42-year-old martial arts studio owner charged with child rape; bail set at $300K

KENT, Wash. -- Robert Morrision, owner of Lee's Martial Arts studio in Renton, was charged Friday with three counts of child rape and one count of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes.

Morrison is accused of having sex with a 15-year-old girl and sending inappropriate pictures of himself to two other teenage girls.

The alleged victims range from 15 to 17.

Detectives say Morrison sent naked pictures of himself to the teen girls eventually, coaxing the 15-year-old to repeatedly have sex with him. Probable cause documents allege Morrison had sex with the teen at his Bellevue home when his wife was not home and also in his studios in Renton and Maple Valley.

“Four counts of communication with a minor for immoral purposes and one count of rape of child in the third degree,” a prosecutor said.

The 42-year-old waived his right to appear at the probable cause hearing on Thursday after being arrested on Wednesday. A judge found probable cause to keep the case moving. Morrison’s attorney told a judge his client is not seeking bail so Morrison will remain behind bars until his next hearing.

A woman who took classes at the Renton studio says she knows the alleged 15-year-old victim. She did not want to be identified but says she noticed Morrison giving his martial arts students rides home, causing her to have a weird gut feeling.

“Noticed a behavior about a year ago with one of the girls, the continuous texting and calls that he would do and giving girls ride home,” the woman said.

Renton Police say someone alerted Child Protective Services about the 15-year-old girl. Later in the investigation, police say two more girls from Morrison’s second studio in Maple Valley came forward with the inappropriate pictures.

“Those young girls don’t have a voice but now they do. He has taken something from them that’s going to be very hard and challenging down the road,” the woman said.

With search warrants in hand, detectives entered the Renton studio looking for evidence linking Morrison to the rape allegations.

“Generally speaking, in a case like this, we are going to be looking at computers, telephones phone records,” Renton Police spokesman David Leibman said.

Detectives also left with bags of personal items from Morrison’s Bellevue home.

People who know the father of three say they are shocked.

“I hope justice is served and I hope the truth comes out and I pray for his family,” said a nearby Renton businesswoman.

As detectives work the three cases they know about, they also want to know if there are more victims.

“If anybody else sees his picture and recognizes him and it sparks a memory, we would love to hear about that,” Leibman said.

Lee’s Martial Arts is a franchise business. There are about 7 branches in the Puget Sound and other owners say they are not associated with Morrison.

The prosecution has until Friday to charge Morrison.