FAIRBANKS, Alaska — An 87-year-old volunteer at a Fairbanks nonprofit organization that works with children has been charged with child sexual abuse and possession of child pornography.
None of the charges relate to the Fairbanks Children’s Museum, where Murphy was a volunteer and donor, said museum Executive Director Brenda Riley. Murphy was known as “balloon grandpa” for the balloon animals he made at museum events. He was one of the first donors to the museum.
“None of this happened at the museum. He’s never been unsupervised at the museum. The (indictment does) not implicate the museum in any way,” she said by cellphone from Anchorage.
Alaska State Troopers told Riley about the charges Wednesday.
The pornography charges allege that Murphy owned or knowingly accessed five computer files with child pornography images on March 4. The child abuse charge alleges Murphy had sexual contact with a family member or household member who was younger than 13 years old. That abuse allegedly took place sometime between 2006 and 2010.
Like all volunteers at the museum, Murphy passed a background check through the museum’s liability insurance coverage, Riley said.
“The Fairbanks Children’s Museum deeply values families and asks that all concerns be directed to Sgt. (Lee) Bruce at the Alaska State Troopers,” Riley said.
Murphy was arraigned Thursday by video-conference at Fairbanks Correctional Center.
He has been appointed a public defender, although he asked to be represented by private attorney Bill Satterberg. He is being held on a $50,000 appearance bond and a $10,000 performance bond. If released on bail, he is under a court order not to use the Internet.
Apparently, one is never too old to be a pervert.