Local Businessman Convicted of Transporting and Sexually Assaulting Female Employees
|U.S. Attorney’s Office November 01, 2013|
HOUSTON—Henri De Sola Morris, 66, president and chief executive officer of Solid Software Solutions LLC, which does business as Edible Software Inc., has been convicted on five counts of transportation, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson.
Morris, a naturalized U.S. citizen residing in Houston, admitted that between February 2010 and February 2012, he traveled in interstate commerce and committed, and attempted to commit, the drug-facilitated sexual assaults of several women. Three of the women were present in the courtroom today as he acknowledged his guilt.
According to the plea agreement, five women relayed similar experiences of being in compromising situations with Morris after he provided each woman with a drugged alcoholic beverage he had prepared. Each woman reported instances of memory loss that followed the encounter consistent with being administered drugs commonly used in drug-facilitated sexual assault. The women also reported unwanted contact with Morris and, due to their impairment, were unable to defend themselves against him. One woman described how she knew what was happening but had lost physical control of her body and could not stop Morris from even undressing her.
The women all worked for Morris at one time and had taken business trips with him at his request to various states, including New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The plea agreement indicates that on those trips, Morris gave the women drugged alcoholic drinks and later gained access to the women’s rooms and engaged in unwanted sexual contact while they were incapacitated.
In one instance, a woman attempted to dilute the drink Morris gave her using a bottle of soda. However, shortly after consuming only part of the beverage, she already felt intoxicated. She later awoke in her hotel room and heard a “click.” At that time, she saw Morris standing over her naked body and taking pictures with his cell phone. She also had scratches on each of her hips and bruises on her arm. During a later conversation with the woman, Morris admitted he was “lonely.”
Knowing he was about to leave for another trip with a female employee, the FBI obtained a search warrant that was executed at Bush Intercontinental Airport as he was headed out of town. The search resulted in the discovery of drugs, some of which were later identified as benzodiazipams, that a toxicologist has indicated can cause physical impairment and memory loss, especially when mixed with alcohol. The toxicologist reviewed the statements of the women and found their experiences to be consistent with someone ingesting these drugs with alcohol. Viagra and Cialis, drugs commonly used for erectile dysfunction, were also found during the search.
At the time of the search, photos of the woman he previously photographed were recovered, which corresponded to the dates of her travel with Morris.
Each count of transportation carries as punishment a maximum of 10 years in prison and a possible maximum $250,000 fine. Morris will also have to register as a sex offender. U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon, who accepted the guilty plea, has set sentencing for February 7, 2014. Morris was permitted to remain on bond pending that hearing.
The case was investigated by the FBI-Houston Division Violent Crime Task Force, composed of agents and officers from the FBI, Houston Police Department, and the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, with the assistance for the Drug Enforcement Administration. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Sherri Zack and John Jocher.