WHEELING – The son of Murray Energy’s founder and former CEO is the subject of another lawsuit accusing him of sexual harassment, sexual battery and sexual assault of a minor.
The case actually was filed last November, but had been sealed. The state Supreme Court denied a writ Nov. 8, allowing an Ohio Circuit Court order unsealing it to take effect.
Jon Murray is named the defendant in the complaint filed by a parent of a Jefferson County, Ohio, minor. The complaint originally was filed Nov. 5, 2018, in Ohio Circuit Court.
The other complaint against Murray, 44, was filed in July by his ex-wife accusing him of having sexual contact with their adopted pre-teen daughter.
According to the newly unsealed complaint, this child was 12 years old when the alleged incidents took place.
“Murray is/was a close personal friend of D.G. and her family,” the complaint states. “Murray was considered to be in a ‘godfather’ role with the minor child D.G. At various times, Mr. Murray interacted with the minor child D.G. as a caretaker.
“Taking advantage of the child’s trust and familiarity, Mr. Murray used his role as caretaker to use the child for his own sexual gratification.”
The unsealed complaint claims Murray acted improperly with the child on multiple occasions “to constitute intentional infliction of emotional harm in the form of sexual harassment, sexual battery, sexual assault and false imprisonment” at varying locations and in varying levels of severity.
On Aug. 14, 2018, the child disclosed details of Murray’s conduct to her mother. The mother says she sought assistance with various social service agencies, the Wheeling Police Department and had a forensic interview completed at Harmony House Child Advocacy Center.
The case filed by D.G. was sealed in Ohio Circuit Court until Nov. 8 at the plaintiffs’ request to ensure confidentiality as settlement negotiations were happening at the time. Her attorneys, including Teresa Toriseva of Toriseva Law in Wheeling, pushed to have it unsealed in July of this year once settlement talks stalled and after they began representing Murray’s ex-wife and adopted daughter in the other civil complaint.
Toriseva declined comment on the case.
Murray and his legal team filed a petition to keep the D.G. case sealed, saying “cases involving juveniles are routinely sealed to protect the juvenile from having information affect their lives as adults.”
D.G. attorney’s replied to that petition and provided more details about the allegations against Jon Murray.
The response says Murray took the child to his office at Murray Energy and would have her sit on his lap at his desk.
“While she was on his lap, he would move and grind his hips against her or would use his hands to move her around on his lap,” the response states, adding that he coerced the girl “to masturbate in front of him in a living while on vacation” with her and her mother.
It says the plaintiffs rejected a six-figure settlement offer from Murray, stalling discussions. It also notes that the allegations in the complaint filed by his ex-wife on behalf of their adopted daughter “are strikingly similar” to those by the other child.
The adopted daughter also alleges Murray forced her to perform oral sex on him.
In the other mother’s response to Murray’s petition to keep the case sealed, she notes the case is neither an abuse and neglect proceeding nor is it a criminal case involving a juvenile.
“While (Murray) attempts to argue that the case should remain sealed for the benefit of the minor victim, what he really means is that it should remain sealed for his own benefit,” the response states. “When the case is unsealed … the identities of the minor child and her next friend will remain anonymous as only their initials will continue to be used. However, (Murray’s) identity will be revealed to show that he stands twice accused of sexually harassing and raping two different minor children. …
“Of course, (Murray) realizes that his feigned concern for the rights of his erstwhile rape victims appears particularly flimsy when confronted with the fact that his victim would like to unseal her own record.”
Murray has filed two lawsuits against his ex-wife, claiming she coerced the adopted daughter to make false and damaging statements about him. The first one, filed in federal court, was dismissed without prejudice. The other one still is pending in Ohio Circuit Court.
“Over the years, plaintiff has reported instances of suspected abuse of plaintiff and defendant Saville’s minor children to various authorities,” Murray’s complaint in Ohio Circuit Court states, noting that the 2011 divorce was “particularly contentious.” “Plaintiff (Murray) was awarded primary custody of their two minor children. Defendant (Saville) was ordered to pay plaintiff child support, as well as contribute to the medical expenses of the children.”
In February, the Bureau of Child Support Enforcement entered an affidavit saying Saville hadn’t paid child support “for some time.”
On July 9, Murray claims Saville “coerced their minor daughter to make scandalous allegations against plaintiff to wrongfully obtain monies from plaintiff,” the complaint states. “The allegations are substantively and patently false, as the daughter was examined by multiple health care professionals over the years, and not once did the daughter make any type of allegation against plaintiff.”
Murray says Saville continued to allow the daughter to have unsupervised overnight visits with Murray, “showing that the allegations are false and motivated by defendant’s desire to wrongfully obtain monies from plaintiff.”
Murray says Saville’s actions, including the police being notified after the allegations were made, have damaged him. He says he has suffered severe emotional trauma, medical bills, emotional pain and suffering, embarrassment, humiliation, aggravation, inconvenience and other losses. He also says he has suffered extreme fear, torment and suffering.
He accuses Saville of intentional infliction of emotional distress, civil conspiracy and abuse of process.
Murray seeks general and special damages, attorney fees, court costs and other relief. He is being represented by Wheeling attorney Paul J. Harris.
Jon Murray is a VP for Murray Energy and Murray American River Towing Inc. Both of those companies also are named as defendants in the original lawsuit, which was filed July 22 in Ohio Circuit Court. The complaint was filed by a woman identified as M.S., Jon Murray’s ex-wife and mother of the girl – identified as S.M. – at the heart of the issue.
Since her divorce from Murray in 2011, Saville has remarried. She filed her original civil lawsuit two days before former Murray Energy CEO Bob Murray hosted a private campaign fundraiser for President Donald Trump at WesBanco Arena in Wheeling.
Jon Murray, 43, works as a geologist for his father’s coal company, according to the original complaint. Murray Energy filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last month.
In a press release at the time, Murray and the company described the original lawsuit filed by Saville as "destructive, scurrilous and blatantly false."
“He is the son of a highly successful, overbearing coal baron, who has ties to the President of the United States of America, who some regard wields power as an overlord and flaunts his power and wealth but refuses to share or promote his son Jon in any meaningful way,” the complaint states. “Mr. (Jon) Murray is believed to have had inappropriate sexual contact with more than on pre-pubescent female child.”
The adopted daughter was born in Guatemala and given up by her mother at birth. She lived in Guatemalan foster care before being adopted by Murray and his ex-wife when they were married.
D.G. and the other child are being represented by Toriseva, Jake Polverini and Joshua Miller of Toriseva Law as well as Mark A. Kepple of Bailey & Wyant in Wheeling. Murray is being represented by Wheeling attorneys Robert G. McCoid of McCoid Law and Paul J. Harris of Harris Law Office.
Ohio Circuit Court case number 18-C-262