A serial rapist has been sentenced to four years in jail and another four years on supervised probation for luring teen girls to secluded locations and having sex with them.
The defendant, Justin Michael Morris, 19, could have faced much of his life in prison had he been convicted on the most serious charges of rape – six counts in all – each carrying eight to 12 years in prison. Instead, Morris entered a plea bargain and entered pleas to three counts of statutory rape for the 14- and 15-year-old girls he had sex with during his spree. He was also given a two-year probationary sentence on a separate case of theft.
Police say Morris, who came here from Georgia, targeted girls ages 14 to 17 and looked for opportunities to get them alone.
“He hung out in places where younger girls tend to be,” said police investigator Todd Rowland, noting Morris would befriend the girls. “He would use deception to get them alone, sometimes lying about his age.”
The six rape counts came from incidents where the victims say he used force or coercion to have sex with them. One incident happened behind Walmart while another happened near Rocket Park. A third happened inside a victim’s home.
In addition to his jail time and probation, Morris will be required to list himself with the state’s sexual offender registry which keeps an online database detailing the location of convicted sex offenders.