(Stillwater, Okla) — Former Stillwater Police Officer Louis Alvie “Buck” Morris, 48, who appeared in court today on charges alleging he committed five sex acts with a 15-year-old female student in May, has resigned from the department, Stillwater Police Chief Norman McNickle told KUSH.
    “This case now rests in the hands of the judicial system,” McNickle said.
    The preliminary hearing for Morris, who has been charged with two counts of rape by instrumentation and three counts of lewd acts with a child, was scheduled during Morris’s brief court appearance today for Aug. 28.
    If convicted of the five-count charge, Morris could receive as much as two life without parole sentences plus 60 years in prison, court records show.
    Morris was originally represented by Oklahoma City attorney Susan Ann Knight, but now is being defended by four Oklahoma City attorneys, Joe E. White Jr., Charles C. Weddle III, Marvel E. Lewis and Blake Farris, court records show.
    Morris, who was an officer with the Stillwater Police Department for 17 years, had served as a School Resource Officer for six years, McNickle said.
    He was suspended without pay at the time of his June 16 arrest at his Ripley residence, McNickle said.
    Morris resigned from the Stillwater Police Department on June 26, McNickle said.
    “As a Police Officer and a School Resource Officer, Morris was sworn to protect and serve all the citizens of Stillwater,” McNickle said in a press release when Morris was arrested by officers from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, Stillwater Police Department and the Payne County Sheriff’s Office.
    “It is apparent to me and the personnel of the Stillwater Police Department that the sacred trust in the Oath of Office was violated.” McNickle said.
    “Department members are deeply disappointed and disgusted in the actions of a veteran officer.
    “Members of the department take their oath seriously and will continue to seek out those who violate the public trust and where appropriate, seek prosecution and removal from office,” McNickle said.
    An investigation began on May 20 when a citizen reported a concern to police that Morris was engaged in an inappropriate relationship with a 15-year-old girl, McNickle said in his press release.
    “The original information supplied by the citizen had no evidence of criminal activity by Morris.
    “Two investigators were immediately assigned to determine if Morris had violated any policies of the Stillwater Police Department Standard Operating Procedures.
    “The internal investigation continued until June 1, 2009, when information was discovered that Morris had possibly violated state law in his conduct with the 15-year-old victim.
    “Based on this information, I immediately asked the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) to assist the Stillwater Police Department in conducting a criminal investigation into Morris’ conduct,” McNickle said.
    “On June 2, 2009, the criminal investigation determined probable cause existed that Morris committed a felony. Also on June 2, 2009, Morris was suspended from duty and his powers to act as a police officer were revoked,” McNickle said.
    “On June 10, 2009, two investigators were dispatched on an out-of-state trip to interview potential witnesses in the criminal investigation. The trip continued through Monday, June 15, 2009,” McNickle said.
    The following day, charges were filed against Morris by Payne County First Assistant District Attorney Tom Lee.
    Morris was booked into the Payne County Jail and released after posting a $25,000 property bond, court records show.
    According to an affidavit by OSBI agent Richard Brown, the girl knew Morris for the two years she attended Stillwater Junior High School. She said that she talked with Morris every morning at school, the affidavit said.
    “She and Morris exchanged phone numbers and would text each other. She felt Morris knew she liked him and that he liked her.
    “She became close to Morris. Morris would text her saying he loved her and would be able to show her how much he loved her,” the affidavit alleged.
    She told the OSBI agent that Morris fondled her while they were alone in his home and that while he was driving her back to her house, Morris put his finger in her genital area, the affidavit alleged.
    In May two days before she was to leave Oklahoma for the summer, Morris came by her house while her father was at work and they performed manual sex acts on each other, the affidavit alleged.
    Morris subsequently talked to Stillwater Police Officer Guy Palladino, who was a School Resource Officer assigned to Stillwater’s Sangre Ridge Elementary and Middle Schools, as well as Westwood Elementary School. Palladino also was a Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) representative for any officer at the Stillwater Police Department, according to the affidavit.
    Morris told Palladino that they had sexual contact, but denied having oral or vaginal sex with the girl, the affidavit alleged.
    “Morris knew his job was gone and he hoped he did not have to go to prison, but that he had done this to himself,” the affidavit alleged.

***