Local News

Mom charged in toddler's sexual assault says she wishes she never spoke to authorities

Posted November 9, 2017 12:02 p.m. EST
Updated November 9, 2017 4:47 p.m. EST

— A Raleigh mother is charged with child abuse after somebody else sexually assaulted her child

April Lee Murray, 32, of 1036 Spring Garden Court, is charged with negligent child abuse after she failed to seek medical attention for her toddler following a sexual assault.

The child sustained serious physical injuries as a result of the assault, according to an arrest warrant.

Authorities uncovered the case Wednesday night when deputies with the Wake County Sheriff's Office were investigating the death of a man found in a ditch on Old Stage Road.

Authorities said Murray knew the deceased man, identified as Kevin Edward Thomas. While interviewing her in connection with his death, they determined her child had been sexually assaulted and she failed to report it.

While in court Thursday, Murray began crying and said she would not have talked to investigators if she had known she might be arrested.

"I didn't know I was getting arrested. If I knew that, I would not have made the statement," Murray said.

Child safety experts said caregivers are legally responsible for protecting children, but don't always reach out to authorities when something goes wrong.

"Sometimes that silence exacerbates the situation and they become a perpetrator of that abuse, just in a different way, and we do then have to hold those caregivers accountable,"  said Cristin Deronia with SAFE Child.

Murray has an extensive criminal record in Florida, including an order for her arrest, an assistant district attorney said.

Authorities said Thomas was not a suspect in the sexual assault case, and authorities are working to determine who assaulted the toddler.

Murray was being held under $100,000 bond. Her next scheduled court appearance is Nov. 30.

If convicted, Murray could face up to 47 months in prison.