September trial date set for martial arts studio owner

Before the September court date, an omnibus hearing is scheduled for Aug. 25

A Sept. 25 criminal trial date has been set for Renton martial arts studio owner, Robert James Morrison, on four felony counts.

Morrison was charged by the King County Prosecutor’s Office with one count of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes and three counts of third degree rape of a child on August 2016.

Morrison owns Lee’s Martial Arts Studio in Renton and Maple Valley.

He pleaded not guilty to all charges during an arraignment on Sept. 8, 2016 and released on a $300,000 bond.

Washington State Child Protective services first received a complaint last year about Morrison allegedly being engaged in inappropriate behavior with one of his students.

Once contacted, the girl alleged when Morrison began a relationship with her she was 14, and that she was 15 when Morrison began engaging in intimate activities with her. The probable cause court documents alleged Morrison and the girl had several intimate encounters at his Bellevue home, the Renton studio (located at 405 S Third St.) and the Maple Valley studio.

Three other females — ages ranging 15 to 17 at the time — said Morrison allegedly sent them inappropriate Snapchat pictures of himself.

According to the report, all of the Snapchat messages were automatically deleted and a search warrant sent to the company did not recover any messages.

According to the probable cause document, “Morrison admitted to sending Snapchat messages… (and) explained his intent was to have them be reminders of healthy habits like brushing your teeth. Morrison said that he was wearing shorts in the pictures and was only naked from the waist up.”

He denied any sexual intent, according to the document.

State prosecutor requested five separate sexual assault protection orders and a no-contact order with all minors.

Morrison’s attorney, Philip Thornton, requested a change to supervised contact with minors. The judge granted the motion determining Morrison could be at the school if supervised by someone who knew about the case.

An omnibus hearing is scheduled for Aug. 25.

More in News

Photo by Haley Ausbun
                                Discussion and solutions between police and community relationships were the topic of the Unity Forum hosted by Renton African American Pastor Group, City of Renton and Renton Police Department.
Unity Forum seeks to create honest dialogues between community youth and police

Renton Police Department and the Renton African American Pastoral Group (RAAP) continued… Continue reading

Lakeside’s site plan for the proposed asphalt plant. Submitted photo from Lakeside Industries.
Proposed asphalt plant could become real

Lakeside Industries submitted its application to King County last week to move its Covington asphalt plant to Unincorporated Maple Valley.

King County approves gun warning sign requirement

Warning signs must be posted in all King County gun stores and firing ranges.

REACH offers free meal Thanksgiving Day, and more community news…

KCLS launches new podcast The King County Library System announced Nov. 7… Continue reading

Washington’s election security remains strong as 2018 General Election vote count approaches record

The following from the Washington Secretary of State’s office: Ongoing county ballot… Continue reading

Joe Fain and Mona Das. FILE PHOTOS
Fain concedes election to Das in race for state Senate seat | UPDATE

Auburn Republican falls 548 votes behind the Democratic challenger from Covington in latest count

Grandfather shoots grandson, police believe it was self defense

The family present said the son was a “common source of domestic violence to everyone in the house.”

Seven horses perish in Kent barn fire

Renton RFA arrived to a barn “fully engulfed in flames.”

Voters return their ballots on election day, Tuesday, Nov. 6 at the King County Elections Office in Renton. Photo by Haley Ausbun
Friday evening results from the November General Election

Currently 19,000 ballots remain to be counted. Counting will resume Monday, Nov. 12.

Most Read