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

A proposal by Senate Democrats would require concealed pistol license applicants in Washington state to complete a safety course. File photo
Democrats seek firearm training requirement for concealed carriers

Republican senator calls proposal ‘unconstitutional.’

Snohomish County man is first U.S. case of new coronavirus

A man in his 30s was hospitalized in Everett after contracting the virus during a trip to China.

Alexander, who attended the event with his family that are currently housed at Mary’s Place, shows off his new shoes, compared to the pair he’s had the last two years. The shoes were just one of the resources his family accessed at the United Way Family Resource Exchange on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 20 at Lindbergh High School.
MLK’s humanity reflected in resource fair

United Way host Family Resource Exchange event

Photo courtesy of Carol Kaelson. Christel Tucker, a Renton resident and flight attendant, stands at the wheel at Wheel of Fortune. Her episode airs Monday, Jan. 20.
Rentonite spins the wheel of her dreams

Local finds herself winning thousands on Wheel of Fortune

Matt Marshall, leader of the Washington Three Percenters gun rights group, addresses a crowd rallying for Second Amendment rights Jan. 17 at the state Capitol in Olympia. Marshall condemned Republican leadership in the House of Representatives, which expelled Rep. Matt Shea from the Republican Caucus. Marshall announced his candidacy for the 2nd District seat held by House Minority Leader J.T. Wilcox. Photo by Cameron Sheppard, WNPA News Service
Gun rights advocates rally at Capitol

Criticism levied at Matt Shea investigation, Republican leadership.

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson (center) announced a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson in a press conference Jan. 2. Debbie Warfield of Everett (left) lost her son to a heroin overdose in 2012. Skagit County Commissioner Lisa Janicki (right) lost her son to an overdose of OxyContin in 2017. They are joined by Rep. Lauren Davis of Shoreline (second from right), founder of the Washington Recovery Alliance. (TVW screenshot)
AG Bob Ferguson talks lawsuits, gun control

Washington state Attorney General stopped by Sound Publishing’s Kirkland office.

Sen. Mona Das, D-Kent, the primary sponsor of SB 5323, speaking on the bill. (Photo courtesy of Hannah Sabio-Howell)
Proposed law adds a fee to plastic bags at checkout

Senate passes bill to ban single-use plastic bags, place 8-cent fee on reusable plastic bags.

In November 2019, Washington voters approved Initiative 976, which calls for $30 car tabs. Sound Publishing file photo
Republicans try to guarantee $30 car tabs amid court hangup

Lawmakers sponsor companion bills in the House and Senate.

King County Metro’s battery-electric bus. Photo courtesy of kingcounty.gov
King County could bump up Metro electrification deadlines

Transportation generates nearly half of all greenhouse gas emissions in the state.

Most Read