Robert Morrison addresses the court Thursday during his sentencing hearing. Photo by Kayse Angel

Robert Morrison addresses the court Thursday during his sentencing hearing. Photo by Kayse Angel

Morrison sentenced to 5 years in prison

Former martial arts teacher pleaded guilty to child rape, communicating with a minor for immoral purposes.

Emotions ran high on both sides of the courtroom Thursday when Robert James Morrison, 44, received his sentencing for five separate counts — three felony counts of rape of a child, one felony count of communication with a minor for immoral purposes and a gross misdemeanor count of communication with a minor for immoral purposes.

Morrison was sentenced by Judge John Erlick to 60 months for each of the four felony counts to run concurrently. If released prior to 60 months in prison, he will serve up to 36 months probation. For the gross misdemeanor, he was sentenced to a suspended 364 days for 24 months.

Once released from prison, he will serve 12 months community custody.

During the sentencing hearing Oct. 25, the prosecution reiterated its recommendation.

While Morrison’s defense attorney, Philip Thornton, asked the judge to consider granting Morrison SSOSA (special sex offender sentencing alternative — RCW 9.94A.670).

According to the RCW, many factors go into considering whether a defendant is eligible for SSOSA. In order to be granted SSOSA, the court would have to consider if Morrison and the community would benefit from this alternative sentencing.

If Erlick had ruled in favor of SSOSA, Morrison could have been sentenced to jail for up to 12 months with the remainder of his sentence suspended so he could enter treatment.

Following statements from the four victims — all of whom were present with family and friends as support — and comments from Wonderful Morrison, Morrison’s ex-wife, his daughter and himself, Erlick made his ruling.

He followed the state’s recommendation.

Along with his sentencing, Morrison must also register as a sex offender, must not hold a position of authority involving minors, loses his right to possess a firearm and loses his right to vote.

On Aug. 16, 2018, less than a month before his trial date, Morrison pleaded guilty to the five charges.

In August 2016, Morrison was charged with one count of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes and three counts of rape of a child in the third degree.

He originally pleaded not guilty to all charges in September 2016.

Morrison is the former owner of Lee’s Martial Arts studio in Renton and Maple Valley.

For related stories previous run by the Reporter, click on the following links:

Martial arts teacher’s relationship with victim began when she was 14, according to court documents

Morrison enters not guilty plea

September trial date set for martial arts studio owner

More in News

Courtesy of Renton Schools. Through a mentor program between local students and car dealerships, involving Renton School District Career Technical Education (CTE) worksite learning coordinators, nonprofit Mentor Washington and Communities in Schools Renton-Tukwila, students are getting both careers and a friendly hand on stepping into the adulthood. Pictured: First mentee in the program Nick Romo, who has gone on to continue his career after the program and is nearly a master technician, in a video about the program.
Dealing kids a better future

Local car dealerships mentor Renton students for future careers

Courtesy of City of Renton. The Cedar River Trail experienced a significant undermining, and much of the bank was gone after flooding over the weekend, some of it just feet away from the paved trail.
River flooding pushes Renton to the limits

Heavy rains and rising waters could cost Renton millions

Courtesy of City of Renton. Site area for the Park Avenue North extension, a project from the city and SECO development that creates a second access point for Southport.
SECO expands its reach

Two new land acquisitions will expand Southport

Federal Way resident Mi’Chance Dunlap-Gittens, 17, died Jan. 27, 2017. Courtesy photo
Law enforcement challenges report on sting operation that killed Federal Way teen

King County Office of Law Enforcement Oversight’s findings rattle Sheriff’s Office, police union.

Unstable housing? Apply for Section 8

Applications open in February for housing vouchers

In 2018, the city of Seattle approved and then repealed a head tax within a month. It would have levied a $275 per employee tax on businesses grossing more than $20 million annually. Sound Publishing file photo
County head tax bill passes committee

Bill would let King County levy a tax on businesses to fund housing and address homelessness.

Gov. Jay Inslee signs the first bill of the 2020 legislative session into law. On the right stands the bill’s primary sponsor, Sen. Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle, who is wearing a red tie. Photo by Cameron Sheppard, WNPA News Service
Gov. Inslee signs tax bill to help fund higher education

Law shifts a portion of the tax burden to large tech companies.

Photo courtesy of AIFF Local 864. Just before 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 8 a five-vehicle collision on Interstate 405 (I-405) North between Renton and Tukwila halted evening traffic and caused an involved semi truck to catch fire.
Residents hurt in two crashes over the weekend

Two severe accidents over the weekend in Renton destroyed vehicles and left… Continue reading

A screenshot of the Facebook post from Feb. 5 containing the video that allegedly showed roaches in the downtown Renton IHOP kitchen. The restaurant was inspected the next day at request of the owner and found to be clean and free of pests.
Inspection debunks fake viral cockroach video

A local IHOP restaurant received an “excellent” rating after complaints made

Most Read