Ex-youth center counselor's lawyer sees greed behind charges

January 17

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — An attorney for a man charged with repeatedly raping a teenage boy at New Hampshire's state-run youth detention center in the 1990s said Friday the allegations are motivated by “money and greed.”

Stephen Murphy, 50, was charged in July with 26 counts of rape. He and another former youth counselor are accused of assaulting a teen at the Youth Development Center in Manchester.

Last week, the victim in the criminal case, David Meehan, filed a class-action lawsuit against the state, Murphy and others, alleging that not only was he repeatedly raped and beaten, but that other workers ignored him when he sought help. His attorneys also represent 35 other men and women who say they were abused as children between 1982 and 2014 by both male and female staffers.

The Associated Press does not typically name people who say they have been victims of sexual assault, unless they go public, as Meehan has.

Murphy's attorney, Bruce Kenna said the allegations are false and that his client will be exonerated. He accused Meehan of blaming his family, the state, Murphy and others “for his life of crime and substance abuse," according to a press release.

“The real motive behind the false claims being made by David Meehan and his lawyers is very clear. Money and greed,” he said.

Murphy, who is from Danvers, Massachusetts, went on to work as a clubhouse attendant for the Boston Red Sox, which suspended him without pay in July. Kenna said the team “has effectively declared him guilty” and that his client's reputation and future have been irreversibly damaged.

“His young family has been intimidated, humiliated and subjected to unbearable anxiety and stress,” he said.

Rus Rilee, Meehan’s attorney, said Friday that Meehan has been completely honest about the trouble he has been in, much of which can be traced to the trauma he suffered as a child.

“David, like many other children who are abused, was the perfect target for predators because of his challenges and background. Predators specifically abuse children who are vulnerable and who they think will never be believed. This is a very common, mindful and predatory practice of offenders,” he said. “Discrediting victims and sowing disbelief is a typical response by abusers when victims come forward.”

The Manchester youth center, now called the Sununu Youth Services Center, houses teens ordered to a secure facility by the juvenile justice system. The allegations against Murphy and the other former counselor prompted a broad criminal investigation by the attorney general's office into the center's operations and staff.


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