Update 3:30 p.m.: In court on Tuesday morning, a visibly distraught Henri Morris opted to plead guilty to drugging and sexually assaulting one employee rather than continue with what was certain to be a grueling jury trial.
Morris spent much of the morning slumped over in a chair at the defendant's table, with heaving breaths and hands shaking as his attorneys negotiated a plea deal with prosecutors. Under the 16-page plea agreement he signed Tuesday, Morris admitted to the "drug-facilitated sexual assault" of a woman who traveled with him -- for business, she was told -- just a week after she joined his company.
Court documents state that after checking in with Morris at a New Jersey hotel in 2011, Morris asked the woman to meet him for drinks at a concierge lounge. Morris mixed her a vodka and soda before offering to take her to Manhattan to show her the city. According to court records, the woman started to feel, inexplicably, "very intoxicated" on the drive to New York. Manhattan was a hazy blur. When the woman briefly came to hours later, she was on a bed, naked and back in her New Jersey hotel room. Morris was looking down on her, snapping photos with his Blackberry.
Prosecutors on Tuesday agreed to dismiss the rest of the charges against Morris. He faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. He'll have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
A judge is scheduled to sentence Morris in February.
By early 2012, not long after Kelly (not her real name) took her first business trip with Henri Morris, word was starting to get around that women who traveled with the software company CEO kept blacking out.More »