Molester Helped Cast Hollywood Child Actors

Sex offender Jason Murphy worked under a different name

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 18, 2011 5:02 AM CST

(Newser) – A conviction for kidnapping and molesting an 8-year-old boy in 1996 didn't prevent Jason James Murphy from forging a successful career in Hollywood casting—recruiting child actors for movies including Super 8 and Bad News Bears. Murphy, 35, moved to California after completing a 5-year prison sentence in Washington state. He was required to register as a sex offender, but he worked under the name Jason James and did not register the alias, the Los Angeles Times reports.

There have been no known complaints about Murphy behaving inappropriately with minors, but police are investigating whether he was in compliance with state rules for sex offenders. Super 8 director JJ Abrams says that he only learned about Murphy's background this week, and after doing so he notified Paramount, which notified authorities. "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 says. "To think that someone like this was among us is unthinkable."

Murphy registered as a sex offender in California in 2005.
Murphy registered as a sex offender in California in 2005.   (Washington Corrections Department)
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