Army veteran charged with raping woman he met at club, suspected in two other sex assaults

Dahveed Morris Jr., 29, was denied bail Friday on a charge of criminal sexual assault. Prosecutors said they expect to charge him in two more cases.

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Dahveed Morris Jr. arrest photo

Dahveed Morris Jr.

Chicago police

A Cook County judge said at a hearing Friday he would have to be “utterly out of his mind” to grant a U.S. Army veteran bond after Cook County prosecutors accused the 29-year-old of raping a woman and said he was suspected in two other assaults.

Dahveed Morris Jr. faced a count of aggravated criminal sexual assault during the hearing at the Leighton Criminal Court Building, but prosecutors said more charges against Morris related to other assaults should be approved in coming months.

All three cases follow a similar pattern, prosecutors said, of Morris convincing a woman to get in a car then threatening her with a weapon in order to sexually assault her.

“The state outlines three reprehensible assaults,” Judge John F. Lyke Jr. said in denying Morris bail. “It shocks the conscious if true.”

The case Morris has been charged with allegedly occurred more than two years after he met the then-20-year-old woman at a social club where she was working in December 2017.

After exchanging numbers and leaving the club, prosecutors said Morris called the woman later the same morning and she agreed to meet him. She got into his car in the 7700 block of South Shore Drive and noticed a black handgun in the cup holder between the driver and passenger seats, prosecutors said.

When she tried to get out of the car, Morris grabbed her hand and then her throat, choking her until she could not breathe or speak, prosecutors said. She kicked on the car’s windshield until Morris let her go, but he said he would kill her if she did not “do what she was told” before sexually assaulting her, prosecutors said.

After ordering her to get out of the car, she ran back to her building where she called a friend and was taken to a hospital; there, she was treated for multiple injuries, and a sexual assault kit was administered.

Police found a possible Facebook profile for Morris, and the woman identified him in a photo array the following March, prosecutors said. After Morris was taken into custody Wednesday, police swabbed his cheek for DNA to compare to evidence collected at the hospital, which prosecutor said would take three to four weeks.

In addition to that assault, prosecutors said charges are expected against Morris in separate rape cases from July and November of this year, in which the victims reported that Morris held a knife to their throats and sexually assaulted them inside his car.

Though charges have not been filed in the those cases, prosecutors said Morris was connected to the assaults through phone records, as well as a vehicle that was registered to him being used in the July assault and a vehicle registered to his mother that was used in the November attack.

In all three assaults, prosecutors said Morris did not use a condom and DNA was recovered. He was taken into custody Wednesday in west suburban Woodridge, according to Chicago police records, which showed a home address in Bolingbrook.

An assistant public defender for Morris said he was the father of three children and a U.S. Army veteran who was honorably discharged after serving eight years, including two tours in Afghanistan.

Judge Lyke, who formerly served in the Army and National Guard, said the accusations against Morris went against “everything the Army is about,” which he said taught “respect for all people but especially women.”

Morris’ next court hearing is scheduled for Dec. 13.

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