There were no answers Tuesday about why a longtime Taylor (Cleves, Ohio) High School teacher who is a husband and a father had a sexual relationship with one of his students.
Kevin Murphy offered only a vague explanation during his sentencing in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court. Prosecutors say Murphy had sex with the girl multiple times over a six-month period.
It was “a bad time,” he told Judge Tom Heekin. “There’s no excuse for it… I did this terrible thing to her and her family. I’m as sorry as I could ever be about doing this.”
Murphy’s attorney, Will Welsh, said in court that Murphy “was having troubles – all kinds of emotional and psychological troubles, for which he is seeking help and has been seeking help.” Welsh did not explain further.
Murphy, 51, had no criminal record as an adult or juvenile.
After Heekin imposed a two-year prison sentence, Murphy’s daughter, who was sitting on a bench against the back wall of the courtroom, began crying. Family members consoled her.
Before the sentencing began, Murphy sat next to his daughter, with one arm around her, appearing to reassure her.
There was no statement from the victim. Prosecutors said only that she had been one of Murphy’s students.
The sexual relationship began in 2016, according to prosecutors. Murphy, who lives in Cleves, Ohio, taught history and was an assistant football coach.
He was placed on administrative leave in November 2016 after school officials were tipped off about an “inappropriate relationship” and contacted police. He resigned that month and was charged in December with six counts of sexual battery.
He pleaded guilty in May to one count of sexual battery.
One of Murphy’s former football players read a lengthy statement in court Tuesday, saying Murphy “instilled a hard-working mentality” and had saved his life.
“Coach Murphy has been the father I never had,” said the former player, L.J. Rice, whose father died when he was young.
“Many times after practice,” Rice said, “he’d pull me aside make sure we had money to take care of things or food on the table.”
“This is not who he is,” Rice told Heekin, referring to the charges. “Consider the fact that he is only human.”