as possible. I view you as a danger to society," Hathaway said.

The judge sentenced Murphy to serve 5 years and 8 months to 32 years in prison. The 32-year maximum sentence is the most prison time Murphy could receive under existing state law.

He was convicted in March of molesting two young girls, then ages 5 and 7, over a six-year period beginning in 2003. It took jurors about an hour to convict Murphy of sexual abuse of children, possession of child pornography, indecent assault and corruption of minors.

Murphy was accused of covering the feet of the two girls with various foods, including chocolate syrup. He admitted on the stand that he licked the substances from the children's feet and snapped photographs of the girls and their messy feet, including one taken while the younger child was naked.

Police searched a shed outside his home and found numerous pornographic photos of the girls that Murphy had taken. Murphy awaits trial in federal court on charges of possession of child pornography for more than 1,400 computer images seized by police when he was arrested.

In court yesterday, Murphy denied he did anything wrong and called the charges against him "ridiculous."

"The children decided they wanted to play a little bit ...," Murphy said. "The children have suffered because of the court. It all stopped in 2006, it was water under the bridge. This is all because of finger paint. This is ridiculous."

The girls' 41-year-old mother, who was present when Murphy photographed her children, testified against him at trial. She pleaded guilty last summer to a charge of child endangerment and was sentenced by Judge Richard E. McCormick Jr. to serve four years of probation and to complete parenting classes.

As a matter of policy, the Tribune-Review does not identify victims of sexual assaults, so the name of the girls' mother is not being published.

The children now live with their father.

Murphy was arrested last year after his Youngwood neighbors spotted him taking pictures of children. Residents called police after learning that Murphy was a registered sexual offender. He was convicted in Fayette County for improperly touching a 5-year-old girl.

Murphy was paroled after serving a portion of a 6- to 23-month sentence in Fayette. Authorities there have said they revoked Murphy's parole and will seek to return him to prison.

Hathaway said yesterday that the sentence she imposed will run consecutively to the Fayette County parole revocation and any federal sentence Murphy receives.

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