Alleged abuse detailed in warrants

Published 10:18 pm Friday, September 23, 2016

Criminal complaints filed in Suffolk Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court reveal details about the abuse family members allegedly suffered at the hands of state Delegate Richard Lee “Rick” Morris.

Morris, 47, was arrested and charged earlier this week with 14 counts of various crimes, including felony cruelty and injuries to children, felony child endangerment, misdemeanor domestic assault involving a minor, misdemeanor domestic assault involving an adult female family member and assault and battery of a family member.

Morris’ wife obtained a protective order in the court on Thursday. The order bars the state delegate from the family’s home in the 300 block of Babbtown Road and also bars him from contact with his wife or any of the children.

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According to Morris’ profile on the General Assembly website, he has nine children. It is unclear how many of them are stepchildren or if any of them are grown.



According to the criminal complaints, Morris last week allegedly punished an adolescent child in the house for lying about doing chores. The child told police he was struck on the palms of his hands, his knuckles, and his wrists leading up his forearm with a leather belt and a wooden spoon, which left large welts and extensive bruising on his hands, wrists and forearms. A detective observed the injuries, according to the complaint.

The boy said he was made to sit and stand in the corner of a room for the majority of three days last week. The boy ran away from home as a result of the incident.

Sometime in August, Morris allegedly told the same child to hold both hands out, palms up, and then struck him with an object on his palms, wrists and forearms, which caused bruises. The incident was punishment for something the boy had done wrong, according to the complaints.

The boy was instructed to tell the doctor during his physical that the bruises were from stick fighting with his brother, the complaint states.

Also sometime in August, the same child was made to do push-ups as punishment for something he had done wrong. During the push-ups, Morris found a hose nozzle lying on the ground, became upset, and threw it at the boy, leaving a nozzle-shaped mark on his back, according to the complaint. The boy wrote in a journal entry about the incident.

In another incident sometime between January and March of this year, Morris allegedly went into the boy’s room while he was sleeping because he had done something to upset his mother. Morris woke him up and punched him in the stomach, according to the complaint.

The boy also wrote a journal entry about this incident, stating Morris “socked me in air pipe and knocked air out of me.” The entry was collected by a detective.

The complaints also detail alleged abuse of Morris’ wife. On Dec. 23, Morris allegedly grabbed her by the neck and pushed her into the hallway from their bedroom during an argument. The altercation resulted in an injury to her ankle, and she was placed in a temporary cast.

Sometime between January and March of this year, Morris allegedly pushed his wife into the kitchen counter during an argument, according to the complaints.

Sometime in July or August of this year, according to the complaints, Morris pushed his wife into the sofa during an argument, causing her to fall and bruise her shoulder. After she got up, Morris pushed her down again. She punched Morris during this attack in a defensive action, according to the complaint.

Morris is a Republican and represents the 64th District, which includes parts of Suffolk and Franklin as well as Southampton, Isle of Wight, Prince George, Surry and Sussex counties.