Delegate arrested in assault, child cruelty cases [Updated]

Published 4:30 pm Wednesday, September 21, 2016

by Tracy Agnew
Special to The Tidewater News

A state delegate was arrested in Suffolk on Tuesday on charges of assault and battery of a family member and cruelty and injuries to children.



Richard Lee “Rick” Morris, 47, was released from Western Tidewater Regional Jail shortly before 1 a.m. on Wednesday on a $1,500 bond, city spokeswoman Diana Klink said.

Klink said in an email that Suffolk police made contact on Tuesday with a male juvenile victim, a family member, in reference to a Child Protective Services complaint.

“It was found the victim was assaulted by the listed offender on Sept. 16, 2016, and sustained injuries consistent with excessive physical discipline,” Klink wrote in the email.

At the same time, police made contact with an adult female victim in reference to a Child Protective Services complaint of child and family abuse, Klink stated.

“It was found the adult female victim, a family member, was assaulted by the listed offender on Dec. 23, 2015, when a verbal altercation escalated and became physical,” Klink wrote.

The victim suffered injuries and sought medical treatment, she added.

As of Thursday afternoon, additional charges were filed. New information from Klink stated the Morris was at the Suffolk Police Headquarters on a related matter when he was served with additional warrants.

“After further investigation stemming from the initial complaint, Morris has been additionally charged with three felony counts of Cruelty & Injuries to Children, three felony counts of Child Endangerment, three misdemeanor counts of Domestic Assault involving a minor, and two misdemeanor counts of Domestic Assault involving an adult female family member. All of the additional incidents involved the same victims as earlier reported and occurred on various dates in 2016,” she wrote.

Morris was arrested on those charges, taken to the jail and given a $1,500 secured bond, and has since been released.

The alleged incidents all occurred at the family residence in the 300 block of Babbtown Road, Klink said. The investigations remain ongoing.

Morris is a Republican and represents the 64th District, which includes parts of Franklin, Southampton County, Suffolk and Isle of Wight County.

Morris did not return a call seeking comment on Wednesday.