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posted: 5/4/2012 6:41 PM

Sex offender guilty of assaulting Wheaton woman, infant

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  • James P. Murphy

      James P. Murphy

 

A DuPage County jury deliberated less than two hours Friday before finding a former Oak Forest man guilty of sexually assaulting a Wheaton woman and her infant daughter during a break-in nearly seven years ago.

James P. Murphy, a previously convicted sex offender, was found guilty of home invasion and multiple counts of sexual assault by a jury of four women and two men.

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Prosecutors said Murphy cut a window screen and let himself into the then-27-year-old woman's apartment through a nearby door as the victims slept. Once inside, he repeatedly sexually assaulted the woman and ordered her to sexually assault her 5-month-old daughter while he took photos, according to testimony.

Murphy, 37, was arrested in the Aug. 27, 2005, attack about 10 months later, after he was charged with raping a 25-year-old Cook County woman. Authorities said the crimes were nearly identical, with Murphy wearing a mask and gloves, taking photos, and ordering his victims to bathe in each case.

The woman in the Wheaton case testified she was able to identify Murphy in a lineup of masked men by looking solely at his eyes. She said she also recognized a dimple in his chin, which showed when the intruder adjusted his ski mask during the attack.

"She knew it was him the moment she walked into the room," said Assistant State's Attorney Cathy DeLaMar, who prosecuted the case with Assistant State's Attorney Mike Pawl, in closing arguments.

Murphy also confessed in a letter to his former girlfriend, prosecutors said, and I-PASS records put him in the area around the time of the break-in.

Murphy already is serving a 30-year prison term after pleading guilty to the Cook County rape. He could get up to 120 years for the Wheaton case, prosecutors said.

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