Charges Dropped Against Man Accused of Rape at Keith Urban Concert
Police in Massachusetts have dropped the charges against an 18-year-old man who stood accused of raping a 17-year-old girl at a Keith Urban concert in July.
The incident took place during Urban’s concert at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, Mass. on July 26. According to police, Sean Murphy and the girl first met at the concert, and began kissing at a concession stand before moving to the lawn. Murphy allegedly took the girl by the hand and led her to another area of the lawn, promising to bring her back to her friends. That’s where he was accused of sexually assaulting her.
Murphy maintained his innocence all along, saying the sex was consensual.
“Put simply, this was a consensual act, not a sexual assault,” Murphy’s lawyer said in a statement (via Fox News). “There are no allegations of force or violence against him. This was a private act that regrettably occurred in a public place. Mr. Murphy deeply regrets this incident and I am sure the young woman does as well. The young woman was neither intoxicated nor overcome by drugs at the time. Mr. Murphy has no criminal history whatsoever."
The Boston Globe reports that in the days after the incident became public, multiple witnesses came forward to testify that the encounter was consensual. Prosecutors in Bristol County dropped the charges against Murphy on Thursday (Sept. 25).
“Given the state of the evidence, the case had to be dismissed in the interest of justice,” said a spokesman for the district attorney. “The family [of the woman] is on board with this decision.”
Murphy wants to serve in the military, and he hopes that the accusation won't diminish his chances of doing so.
“This is still a completely devastating accusation to be made of someone who’s 18 years old and never been in trouble his whole life,” his attorney notes. “He spent the night in [jail]. . . . That’s certainly going to change anybody’s perspective.”