Hall of Fame basketball player and Houston icon Calvin Murphy was charged Monday with sexually molesting five of his daughters more than a decade ago.
Murphy, a television commentator for the Rockets, surrendered to authorities after being charged with three counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and three counts of indecency with a child, said Lance Long, a Harris County assistant district attorney.
The charges involve five grown daughters who said Murphy sexually abused them between 1988 and 1991, when they were under 17, according to an affidavit by the Texas Rangers.
"He adamantly denies the charges," Hardin said. "We've investigated these charges for a couple weeks and we are just as convinced it did not happen as the district attorney's office is that it did."
Hardin said Murphy is "absolutely devastated" by the allegations because "he spent his whole life in the public arena and he knows people are going to assume it's true." Hardin said he wished the charges had been presented to a grand jury.
Hardin said the allegations are an attempt to get back at Murphy because he wouldn't give the women money. He said that three daughters wanted retirement money their mother left to Murphy after she died in a car accident. Hardin also said that because of past financial troubles Murphy doesn't have the financial means people assume he has.
If convicted of the charges, Murphy faces five years to life for the aggravated offenses and two to 20 years for the indecency violations, Long said. Because Murphy doesn't have a criminal history, he could also be eligible for probation if he's convicted, Long added.
District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal said late Monday that Murphy may also face additional charges, but he did not elaborate.
Long would not reveal the origin of the investigation, which he said had been ongoing for several weeks.
Hardin said Murphy, a Sugar Land resident, cooperated with the investigation and that he even escorted witnesses to the district attorney's office for questioning. Hardin said many witnesses, including one of the daughters named in the charges, told authorities the alleged abuses didn't occur.
Hardin questioned why the women are only coming forward 13 years after the most recent incident was alleged to have happened.