Prosecutors dismiss rape case against ex-KU basketball player, citing ‘insufficient evidence’

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The Douglas County district attorney’s office has dismissed a rape charge against a former University of Kansas basketball player.

Prosecutors charged Arterio Morris, now 21, with rape of an 18-year-old woman who was overcome by force or fear on Aug. 26, 2023. The charge was a level-1, or high-severity, felony.

Deputy DA Joshua Seiden on Tuesday filed a motion to dismiss the case without prejudice, meaning the charge could be refiled. The motion cited “insufficient evidence” as the reason for dismissal.

The woman told KU police that Morris had pulled her onto his lap and raped her, despite her telling him to stop, saying it hurt and pushing him away, according to court documents. She told two people in a nearby room in McCarthy Hall a few minutes afterward, and she reported the incident to police the next day, according to the probable cause affidavit and public documents in the case.

A witness told police that “Morris first said he stopped having sex with” the woman, then “‘fumbled his words’ and said that he did not have sex with” her, according to the affidavit. Morris declined to speak with police and referred them to an attorney.

“When we learned of allegations regarding Arterio Morris, he was suspended from the Kansas men’s basketball program,” coach Bill Self said in an emailed statement when the charges were filed. “We are now aware he has been arrested and charged, and he was dismissed from the program.”

The case had been set for a preliminary hearing in December and again in March, continued first for illness and again to attempt mediation, according to online court records. It was set for a status conference Wednesday; that hearing has been canceled.

Morris had transferred to Kansas from Texas following the 2022-23 season, according to the bio that was on the basketball team’s website. He played for KU in August exhibition games in Puerto Rico.

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