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Calvin Murphy in trouble

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  • Calvin Murphy in trouble

    Associated Press

    HOUSTON -- Former Houston Rockets guard Calvin Murphy was released on $90,000 bond after surrendering to authorities on charges accusing him of sexually abusing five of his daughters more than a decade ago.

    Prosecutors charged Murphy on Monday with three counts of aggravated sexual assault and three counts of indecency with a child.

    According to an affidavit by Drew Carter of the Texas Rangers, five of Murphy's daughters said Murphy either fondled them, performed oral sex, or both between May 1988 and April 1991 when each was younger than 17.

    The daughters involved in the case are Murphy's children from three different women, prosecutors said. In all, Murphy has 14 children.

    "Calvin is so upset that these allegations were made, because he knows once they are made, you will never recover from them," his defense attorney, Rusty Hardin, said Monday night. "We believe they did not happen and Calvin is absolutely insistent they did not happen."

    Wearing a light gray suit and matching reptile shoes, the 55-year-old Murphy arrived Monday evening at the Harris County Sheriff's Department where he was booked and released within 90 minutes. He did not respond to reporters' questions.

    Harris County District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal said his office has notified other jurisdictions about the charges against the Murphy, a member of the Hall of Fame who played for the Rockets from 1970-83.

    The 5-foot-9 Murphy averaged 17.9 points and shot 89.2 percent from the line during his NBA career. He averaged 33.1 points in college at Niagara.

    He is a television analyst for the Houston Rockets, who granted him a leave of absence Monday.

    "No matter what a jury says, he will always be branded with this," Hardin said. "If what these girls allege is true, shame on him and he should be punished. But ... we insist they did not happen. What is happening to him is extremely tragic."

    Hardin would not discuss specific details about the charges against Murphy, only saying that he and prosecutors disagree on the facts of the case.

    Murphy has been aware of the investigation for two weeks after one of the daughters told him authorities had contacted her about the allegations of abuse, Hardin said. Hardin said he didn't know how the investigation began.

    Rosenthal declined to discuss what prompted the investigation.

    Hardin said one of Murphy's daughters, when spoken to by her father's attorneys, has insisted nothing happened, but she apparently is telling prosecutors something different.

    Murphy has not been interviewed by investigators, but Hardin said he brought forth a number of witnesses, both children and adults, who insisted the alleged actions never happened.

    Murphy was a high school star at Norwalk, Conn., before moving on to little Niagara University, where he was a two-time consensus All-America and led the school to a 22-7 record and an NCAA Tournament berth in 1970.

    He was drafted in the second round that year by the San Diego Rockets, who moved to Houston the following year, and quickly became a fan favorite despite playing on several bad teams. His 17,949 points were a franchise high until Hakeem Olajuwon passed him.

    Murphy missed only nine free throws -- and made 78 straight in one stretch -- in 1980-81 for a record single-season percentage of .958.

    He was enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993 and his number hangs retired in the Toyota Center rafters.