News that a registered sex offender worked under another name raises questions for studios and police.
Dawn C. Chmielewski and Harriet Ryan, Los Angeles Times
A small-town boy from Washington state, Jason James Murphy has spent much of the last decade working his way up in the world of Hollywood movie casting. He’s helped place actors, including children, on a variety of movies, from small independent films to last summer’s science fiction hit “Super 8.”
But few of the power players he encountered knew his secret: He is a registered sex offender who was convicted of kidnapping and molesting an 8-year-old boy in suburban Seattle 15 years ago.
This week, J.J. Abrams, the director and co-producer of “Super 8,” one of the most prized titles on Murphy’s resume, found out. On Thursday, Los Angeles police began looking into whether Murphy was in compliance with state registration requirements for sex offenders.
“It’s shocking and it’s devastating, not just as a filmmaker but as a father and someone who is entrusted to make sure that everyone I work with, especially children, are safe,” Abrams said. “To think that someone like this was among us is unthinkable.”
Murphy, 35, who uses the professional name Jason James, also placed young actors in the forthcoming film “The Three Stooges,” according to those who have worked with him. He also worked on “Bad News Bears,” “The School of Rock” and “Cheaper by the Dozen 2.”
After serving five years in prison for the 1996 crime in the Seattle area, Murphy underwent sex-offender counseling. When he moved to California in 2005, the state performed an evaluation and required him to register as a sex offender, making his name and photo publicly available. But the listing is under his original last name, in effect screening it from those who know him only as Jason James…(Full text at Los Angeles Times)