CLEVELAND, OHIO July 8 2017 -- Federal prosecutors on Thursday charged a Cleveland-area sex offender who was working as a security guard for troubled children with failing to register.
Vernon Morris, 55, was convicted in July 1981 of forcible sodomy and unlawful imprisonment in New York. He was released in November 2008. He is required to update his registration every year.
Morris has lived in the Cleveland area off and on since 2014, according to a criminal complaint. He also worked during that time as a security guard for Range of Change Enrichment Center in Independence, a school for at-risk youths.
He reconnected with the school's owner, who was a childhood friend, in 2014 and stayed with her at her home in Beachwood until he rented his own apartment in Cleveland last year.
The woman told deputy marshals that she paid Morris in cash and issued him tax forms, the complaint says.
The U.S. Marshals Service interviewed Morris Thursday at the Cleveland police's Fourth District headquarters, and he admitted that he did not register his address, according to the complaint.
Morris is in the custody of the marshals while his case is pending. His federal public defender declined comment Thursday.
The complaint says he was found in Ohio, in part because registered a car with the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles in 2015 and in 2016 he obtained an Ohio driver's license. His address was listed as the same as the woman's, the complaint reads.
Morris applied for supplemental security benefits June 14 using the woman's address, the complaint says. He then rented an apartment that year on Signet Avenue in Cleveland.