A previously convicted sex offender was sentenced to six years in prison Wednesday after pleading no contest to a sexual indecency charge involving an 11-year-old girl and guilty to other sex-related charges.
Jeremy Boyd Morrison, 36, was set to stand trial Wednesday in Garland County Circuit Court but opted to plead no contest to a charge of sexual indecency with a child, amended from an original charge of second-degree sexual assault, and guilty to charges of failure to comply with sex offender registration and reporting requirements and being a registered offender living near a school, public park, youth center, day care, church or place of worship.
Morrison, who has remained in custody in lieu of $56,000 bond since his arrest Feb. 3, was sentenced to six years in prison on each count, to run concurrently, and ordered to pay $420 in court costs. He will be given credit for time served since his arrest.
Garland County Deputy Prosecutor Kara Petro said Thursday the plea deal was made with the approval of the victim and her family.
Morrison, who is rated as a Level 3 sex offender, was previously convicted on Nov. 19, 2012, in Pennington County, South Dakota, for possessing, manufacturing or distributing child pornography, and again on Aug. 5, 2013, in South Dakota for failure to update his address as a registered sex offender. He was also convicted in 2003 in Garland County of theft of property and fraudulent use of a credit card, classifying him as a habitual offender.
According to the affidavit on the sexual indecency charge, on Jan. 29, Garland County sheriff's investigators received a report of a known suspect, identified as Morrison, having sexual contact with an 11-year-old girl.
The next day, the juvenile was interviewed at the Cooper Anthony Mercy Child Advocacy Center and disclosed that Morrison had got in bed with her in November 2016 at her residence in Garland County. She noted Morrison was staying with her and her mother at the time.
She stated they were both under the covers and Morrison fondled her buttocks and her mother had to get up and make him leave her room. Investigators checked and learned Morrison was a registered sex offender.
According to the affidavit on the other charges, on Jan. 25, Hot Springs police Detective Kenny May learned from an anonymous letter Morrison had been living at All Seasons Lodge, 1127 Central Ave., which he verified by speaking to an employee who stated Morrison was registered at the hotel and staying there.
The employee provided a receipt showing Morrison paid $165 to stay in a room there for a week. The owner-manager of the business also confirmed Morrison was a registered guest there.
Morrison's wife told May she had made contact with Morrison more than once at the lodge from Jan. 20-27 and that he admitted to her he knew he was not supposed to be staying there.
Prior to his stay at the lodge, Morrison signed his Sex Offender Acknowledgment Form on Jan. 10. The form stated that he would notify police after establishing a residence in person no later than three days after the form was signed. Morrison failed to do so for at least seven days and also failed to notify police of his new address.
Morrison also violated the requirement to not reside within 2,000 feet of a day care facility. May noted All Seasons Lodge was about 260 feet away from First United Methodist day care facility.
Warrants were issued for Morrison's arrest on all three charges and he was taken into custody around 12:30 p.m. on Feb. 3. At the time of his arrest, Morrison told police he was homeless.Local on 12/01/2017
Print Headline: Sex offender sentenced to six years on multiple charges