A registered sex offender accused of molesting a 12-year-old boy in a Walmart restroom was charged Wednesday in Yakima County Superior Court.
Prosecutors filed attempted second-degree child molestation charges against Michael Lee Murr, 29, of Union Gap, according to court documents.
A boy told police he was washing his hands in the men’s room of the Walmart at 1600 E. Chestnut Ave. on Nov. 27 when a man offered to zip up his pants, according to a probable cause affidavit filed by Yakima police. After the boy said his pants didn’t have a zipper, the man, identified as Murr, put his hand inside the boy’s pants, the affidavit said.
The boy pushed Murr away and ran from the restroom. Murr was arrested as he was being driven away from the store, the affidavit said.
Murr is a Level II registered sex offender, based on his 2009 conviction for first-degree child molestation. As a Level II offender, Murr was considered to be at moderate risk of reoffending.
In that case, Murr was accused of inappropriately touching a young boy on multiple occasions in 2007, as well as kissing him, according to court records.
Prosecutors initially recommended Murr be sentenced to five-and-a-half years to life in prison, but supported him going into the Special Sex Offender Sentencing Alternative, which would allow him to avoid prison while receiving therapy, documents said.
He was sentenced to the program, based on initial recommendations that he was at a low risk to reoffend and that he would be endangered in prison based on his mental disabilities, court documents said.
Court records state Murr failed to complete therapy as directed and had numerous violations of the conditions of the program, such as being around minors and perusing or possessing pornography.
While Murr was placed on probation, the state Department of Corrections noted that due to jurisdictional issues it was no longer supervising him, according to a document filed with the court in August.
He is being held in lieu of $25,000 bail in the Yakima County jail.