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George Morris on the SS list

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  • MissCoco I had a similar question as you. My guess at this point, and it’s a guess, is that the allegations are different nature do to the nature, access to young children, etc.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Jealoushe View Post
      I'm really interested in the fact that the NYT was already looking into GM before this, so obviously, there was smoke billowing already. So curious to know what they triggered their interest.
      It's the same reporter as the JW story, which was an excellent piece of journalism. I'll be very interested in what she says.

      MissCoco The actual SafeSport code lays it out very in-depth. I'd recommend reading pages 21-30 for more info on the initial investigation and sanction process. Arbitration rules start on page 31.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Jealoushe View Post
        I'm really interested in the fact that the NYT was already looking into GM before this, so obviously, there was smoke billowing already. So curious to know what they triggered their interest.
        I have been vocal online in the aftermath of Rob Gage, during which time several people reached out to me mentioning their involvement with the George Morris investigation (people on both sides of the debate). It seems the investigation had been going on behind the scenes for quite awhile before SafeSport's announcement yesterday.

        Something that was said to me quite a lot was, "you'd be surprised how many people are under investigation that you don't know about."

        Of course, I'd take this with a grain of a salt, as I'm sharing third party hearsay delivered to me by people with generally emotional responses towards SafeSport.
        Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

        Comment


        • So, because we have many people here who are new...

          First, highly recommend reading the Rob Gage thread, especially the last quarter of it. Basically the situation went from "Oh I know he 'dated' a 17 year old decades ago and that must have been what they suspended him for" to what turned out to be several girls known to SafeSport and some not, one girl as young as 13, and one of them having a letter from Gage in his own hand where he admitted to his behavior.

          Second, check out the posts by FiSk123, who is a journalist from figure skating. She has given several bits of background information and data compilation on SafeSport.

          In particular I'll highlight: https://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/f...0#post10424070
          Originally posted by FiSk123
          I just went through the SafeSport Centralized Disciplinary Database. I selected cases based on the following pair of criteria:

          1. The sanction was "Permanently Ineligible" - meaning that I did not include people who had temporary measures, suspensions or non-permanent ineligibility.
          2. The adjudicating body was the U.S. Center for SafeSport - meaning that I excluded people whose bans were imposed by their NGB pre-SafeSport (for e.g. if a person was banned in 2015 by USA Volleyball, they were not counted).

          Criminal Disposition: 89.04% (n=260)
          Non-Criminal Disposition: 10.96% (n=32)

          Criminal Disposition - Involving a Minor: 64.04% (n=187)
          Criminal Disposition - Sexual Misconduct: 21.92% (n=64)
          Sexual Misconduct Involving a Minor: 6.51% (n=19)
          Sexual Misconduct: 3.77% (n=11)
          Criminal Disposition (General): 3.08% (n=9)
          Other (e.g. Intimate Relationship Involving a Minor): 0.68% (n=2)

          Total Number of Cases: 292*

          (While the Morning Call article citing Dan Hill's statement of 285 was released on July 1st, I believe that his quotes came from a little over a week ago. For example, I know that two people from USA Swimming were given lifetime bans on 6/28/2019 and 7/1/2019, respectively. I will triple-check my numbers later this evening after a power-nap LOL).

          I also want to note that the "Sexual Misconduct" and "Sexual Misconduct - Involving a Minor" categories are very broad. For example, Larry Nassar is listed as "Sexual Misconduct - Involving a Minor" with a 02/06/2018 decision date - even though he was sentenced to 60 years in federal prison for possession of images of child sexual abuse in July of 2017 + 40 to 175 years in state prison after pleading guilty to multiple counts of sexual assault of minors in January of 2018.
          Originally posted by FiSk123
          I've spent most of this work week cataloging every violation that resulted in "Permanent Ineligibility" that was not under "Criminal Disposition - Sexual Misconduct" or "Criminal Disposition - Involving a Minor". So far, my search has found:

          - An athlete who was arrested and charged with felony sexual battery and false imprisonment (the criminal charges were ultimately dismissed, however).
          - A coach whose former athlete was granted a permanent restraining order against them due to sexual harassment and stalking (the evidence included over 15,000 text messages)
          - A coach who purchased his then 14 year old student lingerie and exchanged sexual messages with them over SnapChat (this coach was sentenced to 3 years probation for the incident after a plea deal).
          - A coach who was accused of raping an underage student, tried in criminal court and acquitted in 2005. When another student came forward with similar allegations, the coach was arrested and charged again, however, the charges were ultimately dismissed. The reason - the former student died of an apparent overdose two months prior to testifying.

          The reason I bring this up is because I feel like some of the apprehension around the SafeSport recommendations come from fear of SafeSport itself. You're not getting suspended for hugging a student after they win a competition. You're not getting banned for life for accidentally texting a 16 year old "good morning" without another adult in the chat. In reality, these guidelines provide protection for all covered individuals - coaches and athletes alike.

          Also, as several of you have already stated, these recommended guidelines did not come out of thin air. Other institutions, especially in education, follow the same guidelines.

          Honestly, I'm also a bit confused by the push back against the recommendations since my job has much stricter guidelines than SafeSport (granted, considering the nature of my profession, this makes a lot of sense).I've spent most of this work week cataloging every violation that resulted in "Permanent Ineligibility" that was not under "Criminal Disposition - Sexual Misconduct" or "Criminal Disposition - Involving a Minor". So far, my search has found:

          - An athlete who was arrested and charged with felony sexual battery and false imprisonment (the criminal charges were ultimately dismissed, however).
          - A coach whose former athlete was granted a permanent restraining order against them due to sexual harassment and stalking (the evidence included over 15,000 text messages)
          - A coach who purchased his then 14 year old student lingerie and exchanged sexual messages with them over SnapChat (this coach was sentenced to 3 years probation for the incident after a plea deal).
          - A coach who was accused of raping an underage student, tried in criminal court and acquitted in 2005. When another student came forward with similar allegations, the coach was arrested and charged again, however, the charges were ultimately dismissed. The reason - the former student died of an apparent overdose two months prior to testifying.

          The reason I bring this up is because I feel like some of the apprehension around the SafeSport recommendations come from fear of SafeSport itself. You're not getting suspended for hugging a student after they win a competition. You're not getting banned for life for accidentally texting a 16 year old "good morning" without another adult in the chat. In reality, these guidelines provide protection for all covered individuals - coaches and athletes alike.

          Also, as several of you have already stated, these recommended guidelines did not come out of thin air. Other institutions, especially in education, follow the same guidelines.

          Honestly, I'm also a bit confused by the push back against the recommendations since my job has much stricter guidelines than SafeSport (granted, considering the nature of my profession, this makes a lot of sense).
          SafeSport is not banning people for old infractions based on one anonymous accusation. Everyone banned turns out to have some very very serious misconduct that is well supported by evidence from multiple sources, beyond a single person's verbal testimony.

          It hurts to hear that someone you respected or trusted may have hurt other people so badly. After watching the evidence drip out about Rob Gage, Jimmy Williams, and even figure skater John Coughlin, I think people would be wise to assume that in fact SafeSport has acted based on very clear evidence of serious misconduct, and probably some incident that the observer knows nothing about.
          Last edited by poltroon; Aug. 6, 2019, 12:21 PM. Reason: Clarified pronoun
          If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

          Comment


          • Originally posted by 541hunter View Post

            lol either way, it definitely ain't a case of getting a little too stern with a clinic rider.
            Even if it could and should be (as a side "charge")
            Yo/Yousolong April 23rd, 1985- April 15th, 2014

            http://notesfromadogwalker.com/2012/...m-a-sanctuary/

            Comment


            • Originally posted by ladyj79 View Post
              Oh good, Robert Dover has weighed in to say that he stands with George.......
              Where did you see that ?

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Jealoushe View Post
                I'm really interested in the fact that the NYT was already looking into GM before this, so obviously, there was smoke billowing already. So curious to know what they triggered their interest.
                The reporter is a hunter rider.
                *****
                You will not rise to the occasion, you will default to your level of training.

                Comment


                • Also for those of you new, I recommend reading Ashley Wagner's account from figure skating. I think she was quite correct to understand that reporting a fellow athlete - not even a larger than life coach - would have ended her ability to skate and win a medal for the US team.

                  https://www.usatoday.com/story/sport...in/1876419001/

                  Note that when SafeSport banned Coughlin, they didn't know about Wagner's incident.

                  And read this one:

                  http://www.espn.com/espn/feature/sto...ormer-olympian

                  Now imagine if you were a young man or young woman accusing George Morris how your career would dry up.

                  Not to mention that young men who have been sexually assaulted - especially in the 1970s - didn't find themselves supported. Instead they tended to get thrown out of their house and shunned.

                  And the grooming that is done - "This is how you show you are good enough to get to the top" is insidious. The power dynamic takes away any ability to consent, in addition to those athletes that are also minors.
                  If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

                  Comment


                  • A recurring theme within the global GM discussion that stands out in flashing marquee lights is the "we all knew about it" comments. The "whispers" and "open rumors" and "not-so-secret secret" comments.

                    Let's let that sink in for a moment. An entire community (and its periphery) gossiped about it. For DECADES. An entire community that did nothing to confirm the rumors and, if they were true, help the victims and prevent future victims.

                    If Nassar hadn't been caught and Congress hadn't created SafeSport, would the riding community still be snickering about GM over beers or exchanging knowing glances across the aisle? Probably.

                    I'm not going to come out all guns a-blazing against GM at this stage. It's not from a lack of knowledge about SS or because I don't believe he could have done it. I've read the SS process and understand they've determined there's a reason to investigate the claim. I also understand that he is in the appeal process and that there is a chance the ruling could be overturned.

                    Since I'm not part of the investigation process and privy to the case's details, I'll wait until the final verdict before issuing a personal ruling.

                    What I do know is that I've ridden with the man multiple times. He's tough, yes. He sometimes makes harsh comments and can bully people who aren't all-in and trying. He can also issue amazing praise and support. The results of his work have been proven. He's very good at his job. That hasn't stopped me with associating him with tough military generals in my mind.

                    I'd hate for this claim to be true, but there's a chance it is. Hopefully we'll be given a clear answer at some point.
                    "Whether you think you can or think you can't, you are right." -Henry Ford

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by HLMom View Post

                      In legal theory, there are important reasons that statutes of limitations exist for almost all crimes--and none of them are 50+ years long (with the exception of murder). A main reason is that for an accused to defend himself/herself, s/he needs access to witnesses, documentary evidence, etc. around the time of the crime. When you are getting 50 years out, most of the possible witnesses will have died or will be un-locatable. That is fundamentally unfair to the accused.

                      I don't know how old you are, but I'm in my 50's. Suppose some tribunal accused me of assault and battery 35 years ago by shoving someone during a spat in high school. I'd be in a position of saying, (1) that doesn't sound like something I'd do; but (2) I don't remember much about high school; (3) I barely remember any kids from high school and certainly couldn't find them now to be witnesses for me.

                      People generally understand the rationale for statutes of limitations when it comes to other crimes, but then when it comes to sexual harassment, they are willing to throw legal safeguards out the window.

                      All of that said, I don't know anything about GM's past conduct, and I am troubled when anyone thinks he has license to bully and belittle other people (I've certainly had bosses like that), let alone take advantage of them sexually.

                      I would be very interested to see if this ends up in a court of law.
                      I dunno about other states, but Texas has no statute of limitations on sexual assault or offenses against children as fas as I can tell. The state has decided that they are no more interested in providing extraordinary “safeguards” to those accused of these offenses than they are interested in providing such safeguards to murderers.

                      And rightly so. There are all too many situations, just look at the Catholic Church, where NUMEROUS abuses and attacks that took place years and years and years ago were deliberately and systematically hidden. There are all too many situations where the abused have been either convinced that what was done to them was normal and deserved by grooming behavior, or terrorized that something even worse would happen if they said anything. The kid who kept silent for decades because his step father said he’d kill his mother if he said anything, shouldn’t speak up when the mother dies and is now finally “safe” from that threat? Because the accused deserves the safeguard of statute of limitations? Really???

                      Comment


                      • As a child, I rode with a trainer who had been a student of GM. He had gone to ride with George as a young teen after having lost his own father (I can’t remember whether the father had died or abandoned his family). He was emotionally vulnerable and also happened to be very good looking. I have heard rumors that he was molested by GM during this time. He definitely has gone on to have had a troubled life.

                        So, no I am not at all surprised by these allegations. For all I know, he might even be the one to have made the SS complaint. As someone mentioned earlier, if the rumors are true, then I imagine it has been difficult for him to watch GM reach the pinnacle of success and respect while his own life has been pretty much a disaster.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Toblersmom View Post

                          I dunno about other states, but Texas has no statute of limitations on sexual assault or offenses against children as fas as I can tell. The state has decided that they are no more interested in providing extraordinary “safeguards” to those accused of these offenses than they are interested in providing such safeguards to murderers.

                          And rightly so. There are all too many situations, just look at the Catholic Church, where NUMEROUS abuses and attacks that took place years and years and years ago were deliberately and systematically hidden. There are all too many situations where the abused have been either convinced that what was done to them was normal and deserved by grooming behavior, or terrorized that something even worse would happen if they said anything. The kid who kept silent for decades because his step father said he’d kill his mother if he said anything, shouldn’t speak up when the mother dies and is now finally “safe” from that threat? Because the accused deserves the safeguard of statute of limitations? Really???
                          Here is a link that discusses the various "sols" for child sexual abuse in different states. Texas does have a statute of limitations in many cases.

                          https://www.rainn.org/state-state-gu...es-limitations

                          I do understand your point -- there is a balance to be struck. Many children do not have the power or wherewithal to report an adult who has significant power over their lives. That reality needs to be balanced against fairness to the accused.

                          I do think that we can have increased confidence in a prosecution or disciplinary action when there is a pattern of conduct--i.e., it wasn't just one kid, it was a dozen kids. I think in most cases that's what was going on with the Catholic priests who have been defrocked, and the same may prove true in GM's case. We'll see.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by farmpony84 View Post

                            Again. I never said that sexual misconduct towards a minor was ok. I never said any of that and I never thought that. Again... You are slathering your BS all over thread while you try to bully me into submission and accuse me of being an idiot. All I can say is. Bless your heart.
                            farmpony84 There were two big issues with your post.
                            1. When SafeSport bans someone, they are very terse, and all they say is: length of suspension, and nature of violation. In this case, lifetime, and sexual misconduct involving minors.
                            If the violation did not involve minors, it would have said “sexual misconduct”. Danali was taking you to task for not reading the absolute minimum on the case.
                            2. I read all your context. Even in context, though, you said that some victims “are not exactly innocent” because they got something out of “participating”. It is not OK to use your position of power and trust to barter sex for coaching or other opportunities even with adults, and doubly not OK with minors.
                            Last edited by YankeeDuchess; Aug. 6, 2019, 03:42 PM.

                            Comment


                            • I have heard reports about George Morris and criminal activity against boys for years, I was wondering how he had avoided sanctions for this long. I was not a witness, but have heard reports from someone who was a victim. The Safesport website said it was a criminal violation, but I don’t know if it was referred for criminal prosecution or has already been prosecuted. As an attorney, I agree that not all states have statutes of limitations for cases involving minors, and would also note that the details are not always made public in both both civil and criminal cases. I have no doubt that SafeSport acted correctly here.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Dressurfrau View Post
                                I'm not a fan of Robert Dover but here is what he shared on Dover's World. I guess others in the equestrian community may pick a side as well.

                                "I’ve known George since I was a kid myself and actually met Robert Ross at Hunterdon in 1988 when Robert was 22. He was there for his second time for a week-long training session and George was kind enough to give him a room to stay in. Robert was and still is very handsome but asked if George was ever inappropriate with him either time he was there, he will tell you NEVER. George will say, like most men his or even my age, the 70’s especially were a crazy time and men and women, gay and straight, did crazy things. It was not called the “sexual revolution” for nothing. But retroactively attempting to judge one’s behavior in today’s world based on those times, what was for instance, going on in Studio 54 or Studio 1, is not only impossible but is unfair.
                                Now, rape is rape, regardless of the decade in which it happened and anyone found guilty of it should be charged with the crime. But something deemed “sexual abuse” today, brought by an accuser who may themselves be worthy of a stronger look into their behavior and who most likely would have to have been alone when this allegedly took place, put into the context of almost 50 years ago, is setting up a precedent for disaster. I hate that my friend, George, is going through this but it is even bigger than George and so in standing with George, I am standing up for the rights of us all and calling for Safe Sport to be overhauled. We need to protect our youth and all our athletes in sports but with a correct system using the rule of law and jurisprudence."
                                Wow, that is one poorly thought out post by Robert Dover.

                                Comment


                                • Originally posted by Dressurfrau View Post
                                  I'm not a fan of Robert Dover but here is what he shared on Dover's World.....

                                  . "Robert [Ross] was and still is very handsome but asked if George was ever inappropriate with him either time he was there, he will tell you NEVER."
                                  Interesting comment by RD on RR's physical appearance. If RR was female, and her appearance was mentioned, there'd be a tsunami of a backlash. But since RR is male, not so much.

                                  Comment


                                  • Originally posted by EAY View Post
                                    As a child, I rode with a trainer who had been a student of GM. He had gone to ride with George as a young teen after having lost his own father (I can’t remember whether the father had died or abandoned his family). He was emotionally vulnerable and also happened to be very good looking. I have heard rumors that he was molested by GM during this time. He definitely has gone on to have had a troubled life.

                                    So, no I am not at all surprised by these allegations. For all I know, he might even be the one to have made the SS complaint. As someone mentioned earlier, if the rumors are true, then I imagine it has been difficult for him to watch GM reach the pinnacle of success and respect while his own life has been pretty much a disaster.
                                    Someone actually stated that on Facebook. Who knows if it’s true or not but it was said.

                                    Comment


                                    • Originally posted by HLMom View Post

                                      Here is a link that discusses the various "sols" for child sexual abuse in different states. Texas does have a statute of limitations in many cases.

                                      https://www.rainn.org/state-state-gu...es-limitations

                                      I do understand your point -- there is a balance to be struck. Many children do not have the power or wherewithal to report an adult who has significant power over their lives. That reality needs to be balanced against fairness to the accused.

                                      I do think that we can have increased confidence in a prosecution or disciplinary action when there is a pattern of conduct--i.e., it wasn't just one kid, it was a dozen kids. I think in most cases that's what was going on with the Catholic priests who have been defrocked, and the same may prove true in GM's case. We'll see.
                                      This.

                                      I HADN'T heard the GM rumors beyond that he was tough on his riders and had a thing against carrying extra weight. To assume we ALL knew is a bit of a stretch.

                                      I do think the post on cognitive dissonance is a very good point.
                                      Proud member of the Snort and Blow Clique

                                      Comment


                                      • Originally posted by ladyj79 View Post
                                        As I said, Robert Dover asks a friend if he was sexually assaulted by George as a young adult (22).

                                        Friend says no.

                                        Ergo, Rob concludes George Morris did not assault adolescent boys.
                                        That's not what RD said. He was speaking about ONE person whom he knows very well.

                                        Comment


                                        • OK now seeing RDs post....gross. What a willfully niave man. Every sentance just makes it worse.
                                          Boss Mare Eventing Blog

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