Religious school teacher accused of molesting students in classroom

by: David Ham Updated:

SEATTLE - An elementary teacher at the private Jewish Orthodox school, Torah Day, in South Seattle has been charged with four counts of child molestation.

Two girls, ages 6 and 7 years old, said he put his hands down their pants and up their shirts in the classroom.

According to court documents, prosecutors said the 6-year-old girl told detectives, "It has always occurred in Jordan Murray's first grade classroom while he is at his desk. (The victim) described the most recent incident. She approached Murray's desk to show him her school work. Murray pulled her toward him and placed her onto his lap."

Randy Kessler, the president of the school, said the school became aware of the allegations on April 21. They notified Child Protective Services the next day and Murray was arrested on May 3.

Kessler said after the school learned about the investigation, Murray was put on administrative leave. He is now on unpaid leave, but is still an employee of the school.

When asked if Murray will ever teach again at Torah Day, Kessler said, "I don't know."  He added the case is still pending.

At Torah Day, Murray is called Rabbi Murray.

The school told detectives that Murray has not received formal rabbinic ordination and the school use of the title was merely honorary.

At Murray's house, a woman at the door said she didn't know him or about the situation, even though he was arrested at the house on South Morgan Street last Friday. The address is also linked to a confection company that Murray owns.

Kessler said that Murray's criminal history was clean when he was hired almost two years ago. The school also did reference checks.

The school is also providing counseling for students who may have questions about what happened.

Murray is out of jail on a $100,000 bond. His arraignment is set for the May 20.

If convicted, he could face up to 25 years in prison.