Robert Morrison.

Martial arts instructor charged with child rape, suspect operated Lee’s Martial Arts studio in Renton and Maple Valley

The King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office charged Robert James Morrison, 42, of Bellevue, Aug. 26 with one count of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes and three counts of rape of a child in the third degree. He was arrested Aug. 24 in Renton at Lee's Martial Arts Academy LLC where he is an instructor and he is listed as the sole governing person for the corporation. Morrison also operated a martial arts studio in Maple Valley.

The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office charged Robert James Morrison, 42, of Bellevue, Aug. 26 with one count of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes and three counts of rape of a child in the third degree. He was arrested Aug. 24 in Renton at Lee’s Martial Arts Academy LLC where he is an instructor and he is listed as the sole governing person for the corporation. Morrison also operated a martial arts studio in Maple Valley.

Bail was set at $300,000 and the court documents labeled him as a “severe danger to the community and to other children.”

Additional conditions requested by prosecutors included sexual assault protection orders for all victims and a no contact order with all minors.

Morrison was released on bail Saturday, Aug. 27.

He is innocent until proven guilty.

According to court documents, Morrison admitted to police he sent photos of himself to “a number of his students.” One of those victims also described multiple occasions of inappropriate sexual contact.

According to the documents,”The defendant not only sent photographs of himself, he also groomed another victim from the time she was [14] with photos, text messages and ultimately sexual contact.”

Information included with the probable cause documents indicate when detectives asked Morrison about the photos, he admitted to sending Snapchat messages and initially told police he was wearing shorts and he was only naked from the waist up.

However, “upon further questioning Morrison admitted there might have been one picture where he was not wearing any shorts but the sink would have blocked his (genitals) from showing.”

Morrison’s arraignment is scheduled for 9 a.m. Sept. 8 at the Maleng Regional Justice Center.

The probable cause documents alleged Morrison began a relationship with one of his students when she was 14 years old.

According to Renton Police Commander David Leibman, the incidents came to light when an acquaintance of the primary victim, identified only by her initials, notified Child Protective Services that Morrison was engaged in a sexual relationship with a student at his martial arts school.

The documents stated, the victim took martial arts classes at Morrison’s studio on and off for several years, but when she turned 14, the relationship changed as Morrison allegedly began sending the victim Snapchats and texts of himself in his underwear, something she “thought was weird and not right.”

The pictures then progressed from Morrison in his underwear to him wearing a towel and eventually himself nude.

The victim said she began sending Morrison photos of herself, but she did not think she would have sent them if he didn’t ask.

The victim said she sent the photos because Morrison “noticed her.”

According to the documents, the relationship changed again after an incident at Morrison’s home during which the pair were sitting together on the couch and sending electronic messages back and forth so Morrison’s son, who was nearby, could not hear what they were saying. During that exchange, Morrison allegedly asked the victim if she wanted him to touch her. She responded yes, then no.

Following that incident, the victim said Morrison began sending more pictures and touching her breasts “all the time,” “wherever they were.” The victim also reported seeing Morrison touch the breasts of another girl, also identified only by her initials, and “took it as a joke.”

The victim said after she turned 15, Morrison began “touching her on the inside and outside of her clothing ‘a lot.'”

According to the victim, she first had relations with Morrison in May of 2015 at his home in Bellevue while her mother and Morrison’s wife were both out of town. She also describes a second intimate encounter a few weeks later at his home.

Following the second encounter, the victim left for a vacation, during which she said Morrison sent her multiple naked pictures of himself through Snapchat. After returning from the trip, she again began studying at Morrison’s martial arts studio and she said the two began having relations “a lot” in various locations at the Renton studio and twice at the Maple Valley studio.

Detectives interviewed three additional victims, all females between the ages of 15 and 17, at the Maple Valley studio. All three reported receiving Snapchat messages from Morrison in May and June, including a nude photo of Morrison with a caption partially covering his genitals.

One of the Maple Valley victims also described in-person sexual advances/touching by Morrison.

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.

However, one of the Maple Valley victims had a regular text conversation with Morrison in which he “essentially admitted to sending the messages and, after initially berating her, apologized.”

The deputy later spoke with Morrison who admitted sending Snapchat and text messages but denied any sexual intent. He also denied making advances toward the victims.

More in News

New utility included in Enumclaw budget; final vote set for Nov. 27

Significant progress has been made on crafting a 2018 Enumclaw budget, a document that could forever change the way the city collects and disperses certain funds. The plan now under way would see creation of a stormwater utility probably by August of the coming year.

Proposed recycling center sparks environmental fears

A proposed material processing facility outside of Enumclaw has some local conservationists worried about how it may affect the Green River and other natural environments. “The location of this, next to this natural area, just is not right. It doesn’t make sense to us at all, for a variety of reasons,” said Bernie McKinney, president of the Green River Coalition, a non-profit preservationist group.

Mobile Impaired Driving Unit hitting the streets this holiday weekend

The MIDU is a self-contained 36 foot motorhome that has been retrofitted as a mobile DUI processing center and incident command post.

Two Enumclaw volunteers honored for work at library

Two members of the Enumclaw Friends of the Library were honored during the recent Friends’ Day, an annual celebration of King County Library System volunteers.

Abigail Hill, 19, is crowned Miss Washington by the 2017 title winner, Alex Carlson-Helo. Photo courtesy Jerry and Lois Photography
Local Miss Washington prepares for national stage

That’s right — Enumclaw is competing in Miss U.S.A. Abigail Hill, the city’s newest star, was recently crowned Miss Washington , clearing the way for her to compete nationally in the spring.

Beyond the Borders now travels from Sumner to Bonney Lake

Come December, it’ll be easier for youth, seniors, people with disabilities or low-income to travel between Sumner and Bonney Lake.

Early start to Crystal ski season

The outdoor season has officially greeted those heading uphill, with snow deep enough to enjoy.

Suspect faces possible ‘third strike’ after alleged car chase, kidnapping

A suspect with a long criminal history finds himself in “third strike” jeopardy, the result of an alleged robbery in Enumclaw and ensuing car chase out of town.

Why now is a good time for a flu shot | Public Health Insider

With the holidays drawing near, many of us look forward to travel or seeing family and friends. And just as our schedules get busier, it’s also the time of year when the flu starts to circulate. We turned to Libby Page, manager of our immunizations program, to get the scoop on flu vaccine.

Election 2017: Change in Enumclaw; Buckley mayor race close

The 2017 general election is over, and although the results are still two weeks from being certified, many candidates are in the clear to take up their elected positions come winter.

Get your fill of winter activities on Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier’s landscape undergoes a dramatic transformation in winter.