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Sex suspect nude at door
Decatur police say man, accused of assaulting boy, exposed himself in 2002

By Seth Burkett
DAILY Staff Writer 340-2355

A man accused of sexually assaulting a roller-skating teen faced an indecent exposure charge four years ago, according to Decatur Municipal Court records.

Lewis Gwen Morgan, now 64, entered an agreement with the city prosecutor and pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of disorderly conduct in 2002, according to a judgment issued by the court.

"He did expose himself in public, and that was what he was arrested for," said retired Decatur police Master Patrolman Larry Greene on Tuesday.

Greene said police surveillance of Morgan's 1407 Somerville Road S.E. home began due to a complaint from citizens.

Two female employees of a business near Morgan's home filed a police report in which they reported seeing a man standing nude in the front doorway of that home, said Lt. Chris Mathews, a police spokesman.

Greene went to the women's workplace to take the report Feb. 18, 2002.

"They said at about 8:30 a.m. they saw a white male standing in the front door without any clothes on. She said you could see him clearly from the road," Mathews said.

According to the arrest report, the women had also told Greene the man was rubbing his genitals at the time, Mathews said.

The alleged victims declined to speak about the incident Tuesday.

Greene and officer William Watson set up surveillance on the house the day after the women filed the report, and they observed Morgan standing near or in his front doorway each morning over a three-day period leading up to his arrest, Mathews said.

On Feb. 19, "they saw Morgan come to the front door, and he did have his clothes on. He was fondling his genitals while standing in the front door. The officers took photographs of this incident," Mathews said.

"On the 20th, officer Green was driving by the residence and looked in the front door and he said he saw Morgan standing back from the front door, but the front door was open, and he was fondling himself, clothed."

Greene and Watson watched the house again Feb. 21.

"They said that at approximately 9:16 in the morning, the suspect walked to his front door, and he was naked and exposing himself in clear view of the public," Mathews said.

The officers arrested Morgan on a charge of indecent exposure, a Class A misdemeanor.

Mathews said he could not reveal any statements Morgan might have made to police at the time.

Based on a negotiated settlement, Morgan pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct, a class C misdemeanor, and was given a suspended sentence of 90 days in jail, two years of probation and a $300 fine.

It was not immediately known how the agreement was reached. Attempts to contact City Prosecutor Chip Alexander on Tuesday were unsuccessful.

Police arrested Morgan late Friday on charges of first-degree sodomy, first-degree sexual abuse and resisting arrest.

Police Sgt. Rick Archer said a 15-year-old boy skated by Morgan's house on Friday at about 9 p.m. and fell to the ground.

Morgan was on his front porch, Archer said, and went to assist the boy. As the boy began to skate away, Archer said, Morgan grabbed him from behind and dragged him into his house despite the boy's attempts to fight him off and escape.

Once inside, Archer said, Morgan sexually assaulted the boy, who continued to struggle to escape. Archer said Morgan released the boy, and he ran home to tell his mother and call police.

The boy went to Decatur General Hospital, and medical staff treated and released him. Police did not release his name.

Sgt. Randy Cavnar and officer Rance Sutherlin found Morgan about 11:30 in his front yard. Morgan allegedly resisted arrest, and police subdued him with a shock from a Taser, Archer said.

Archer said investigators found evidence corroborating the boy's statements when they returned to Morgan's home with a search warrant about 7:15 a.m. Saturday.

Morgan remained in Morgan County Jail on Tuesday in lieu of $100,500 bond.

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