A performing arts high school community in Las Vegas is buzzing tonight over the news that one of their teachers has been arrested for sexual contact involving a former student.
According to local news, John Robert Morris was taken into custody and charged with felony sexual act between an adult school employee with a pupil between 16 and 17 years old.
The alleged contact occurred doing the 2016-17 school year. The former student reported the incidents to her college counselor and the counselor reported it to police.
Las Vegas Academy of the Arts is a notable school for visual and performing arts. Morris is listed as one of the founding members. Its alumni include Julianne Hough and R&B singer Ne-Yo.
According to school officials, while charges were just brought against Morris this past week, they were alerted to the situation last January. Since then, Morris has not been allowed on school grounds and is listed as being on “home duty”. Police requested warrants in January but they weren’t granted until September 5th. Many are calling into question what caused the delay in charges.
Many in the school aren’t necessarily surprised at the news. Some students spoke about how Morris used his position of power to intimidate students.
“He was overwhelming and he acted almost Goldy sometimes,” said Anderson. “We went for open house he was on a throne with speakers and talking down to us.”
Anderson's son, Bryce, said he expected the arrest to happen sooner and was surprised this was the first complaint made against Morris.
“There’s an unwritten blacklist of people who were most likely to get cast or get the positions,” said Bryce. “I have seen people who’ve been massaged by him, and get positions or positions in shows.”
According to jail records, Morris was not in custody as of Monday afternoon. As part of his $5,000 bail release, Morris was ordered to keep away from the victim or anyone under 17.
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