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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

UA student fought off a sexual assault from a man wearing a clown mask

UA student fought off a sexual assault from a man wearing a clown mask

In the early morning hours of Sept. 26 2015, a man wearing a clown mask broke into an off-campus home and attempted to assault a female UA student.

What happened

That morning, while students and fans woke to the excitement of ESPN College GameDay on the UA Mall, one physiology junior woke up to something much different.

Around 5 a.m., she was woken by a man wearing a clown mask standing in her doorway.

“He tried to assault me,” she said. “I was able to scream before he could put his hand over my mouth.”

The suspect was later identified as 46-year-old Corey Morris, according to a Tucson Police Department media release obtained by the Daily Wildcat.

She said she had fallen asleep with her lights on the night before. Morris turned her bedroom lights off after he broke in, which woke her.

“In that moment, I was scared shitless,” she said. “I thought I was going to be kidnapped. In all honesty, you don’t really know what to think.”

After Morris realized she had awoken, he charged at her. She thought to hide her cell phone while she screamed so she could contact the police in case Morris took her.

“He had his hands on my wrists and I was pushing him away from my face because he was trying to cover my mouth so I wouldn’t scream,” she said.

Pima County Superior Court documents obtained by the Daily Wildcat stated that Morris told her to be quiet. She responded telling him to take whatever he wanted.

“I want you,” Morris responded, according to the court documents.

Morris turned her onto her stomach, held her face against the bed and attempted to take his pants off.

Her screams woke one of her roommates, who then ran into the room and startled Morris. He then ran out the bedroom door, pushing the roommate to the ground to make his way toward the front door.

Her roommate got up and began hitting Morris while he was trying to unlock the front door. Morris kicked the roommate in the stomach and ran out, according to the court documents.

Morris left both his cell phone and clown mask behind.

The girls locked the doors and called the police to report an attempted sexual assault.

It was determined by TPD Adult Sexual Assault Unit detectives that Morris had forced entry through the bedroom window of a third roommate who was not home. A fourth roommate was home, but did not wake up during the break in.

Morris’s blood and his fingerprint was found on shards of glass near the window where he broke in, according to the court documents.

A neighbor told police that he saw a man matching Morris’s description in the yard of the victim’s home a day prior, but was unaware only college-aged women lived at the residence.

Police also found an unused condom on the kitchen counter and another in a planter on the front porch with a wad of gray duct tape.

The residence now has an updated security system with the addition of cameras as an extra safety feature.

“I feel that I am definitely a lot more aware of my surroundings,” the victim said. “We added a lot more security to the house, which I think is important because our security system wasn’t up to date.”

The original arrest

Morris was booked to Pima County Jail for one count each of attempted sexual assault, aggravated assault, burglary in the second degree and kidnapping on Sept. 28, 2015, according to TPD Sgt. Pete Dugan.

Morris was then released from jail after posting a $75,000 bond on Oct. 4, 2015. He was indicted on Oct. 8, 2015, for charges on all four counts, according to the court documents.

The second arrest

Morris’s phone was seized and forensically examined during the original arrest. TPD detectives found photographs of multiple women undressing in their homes, according to the TPD media release.

The seized phone had videotapes of two women and one man undressing as well. None of the victims appeared to be aware they were being photographed or videotaped, according to the court documents.

The photos and videos found also included a photo of the original victim asleep in her bed with the lights on just minutes before the initial 911 call was made, according to the court documents.

Dugan explained that Morris was taken back into custody on Oct. 21, 2015, based on the contents of his phone.

Morris was charged with seven counts of voyeurism and seven counts of secretly viewing or recording another person without consent, according to the court documents. His second bond was set at $50,000.

Detectives then visited different homes in the neighborhood, attempting to find people who recognized themselves or the inside of their home or their property in the photos from Morris’s cell phone.

Detectives were able to find four others who recognized something in the photos, according to the TPD media release.

Two TPD officers greeted Steph Poiani, a nutritional sciences junior, while she and her roommates were making dinner at home one evening.

“Someone knocked on our back door in our backyard and we were really confused,” Poiani said. “We asked who it was before we opened it and they said it was the Tucson Police.”

Poiani said the TPD police officers explained there had been a break in on their street and there was a man taking photos of girls through their windows. The police officers showed Poiani and her roommates the photos to see if they could identify anyone.

“It was really disturbing,” Poiani said. “They told us this happens a lot in this area, but their goal is to find out about it and stop it because a lot of times these people are looking to advance and do something else. They’re trying to stop it before it escalates.”

Where is Morris now?

Morris was released on Jan. 5, after Azteca Bail Bonds paid his bond, according to the court documents.

As of Jan. 22, Morris is still out on bail. The court has approved the state’s motion of joinder, merging his two separate cases—the original case and the newer one from October—into one.

The trial date has been set for Oct. 11, 2016.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.


Follow Devon Walo on Twitter.


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