Thursday, September 16, 2010

St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Deputy And Former LDS Missionary Matthew Morris Accused Of Sexual Misconduct By Suspected Prostitute In Florida

On September 16th, 2010,, the Sun-Sentinel, and WFLX Channel 29 report that a sheriff's deputy who is also identified as a former full-time missionary with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been accused of sexual misconduct on the job and has been arrested for sexual battery by a law enforcement officer and official misconduct of a law enforcement officer. However, the actions of the female accuser may be somewhat questionable as well.

The entire sequence of events allegedly took place on Sunday September 12th between 1:00 A.M. and 3:30 A.M. in the vicinity of the Fort Pierce Magnet School of the Arts while 33-year-old Matthew Blair Morris was on patrol. The unidentified 41-year-old woman who is his accuser claims that Morris initially contacted her twice while she was out on the street, and ultimately persuaded her to yield to his sexual advances by saying that "it would be 'beneficial' for her because he regularly works in the area and that it would not be 'beneficial' for her and her friends if she refused". The woman also claims she was further intimidated because Morris kept his hand on his gun and she feared he would harm her if she didn’t follow his commands. Morris also allegedly told the victim that there was another woman who would put out for him if she didn't come across.

But what none of the media outlets are exploring is just why an unaccompanied woman was hanging around out in the street at 1:00 A.M. on a Sunday morning. Why didn't the woman simply just go home after Deputy Morris broke off the first encounter at 1:30 A.M.? These questions lead me to consider the possibility that this woman might have been a prostitute out soliciting business, which means she could be cooking up these accusations to deflect suspicion. Any time a woman charges a man with sexual-related charges, there tends to be an immediate rush to judgment. It's basically "she-said he-said" at this point.

Sheriff Ken Mascara said that Morris confessed to investigators, but claimed the sex was consensual. Morris was initially held on suicide watch in the St. Lucie County Jail without bail for the sexual battery offense and in lieu of $10,000 bail for the official misconduct charge. However, after an initial court hearing on September 15th, a judge upped the bail to $260,000. If convicted, he faces up to 30 years on the sexual battery charge and five years for the official misconduct charge. Morris is identified as having served a full-time mission for the LDS Church in Honduras from 1995-1997. His present LDS membership status is not disclosed. He is reportedly married with two children.

During his three-year stint as a Sheriff's Deputy, Matthew Morris has been disciplined twice, most recently for two days without pay in May 2010 after he pushed an umpire at his son’s Little League game. Another incident took place in 2009, when Morris and another deputy searched a home without showing the resident a warrant. Later, the homeowner got a copy of the search warrant but it didn’t have his address on it. Supervisors have actually lauded Morris for having a “proactive philosophy” and possessing the needed skills to achieve advancement. the sense that if he sees an unaccompanied woman out on the streets at 1:00 A.M. on a Sunday morning, he doesn't just blows it off, but stops to investigate.

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