Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Officer Louis Buck Morris Charged with Lewd Acts with Minor
A Stillwater Police Officer has been arrested and charged in Payne County District Court with 3 counts of lewd acts to a child under age 16 and two counts of rape. Louis Alvie "Buck" Morris, 48, was charged after an investigation by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, and an internal investigation by Stillwater Police.
Morris, 48, of Ripley, who served as the School Resource Officer at the Stillwater Junior High School, was charged Tuesday with five sex acts with a 15-year-old female student in May.
Morris was arrested Tuesday in the case investigated by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and released after posting a $25,000 property bond, court records show.
If convicted of two counts of rape by instrumentation and three counts of lewd acts with a child, Morris could receive as much as two life without parole sentences plus 60 years in prison.
According to an affidavit by OSBI agent Richard Brown, the girl knew Morris for the two years she attended Stillwater Junior High School. She said that she talked with Morris every morning at school, the affidavit said.
"She and Morris exchanged phone numbers and would text each other. She felt Morris knew she liked him and that he liked her.
"She became close to Morris. Morris would text her saying he loved her and would be able to show her how much he loved her," the affidavit alleged.
She told the OSBI agent that Morris fondled her while they were alone in his home and that while he was driving her back to her house, Morris put his finger in her genital area, the affidavit alleged.
In May two days before she was to leave Oklahoma for the summer, Morris came by her house while her father was at work and they performed manual sex acts on each other, the affidavit alleged.
"Morris talked with her about getting married and she felt they mutually agreed they would. She felt Morris loved her and she loved him," according to the affidavit.
Stillwater Police Officer Guy Palladino, who was a School Resource Officer assigned to Stillwater's Sangre Ridge Elementary and Middle Schools, as well as Westwood Elementary School, was a Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) representative for any officer at the Stillwater Police Department.
Palladino, who has been with SPD for about 22 years, had worked with Morris, who on May 28 contacted Palladino and told him he was under investigation for "inappropriate text messaging with a 15-year-old female," the affidavit alleged.
"Morris told Palladino the girl was a student at the Stillwater Junior High School and all he did was talk and text message with her," the affidavit alleged.
"On June 2, 2009, Morris came over to Palladino's house and told Palladino he had been suspended with pay and was being investigated for lewd acts with a minor.
"Morris told Palladino he was sorry and he had lied to him the last time they had talked," the affidavit alleged.
"Morris asked the girl to marry him and she accepted," the affidavit alleged.
Morris told Palladino that they had sexual contact, but denied having oral or vaginal sex with the girl, the affidavit alleged.
"The girl wanted to have sex with Morris, but he told her they would have to wait until she was 16," the affidavit alleged.
"Morris told Palladino he had become one of 'them,' and felt like he was 15.
"Morris knew his job was gone and he hoped he did not have to go to prison, but that he had done this to himself," the affidavit alleged.
When the girl's father was interviewed, he said that he "felt he could trust Morris since he was a police officer," and had allowed his daughter to visit at Morris's house on several occasions since he met Morris, the affidavit alleged.
Stillwater Police Detective Sgt. Jeff Watts spoke with the girl in her father's presence on May 21, the affidavit said.
She told the detective that "She and Officer Morris were involved in a relationship," the affidavit alleged. She said that they "had been talking about being together when she turned 18," the affidavit alleged.
She allowed the detective to look at her cell phone where he viewed text messages between the two, the affidavit alleged.
The detective also conducted an interview with the girl in another state on June 11, the affidavit said.