Crime

Coast man headed to prison for secretly photographing young mental health patients

Travis McMurray
Travis McMurray Harrison County Adult Detention Center

A former employee of Memorial Behavioral Health has been sentenced to 15 years in prison after admitting that he photographed three girls, ages 6 to 8 years old, for lewd purposes while they were patients.

One of the girls, who was 6 years old at the time, was undressing in the bathroom when Travis McMurray, 31, entered and took pictures, District Attorney Joel Smith’s office said in a news release Tuesday about the case.

Memorial and the Gulfport Police Department began an investigation in October 2016, after the girl told a family member McMurray had taken her photo while she was a Memorial Behavioral patient.

Surveillance video showed McMurray entering the bathroom while the girl was undressing.

McMurray confessed when police brought him in for questioning, the news release says. On McMurray’s phone, detectives with a search warrant found pictures of the girl, plus two other girls, ages 6 and 8.

McMurray said he kept the pictures for his own gratification. His family and friends asked for mercy when Circuit Court Judge Lisa Dodson sentenced him.

Dodson said, “You knew fully what you were doing and the purpose for taking those photographs.”

McMurray worked at Memorial Behavioral for only a month. The facility has since been sold and is under new management as Gulfport Behavioral Health.

After he is released from prison, McMurray must serve five years on probation and register as a sex offender.

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