Two victims testified at the U.S. Center for SafeSport arbitration held earlier this month to decide whether George Morris’ lifetime ban for sexual misconduct with a minor should be upheld. One of them was Jonathan Soresi, who had previously gone public describing his relationship with Morris in a New York Times article. (The other victim who testified has remained anonymous.)
Soresi provided the following statement to the Chronicle regarding the resolution of the case:
“This is a very difficult time in the horse business. Someone I respected and admired did something very wrong. For most of my life I was led to believe that what happened between us was ‘no big deal.’ It took me 12 years of therapy, becoming sober and consulting friends, family and God to realize that it was a big deal. I was lucky I had support and as a result, the strength to talk about it—in my case, publicly.
“SafeSport, which is grossly misunderstood, has done its job, not just in adjudication, but as an institution where someone like me can go to get guidance and support, that has led to healing.
“We are at a teachable moment, and as a teacher I believe that when we know better, we do better. And that is my hope for myself and for the horse business in general.
“No one in our sport, or any other, will ever again think that sex with an underage student is no big deal. And that is progress.”
A representative for Morris said he declined to offer any comment on the decision.