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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


JOHN F. WOOD


Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html


JANUARY 3, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


TEXAS YOUTH COACH SENTENCED FOR

SEXUALLY MOLESTING MINORS


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a girls youth wrestling coach was sentenced in federal court today for sexually molesting minors aboard a charter bus traveling through Missouri on its return trip to Texas.


            Timothy Daniel Morriss, 44, of Weir, Texas, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Scott O. Wright this morning to 10 years in federal prison without parole, followed by 10 years of supervised release. The court also ordered Morriss to pay $51,354 in restitution to two victims.


            On Dec. 6, 2006, Morriss pleaded guilty to coercing a minor to engage in illicit sexual activity. Morriss admitted that, between July 26 and July 30, 2005, he used a facility of interstate commerce to coerce a minor to engage in sexual activity for which he could be charged with statutory sodomy and child molestation under Missouri statutes.


            Morriss, a girls youth wrestling coach at The Rock Wrestling Club in Leaander, Texas, was among several adults traveling with a group of 23 female high school-age wrestlers from the Team Texas delegation of the USA Wrestling League aboard a charter bus to a national meet in Fargo, N. D. Morriss was sitting between the two minor victims (Child Victim One and Child Victim Two) aboard a Red Carpet Charters bus for the return trip to Frisco, Texas, on July 30, 2005, after completing the tournament in Fargo. Use of the highway and charter bus constitutes a means of interstate commerce under federal statutes.


            As it got later at night, after everyone had settled into their seats and a movie had been turned on, Morriss placed a sleeping bag across himself and the two minor victims. Morriss repeatedly sexually assaulted the two minor girls over an extended period of time as they traveled down the highway. Photographs of one of the girls taken the next day showed severe bruising where Morriss held her down on the seat against the window to prevent her from leaving.


            Morriss stopped the assault shortly before the bus stopped at St. Joseph, Mo., to change drivers, but as soon as the bus began driving again, Morriss recommenced his sexual assault against one of the girls.


            The bus later stopped at 6:30 a.m., at a McDonald’s at mile marker 24 on Interstate 35 south of Wichita, Kan. After they left McDonald’s, Morriss sat with one of the victims again and sexually molested her. When he had finished, Morriss instructed the girl to go “wash up” in the bus bathroom.


            This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cynthia L. Cordes. It was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the Frisco, Texas, Police Department.


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This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html