General Crime

* Maurice Burton Murray Failed to Appear in Court But Still Found Guilty of Child Molest

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A Salinas man accused of committing lewd acts on two children failed to appear in court and was convicted by the jury despite his voluntary absence, the Monterey County district attorney’s office announced Wednesday. Maurice Burton Murray, 53, was convicted of sexually molesting two young girls at separate “sleep overs” in the past two years. On October 24, 2008, an 11-year-old female victim was allegedly sexually molested by the defendant while at a “sleep over” at her grandmother’s house in Salinas, according to the district attorney’s office. The second girl, who was 10 years old in November 2008, was also allegedly sexually molested by Murray at that time while at a “sleep over” at the same grandmother’s house in Salinas. A woman who is now 30 years old testified that Murray sexually molested her in 1987, when she was just 7 years old. Murray failed to appear in court on Sept. 3. After he again failed to appear in court Tuesday morning, Monterey County Superior Court Judge Larry Hayes found him voluntarily absent and concluded the trial without him. There is currently a no-bail felony warrant for the defendant’s arrest. Murray will be sentenced to a minimum of 15 years to life when captured.

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