Bristol man faces felony charges in underage sex assault

BRISTOL — A Bristol man who had recently been released from jail for his role in the armed robbery of a local nursing home is back in court facing a charge of aggravated sexual assault on a 12-year-old girl, who is a relative.
Alec T. Morse, 22, pleaded innocent to the felony charge on Monday in Addison Superior Court, criminal division. If convicted, he faces a jail term of 10 years to life, and/or a fine of up to $50,000.
It was on July 5, 2012, that Bristol police originally arrested Morse, then 20, as part of a duo who forced their way into the Living Well Care Home on Maple Street. The pair, armed with tire irons, grabbed an employee as she was leaving the facility and forced her to re-enter to get them drugs and money, according to court documents. On May 20, 2013, Morse was sentenced to a jail term of 18 months to eight years for his role in the offense, according to court records.
But Morse was released from jail on probation on March 21, 2014, into the custody of family members residing in Bristol, according to a court affidavit prepared by Vermont State Police Sgt. Ruth Whitney. He eventually moved into a Bristol apartment of his own this past July.
It was on Sept. 16 of this year that Whitney — leader of the Addison County Unit for Special Investigations — received a sexual assault complaint from the alleged victim’s mother. The parent said she believed that Morse had repeatedly sexually assaulted the girl over several months, during a period when the two were living under a common family member’s roof.
Whitney interviewed the girl last month. The girl alleged to Whitney that Morse had been “raping and molesting” her during weekends she had been spending at the relative’s house, according to court records. The girl said she had written about the alleged assaults in a personal journal, according to Whitney’s affidavit.
The victim told police that the contact began with Morse touching her and kissing her, then allegedly escalated to sexual intercourse soon after her graduation from the 6th grade, according to court records. She said the alleged assaults took place in her bedroom. The girl also told police she recalled having been inappropriately touched by Morse when she was 8 years old, according to court documents.
The victim reported that “Morse did not threaten her, but she was scared of him because he had already done stuff to her and she wasn’t sure what he would do to her after that, if he was going to hurt her or not,” Whitney’s affidavit states.
“(The victim) said that she and Morse had sex “many, many, many, many times,” according to court records.
It was in August that the victim told police she stopped going to the common family member’s house because she did not want to be near Morse, according to Whitney.
Whitney also interviewed some of the victim’s relatives and several of her friends during the course of her investigation. The friends acknowledged the victim told them she had been involved in a sexual relationship with Morse, according to court records.
A grandmother of the victim told police about seeing Morse holding the girl’s hand on one occasion, according to court records. The grandmother also reported the girl’s “personality had changed from being a happy young girl to a girl who was hostile and unaffectionate with her grandmother,” according to court records.
Whitney reported interviewing Morse twice, the first time on Sept. 17 at the Rutland Regional Correctional Center. Whitney explained Probation and Parole officials had picked him up earlier in the day and returned him to jail because they were concerned about his mental health. Morse on that day denied the victim’s sexual assault allegations. Whitney re-interviewed Morse on Sept. 30. After revealing to him some of the information gleaned from her investigation, Whitney said that Morse replied he had first tried to show the victim “how to protect herself because she was afraid of a boy at school,” according to court records. Morse allegedly admitted that activity escalated to kissing and eventually sexual activity and ultimately intercourse, according to Whitney’s affidavit. He denied ever having touched the victim when she was younger, according to the affidavit.
“Morse said he didn’t know why he did it, maybe he was lonely and that maybe he has a sexual addiction for girls to like him because he never got much attention as a kid and he used girls as a way of making himself feel better,” Whitney’s affidavit concludes.

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