Lawsuit Accuses Jonathan Murray of Improper Sexual Conduct With Adopted Daughter
WHEELING — Murray Energy Vice President Jonathan Murray is being accused of sexually abusing his adopted daughter.
Wheeling lawyer Teresa Toriseva filed a civil complaint Monday in Ohio County Circuit Court against Murray. No criminal charges have been filed in the case. Murray Energy on Monday called the filing “a confirmed attempt … to extort money from Murray Energy and its owners.”
Jonathan Murray serves as a vice president of both Murray Energy and Murray American River Towing. He and his ex-wife, Melissa Saville, adopted a daughter from Guatemala during their marriage.
The complaint states it was “on or about July 6, 2019, the minor child disclosed the details of the improper sexual conduct that she suffered from Mr. Murray.” After this, the child participated in a forensic interview at the Harmony House Child Advocacy Center, according to the complaint.
Late Monday afternoon, Murray Energy released a statement. “This press release is in response to the very destructive, scandalous, and false allegations contained in the lawsuit filed this morning by Teresa C. Toriseva, Esq. of the Toriseva Law Firm on behalf of Ms. Melissa Saville. These allegations could destroy the lives of Jon Murray’s innocent children and Jon, himself. He has been both the mother and father to the little girl at the center of the false allegations, as well as her brother, since his divorce in 2009 from Ms. Saville.
“This is a confirmed attempt by Ms. Saville and Ms. Toriseva, Esq. to extort money from Murray Energy and its owners, as confirmed by Ms. Saville’s offer, through her attorney, to not pursue this litigation if Murray Energy would agree to a money ‘settlement.’ This is also another attempt by Ms. Saville to win back custody of the children involved.
” It is outrageous and uncivilized to Murray Energy and its ownership to see the lives of two innocent individuals destroyed in an attempt to extort a money ‘settlement.’ Since the divorce in 2009, Jonathan’s former wife, Melissa, has attempted to gain money from (Murray Energy) and Jon Murray in any manner that she could. Now she is joined by a lawyer with the same motivation to extort Murray Energy.”
According to the complaint, incidents of sexual misconduct are alleged to have occurred in Jonathan Murray’s offices at Murray Energy and Murray American River Towing. Punitive damages are being sought against Jonathan Murray, Murray Energy and Murray American River Towing.
Jonathan Murray also has filed a claim in federal court against his ex-wife. “The events charged by Ms. Saville and Toriseva did not happen, nor could they have happened. Indeed, Jon has passed a polygraph examination. Jon’s counsel has filed an action to that effect in federal court in West Virginia, as well as in the family court in Ohio County, West Virginia,” Murray Energy’s statement says.
” Murray Energy and Jon Murray will vigorously defend against this lawsuit, as well as pursue any remedies it may have, against those who brought it.”
Toriseva could not be immediately reached for comment Monday. Calls to the Wheeling Police Department and the Ohio County Prosecutor’s office to determine if a criminal case is underway also were not immediately returned.