Article is from the Topeka Capital Journal, Our Editorial Commentary on it is at the end.
Father caught Topeka police officer with underage daughter. Here’s what happened next.
A father’s complaint to the Topeka Police Department about an officer’s relationship with his teenage daughter has resulted in the officer losing his job and the privilege to work in law enforcement in Kansas.
Former Topeka Police Department officer Timothy Morrison was decertified last month by the Kansas Commission on Peace Officers’ Standards and Training, which detailed allegations uncovered during an internal investigation that resulted in criminal charges.
The father complained that Morrison had been “sneaking around” with his 17-year-old daughter, whom he caught “practically sitting in his lap” in Morrison’s pickup truck. At the time, Morrison was either 38 or 39 years old, according to court records.
“The actions of this former employee are dishonorable, and should not reflect on the hardworking and dedicated men and women of the Topeka Police Department,” city spokesperson Gretchen Spiker said. “The City of Topeka and the Topeka Police Department cooperated fully with KSCPOST on this matter.”
What did Officer Timothy Morrison do?
Investigators determined the relationship began in August 2019 when Morrison met the girl at the mall, where they both worked. Morrison had a side job as a security guard where he wore his police uniform. Spiker said the department was aware of the off-duty job and that he was allowed to wear his uniform.
The commission concluded that, “during his employment with TPD, Morrison misused his position to establish a social, physical, intimate, emotional and arguably romantic relationship with (the girl).” A Shawnee County judge wrote that internal investigators, after interviewing the girl, concluded they were “engaged in a romantic relationship.”
The relationship involved the following:
- Near-daily communication by phone, text and Snapchat.
- Wake-up calls from Morrison to the girl.
- Sending each other photos, including photos of Morrison while on duty, in uniform and in his patrol vehicle.
- At least four social visits.
- A time when Morrison picked up the girl from home to take her out for breakfast.
- Morrison twice picked the girl up from school for lunch.
- Morrison once delivered food to the girl at her home while he was on duty.
- Morrison once picked up the girl after she contacted him after midnight, saying she was thinking about running away from home. He took her to a Casey’s, bought her pizza, and spent a couple hours with her before taking her home. Despite considering her to have run away from home, he did not report it to his supervisors or the girl’s family because he wanted to “gain (her) trust and develop his relationship with her.”
- At least one kiss on the cheek and several hugs, but both Morrison and the girl denied that their relationship was sexual.
- Investigators believed Morrison was hiding aspects of their relationship because he texted the girl after the complaint: “I’m going to tell them I was taking you to breakfast. That work for you?”
- Used his access to search for police records on the girl, her father and her ex-boyfriend. He provided the girl with confidential information about the juvenile record of the ex-boyfriend and about her own case, where she was the victim of an alleged rape by her uncle.
- Morrison did not attempt to take the girl to church or seek guidance from church leaders, despite telling investigators that he viewed himself as a friend and mentor, comparing it to his church youth group volunteering. The commission wrote that Morrison’s “behavior with (the girl), particularly his repeated, unsupervised one-on-one interactions with (her), were not consistent with the church’s youth group guidelines for adult volunteers.”
Topeka police didn’t tell public that an officer was criminally charged
Morrison joined the Topeka Police Department in October 2017 and was sworn in as an officer in April 2018.
The girl’s father flagged down Topeka police on Sept. 14, 2019, after which Lt. John Sturgeon of the professional standards unit investigated by interviewing Morrison, the girl, the father, the girl’s co-workers and leaders at the church where Morrison volunteered with a youth group.
Police also had records of Morrison logging into law enforcement databases and accessing confidential information.
Topeka police determined Morrison had violated department policy and terminated him effective July 15, 2020 — eight months after he was criminally charged.
Spiker said Morrison was immediately placed on administrative leave once the city became aware of the complaint.
“Due process is important to the city, and as such, the internal administrative process did not conclude until after the criminal investigation was concluded,” she said.
Topeka police requested that the Kansas Bureau of Investigation conduct the criminal investigation. The KBI ultimately presented materials to local prosecutors.
Topeka police never informed the public that one of its officers had been charged.
“The Topeka Police Department is not a charging entity,” Spiker said to explain why the department didn’t issue a news release.
Prosecution, then diversion, in Shawnee County court system
The Shawnee County District Attorney’s Office filed two misdemeanor criminal charges against Morrison on Nov. 8, 2019.
The charges were official misconduct and violating restrictions on dissemination of criminal history record information. Prosecutors alleged Morrison illegally used confidential law enforcement information for his personal benefit.
“Charges were filed because the investigation revealed that former officer Morrison engaged in illegal conduct,” District Attorney Mike Kagay said.
Morrison’s attorney, Thomas Lemon, attempted to get the charges dismissed. Judge Penny Moylan denied the motions. Lemon didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Shawnee County District Court records show the case had been scheduled to go to trial in March 2020, but was delayed amid the onset of COVID-19 pandemic. The case was again scheduled to go to trial in April 2021, then June 2021, but it never did go to trial.
Instead, Morrison and the DA’s office on June 23, 2021, filed a pre-trial diversion agreement offered upon his “accepting responsibility for these acts as alleged.” However, he didn’t have to admit guilt.
“Mr. Morrison applied for diversion after charges were filed and it was determined he was qualified,” Kagay said. “I can offer no other specifics on the case.”
Morrison had to pay a $150 diversion fee, a $10 Crime Stoppers fee and $158 in court costs.
The charges were subsequently dismissed on May 12, 2022. The case could be eligible for expungement, meaning all court records would no longer be public.
Oversight agency KSCPOST decertified Officer Morrison
The Kansas Commission on Peace Officers’ Standards and Training, which certifies law enforcement officers, opened an investigation after Morrison got a diversion.
After a hearing in April, the commission in May revoked Morrison’s law enforcement certification, which means he can no longer work as a law enforcement officer in Kansas. The order was publicly posted online.
The order was signed by Herman Jones, who chaired the hearing panel. Jones is the outgoing superintendent of the Kansas Highway Patrol and the former Shawnee County sheriff, who faces his own pending litigation alleging sexual harassment and unconstitutional practices during traffic stops.
The commission concluded that “clear and convincing evidence to show” Morrison committed the two misdemeanor crimes.
Jesus fucking christ! So all this actually happened in 2019? And they drug it out as slowly as they could and then blamed COVID? In the mean time a bunch of people, myself included, had our cases ram-rodded through by stool pidgeon lawyers “Public defenders” who the city hired to just shove clients through as quickly as possible.
Now heres one problem: The girl was 17. She was above legal age of consent. Im not sure that the cop really broke any laws in THAT area even if he was screwing her silly on the hood of his car. BUT, it was extremely unprofessional and inappropriate. (Legal age of consent is 16 in Kansas) I also believe that at that age, she would not have been a run-away, she was free to leave home if she wanted to….and her parents would be free to lock the door behind her, but dont quote me on that.)
Does the article say exactly how old she was at the time of the |relationship/offenses”? Or are they saying that she is 16 NOW? I wonder if they dragged this out for 4 years so that she could “Age out” and as a |Legal adult” opt not to press charges or cooperate with charges, and the fathers charges would be moot? (I know thats tricky, murky legal area, especially when a COP is the rapist.)
It is certainly concerning.
But so if his accessing police files and records, accessing information on her ex-boyfriend (STALKING!? BY POLICE!?) and then accessing and giving her information on her previous rape by an uncle. (And I think theres a problem with the newspaper reporting this as well.)
And then lets look at this cops involvement with a “Church youth group|”.
You know who this sounds like? Disgraced ex TPD officer Rong Ish, who had a long and shitty reputation as a MALL COP who used his badge and presumed authority to sexually harass young girls, as young as 14, and according to information that I have been given (By victims who are terrified of him) he would accuse girls of shoplifting them drag them into a back room and strip search them and feel them up, and/or try to convince them toperform sexual favors in exchange for him letting them go. He would also follow girls over to the movie threaer and harass them there, and as well at his security position at a local restaraunt.
He ALSO insinuated himself into the “DARE” program at the boys and girls club where he had a reputation for providing pot and alcohol to teenaged girls and had sexual relations with several of them in exchange for the booze and pot. Now mind you, all of this informationw as given to me by women who wished to remain anonymous who where scared to death of Ish, as he had arranged threatened and intimidated several of them.
This is a problem at the TPD. I garantee that this is not the only scandal of this nature working its way through the police dept, or as yet |undiscovered”.
I know for a fact that cops, and cops WIVES have access those files and records and used the information gleaned to harass and stalk innocent civilians who bacame victims of harassment and stalking campaigns. Yours truly is one such victims. And I think we have all heard about cops going in and accessing those records, not for any case or police business, but to stalk and harass their wives ex-wives girlfriends, the boyfriends of their underaged girlfriends and people who just have the guts to speak out on the internet.
So is THAT going to stop after this mess? I highly doubt it.
THIS particular cop was given all kinds of “Professional courtesy” and they allowed this to drag out for a long long time.