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Former TPS choir teacher accused of sexual battery

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Reported by: Farron Salley
Updated: 10/08/2013 7:01 pm Published: 10/08/2013 4:35 pm

A former choir teacher in the Tulsa public school district has been charged with having inappropriate relationships with students.

Tulsa police arrested 44-year-old Bradley Morris Monday night on three counts of sexual battery and two counts of forcible oral sodomy.

Morris is accused of sexual crimes dating from August 2010 through June 2011.
Detectives told FOX23 they've been working on this case since getting a tip from a third-party witness.

TPS hired Morris in December 2000. He worked at Edison Preparatory School. TPS declined an interview on camera but said Morris resigned on June 7, 2011 because of personnel matters.

It wasn't until last year that police got a tip.

"He would communicate with them by text and email, call them and basically what we call grooming," said Sgt. Mark Mears with the Sex Crimes Unit at TPD.

The investigation started last November.

"It was kind of difficult finding the victims because they had all moved on, some of them were in college out of state," he said.

Court documents allege he had oral sex with an 18-year-old and that he groped and fondled a 16-year-old.

"One of the incidents occurred at school and some of the others occurred off campus," he said.

He said both girls acted consensually. TPD thinks during the decade Morris worked for TPS there could be more victims.

"We believe there are probably more," he said.

Detectives said it's difficult to give a hard number of how many girls could be victims because they can't bring formal charges for everything they hear.

Since last November, detectives interviewed about a dozen girls, although only two interviews led to formal charges.

"Either because the others said nothing happened or didn't want to prosecute or their incidents were outside the statute of limitations," he said.

The statute of limitations allows for just seven years to bring charges for these kinds of crimes.

"Kids that age are not real willing to come forward all the time, and it's difficult for them especially if it's a person of authority because they're putting themselves out there when they do that," he said.

After working in the sex crimes unit for years, Mears said parents need to remember some things, as well.

"We all think to have that conversation with our kids when they're in the age of 7 or 8 about if anybody touches you come talk to us, but generally that's the last time that kind of conversation happens," he said.

Morris is being held on a $250,000 bond. If he is convicted, the sentence on each count of sexual battery can be up to 10 years in prison and each count for sodomy can be up to 20 years.

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