Local man indicted on 24 counts of child sex abuse

A Medford man already in jail on sex charges was arraigned Thursday on 24 additional charges involving child sex abuse and pornography.

Michael Dean Murray, 59, of the 600 block of Heber Lane, was indicted Monday by a Jackson County grand jury on 12 counts of first-degree encouraging child sex abuse and 12 counts of second-degree encouraging child sex abuse.

He pleaded not guilty to all charges in Jackson County Circuit Court.

According to the indictment, police discovered 24 photographs on Murray's computer of sexually explicit conduct involving children. Officials declined to say whether the children in the photographs were local victims.

Before being indicted on the charges of encouraging child sex abuse, Murray was arrested Sept. 9 by Medford police on two counts of first-degree sodomy. He was lodged in the Jackson County jail, where he has been since his arrest.

Judge Timothy Barnack set Murray's bail at $1 million and ordered him to wear an electronic tracking device if he is released from jail.

Murray is to have no contact with the alleged victims or their residences and no contact with minors, Barnack ordered. He also is subject to polygraph testing upon request.

Jackson County Deputy District Attorney Terry Smith-Norton said Murray's 24 charges related to encouraging child sex abuse stem from "an analysis of his computer," which was seized during his arrest.

The Southern Oregon High-Tech Crimes Task Force carried out the analysis of Murray's computer, she said.

On the 12 counts of first-degree encouraging child sex abuse Murray faces, the indictment states he possessed the child pornography while "knowing that creation of the visual recording(s) of the sexually explicit conduct involved child abuse."

In the 12 counts of second-degree encouraging child sex abuse, prosecutors say Murray viewed recordings of sexually explicit conduct involving children for sexual gratification.

A pretrial conference is scheduled on Jan. 13 on the child sex abuse charges, Oregon Judicial Department online court records show.

A 12-member jury trial is scheduled on Feb. 26 in Jackson County Circuit Court to hear the sodomy cases against Murray, to which he also has pleaded not guilty.

Reach reporter Sam Wheeler at 541-776-4471 or swheeler@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter @MTwriter_swhlr.

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